It was also the first year of having the Mile of Music Bus back since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bus is decked out with special Mile of Music decals and speakers for musicians to play in the back, as many passengers as possible pile on board to listen to up-and-coming artists.

The first artist to play on the bus was Sauk City native Sam Ness, and it also happened to be his first time playing at Mile of Music, explaining that it is very competitive to get a spot to sign up.

“People are coming from everywhere to be a part of this, musicians included,” Ness said. “Last night, I met a couple of them who got here early.”

He also said that the energy is unmatchable.

“Between not only the music consumers but also the people who are making music, it’s a very tangible gratitude to be here and the excitement,” he said. “I feel like every time I come back to Appleton, my musical battery is charged, I go out excited make music and to meet people again.”

Ness has two more performances Thursday evening and another one on Friday.