Home The Soapbox Editorial: Mile of Music makes impact far beyond its four days

Editorial: Mile of Music makes impact far beyond its four days


It’s time to rest up. It’s time to get excited.

But we suggest it’s also time to spend a moment or two in appreciation. 

Mile of Music is truly an incredible event — and it’s incredible to think about how far we’ve come along its run.

The seventh edition of the sprawling downtown music festival begins on Thursday and it’s become a fixture of summer in the Fox Cities. For all the anticipation, there’s no longer much for curiosity. It’s no longer the shiny, new object in the room. Like farm markets and minor league baseball, it’s become a full-fledged line item on the checklist of things we love about home.

But let’s remember to never take these four days in early August for granted.  

Amazing isn’t too strong a word when thinking about all that Mile of Music has contributed in a such a short amount of time.

We’re a vibrant music city and a destination for emerging artists from across the country. We couldn’t say that before — at least without eliciting laughter.

Music is becoming part of our reputation and it’s how we choose to come together as a community. It’s no longer just an occasional weekend pastime. On any given Wednesday, for instance, those looking to escape the house can find multiple options for live music spanning multiple genres across the Fox Cities. 

The festival has taught, trained and convinced us.

Before Mile of Music, cover bands were the only bands that could reliably draw a crowd.

Festival gigs opened the eyes of residents to recognize they’ll have a great time when heading out for music — even if they’re songs they haven’t heard before. In turn, it’s convinced venues that original music is a lucrative, worthwhile endeavor that’ll pull in patrons. More venues than ever are staging music and those that have long hosted artists are doing so more frequently.

We have a strong and growing cache of local talent and that’s in no small part due to the greater number of opportunities they’re afforded. 

We’re a healthier community due to Mile of Music. 

It’s a point of pride and live music events are among rare grounds in which differences fade and disappear. It’s a lot tougher to do community in these hyper-political times, but here, we have something we can share.

Enjoy the big four days ahead of us.

But before the many artists — both local and visiting — hit the multitude of stages, have a thought of thanks.

The reasons run a mile long.