Planning a successful event always comes with certain challenges. However, the challenges multiply when the event is a four-day music festival featuring 200+ artists performing nearly 800 shows at 65 local venues. Mile of Music brings music lovers of all ages to downtown Appleton to enjoy and discover artists from across the U.S. and Canada.
In planning the festival, event organizers wanted to provide attendees a user-friendly tool that would help them get the most from their experience. As a local community member with a vast team of experienced and knowledgeable technology consultants, the Mile of Music team partnered with us to bring their vision to life in the form of a mobile app. Mile of Music is an annual multi-day, artisan music festival that attracts over 50,000 people each year from all over the Midwest. Attendees of the festival come together to enjoy new and emerging artists along a one mile stretch of downtown Appleton, WI.
"In today’s world, technology is an ever present part of our lives. Being able to establish a strong partnership with someone who understands our unique needs and has a vast knowledge of new and emerging technologies to make our vision a reality is priceless."
Nathan Litt | Event Coordinator | Mile of Music
Working collaboratively with the Mile of Music team and event coordinator, Nathan Litt, we began by determining the goals of the app by building a wishlist of functionality. Next, the team benchmarked other best-in-class examples of festival apps, in order to plot the strategy for a final solution that would encompass the right set of features.
Together it was determined that the app should serve not only as an informational resource, but also a valuable wayfinding and scheduling tool for attendees. As a festival that celebrates new and emerging artists, the app’s music discoverability feature is a key component to the user experience. Beyond providing users a brief bio and description of the artist, users can play short samples of artists’ music, view their performance schedule, and connect directly with each artist on their social media channels. By providing the ability to sample music and learn about each artist, users are able to better plan their festival experience.
Another key feature of the app is its scheduling and wayfinding features. Individual artists and their performances can be saved to a user’s “favorites” menu — enabling them to create an itinerary for the day within the app that can quickly be viewed and updated at their fingertips. Additionally, users can also explore the many venues hosting performances by using the app to help them locate and navigate to venues along the one mile stretch of festival space.
More than a tool for festival attendees, we designed the app to be a valuable tool for event organizers as well. The 2015 updates integrated with beacons, a low power Bluetooth sensor technology. The beacons worked to provide organizers an idea of attendance patterns and density within the festival area. This information gave the Mile of Music team valuable insights to help with traffic flow and leverage social media to promote the areas more sparsely attended.
The Mile of Music app has proven to be an invaluable tool for festival attendees and event management. We equipped the app with Microsoft Azure for a scalable cloud-enabled back-end, ensuring consistent functionality as its user base grows. The festival saw record setting attendance in 2015, and is eager to grow both the app and the festival in the years to come.
Since the initial launch of the app, our teams have come together each year to collaborate on app improvements. Always on top of the latest technologies, we bring our people’s experience and passion for technology to the table — recommending new functionality for each new iteration that will provide new benefits to attendees and event management.
Planning for the Future
Looking ahead to the next year, Core and Mile of Music plan to expand the use of beacons technology to bring more advanced real-time analytics for festival management. In addition, festival management hopes to integrate more robust app notification to better communicate festival updates, news and schedule changes with attendees.
To bring attendees closer to the artists, the team also has plans to build out the app’s social integration features to allow for real-time feeds of the event’s artists, venues and event management to display within the app.
Life Beyond the Festival
We are collaborating with the Mile of Music team to determine how to extend the life of the app beyond the festival. Committed to the success and growth of Appleton’s downtown community, we see potential to leverage the Mile of Music app technology to create a platform for connecting with members of the community year-round and informing them of other events happening downtown.
About Mile of Music
Mile of Music is an annual all-original music festival located in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. Started in 2013, the four-day festival runs the first weekend in August, Thursday through Sunday, and is a collaborative community event with support from nearly 50 business and community sponsors.