With the Tuesday arrival of the Mile of Music performance schedule comes a difficult truth that all music festival patrons must come to terms with: You just can’t see everything.
Fact is, the better a festival’s initial lineup looks, the more frustrating the daily schedule will appear. But it’s a good kind of frustrating, like having to decide on an ice cream flavor when faced with dozens of options.
So until human cloning becomes an everyday thing, Mile of Music patrons will just have to pick and choose which shows to catch and which acts must be sacrificed. It happens at Coachella, it happens at Lollapalooza, and, heck, it sometimes happens on a good Saturday night when two great bands are playing in two bars across town from each other.
Mile of Music’s two big nights — Aug. 9 and 10 — feature an array of tough calls. While both headlining shows are taking place at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, some choice performances will be taking place on Feature Stages. Mile of Music co-founder Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons will be squaring off with Eau Claire’s Field Report, Milwaukee’s Hugh Bob & the Hustle and Communist Daughter from the Twin Cities on Aug. 9. Each of these bands fall into can’t-miss territory, but unfortunately, we each can only be in one place at one time.
Aug. 10′s potent combination of Rodney Crowell, Justin Townes Earle and Nicole Atkins at the Chapel is in direct conflict with Feature Stage sets from the Pines, Those Darlins and Nikki Lane at three different locations, and each with enticing acts on the undercard (Fort Frances, Bonzie, Caroline Smith, among others). For some, maybe the price tag for the headliner vs. the second-tier shows will be the deal-breaker. For others, the rare opportunity to see somebody like Crowell in a venue like Lawrence Chapel right here in downtown Appleton is unable to be skipped.
Though there’s likely no way to catch everything on the Mile of Music wish list, having a plethora of exciting options is sort of a fun problem to have.
And don’t forget that one of overarching themes of Mile of Music is discovery. Having to miss out on a band you’re interested in might just lead you to catching the weekend’s best show from a completely unexpected source.
Are there any Mile of Music scheduling conflicts that are driving you crazy? Let me know: Shane Nyman, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @shanenyman