Early estimates put Mile 3 attendance at 50,000
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Original article from Post Crescent:
If Mile of Music seemed bigger than ever, that’s because it was.
Organizers believe the third annual Mile of Music festival, which closed Sunday night in downtown Appleton, may have grown by more than 60 percent compared to last year.
The early estimate from festival co-founder Dave Willems puts the number of people who attended the four-day event in downtown Appleton at about 50,000. That’s up considerably from the estimated 30,000 that came out for Miles 1 and 2.
Read more: Complete coverage of Mile of Music
That figure is higher than organizers had anticipated heading into the weekend. Willems said before the start of the event that organizers were expecting attendance to be in the 40,000 to 45,000 range.
The big crowd estimates come despite rain washing out some of Friday’s action. Several shows at outdoor venues, including at Houdini Plaza, Spats and Fox River House, had to be canceled or moved to small indoor locations. Jones Park also had early afternoon cancellations, while three evening shows went on despite constant rain.
“I think Thursday night for sure seemed like it was busier than past years. I’d say Thursday from 4 o’clock on,” Willems said. “I’d say Friday, even with the rain, it was still busier than it was last year. I think there was some compensation for people who didn’t come down Friday knowing they could come down Saturday, so we definitely saw a busier Saturday. And then Sunday clearly is busier than Sunday last year was.”
With the first two Mile of Music festivals, attendance numbers remained only as estimates. For Mile 3, organizers have worked with hotels and venues to help firm up counts. More solid attendance numbers are expected by next week.
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A Saturday performance in Jones Park by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons welcomed what might be the largest crowd in the three-year history of the festival. Friday and Saturday night shows set in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel also had better attendance than performances set in similar time slots in past years.
Willems said another positive sign is that many of the Mile 3 attendees likely stuck around for six hours or more at a time.
“That’s a huge sign and a factor we can build on,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that number grew significantly and that’s exciting.”
The increase in the number of people descending on the downtown didn’t lead to any uptick in problem for police. Like in previous years, Mile of Music went incident-free.
Appleton Police Sgt. David Lund called it a “great event across the board.”
“Definitely no problems,” Lund said. “I talked to a few of our officers that were out for the event in uniform working the crowds and no issues there. I looked through our jail logs, nothing that was related to downtown disturbances, that kind of thing. Overall it was an excellent event.”
Mile of Music brought more than 200 artists to downtown Appleton for more than 700 performances Thursday through Sunday. Live music sets were held in more than 60 venues on or near College Avenue and along the riverfront.
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