Portland’s Maine State Pier will likely host three outdoor concerts this summer, with officials saying it’s another sign that demand for outdoor music is on the upswing.

On Monday, the Portland City Council will consider a proposal by Waterfront Concerts of Bangor to host the Portland Reggae Fest on Aug. 10, featuring acts from 12:30 until 9 p.m., headlined by Freddie McGregor.

The group 3 Doors Down will play an acoustic show at the pier on Aug. 3, also coordinated by Waterfront Concerts. Another, undisclosed act will likely perform in June.

“It will be a national act, a household name,” said Jessica Grondin, the city’s spokeswoman.

Grondin said there were no concerts on the city-owned pier last summer, although the hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar performed outdoors at the nearby Ocean Gateway terminal.

In 2012, a concert by Mumford & Sons on the Eastern Promenade was a huge hit, drawing 15,000 fans.

“The momentum is there, for sure,” Grondin said. Waterfront Concerts is “eager to bring more concerts to Portland.”

Waterfront Concerts operates the 15,000-seat Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor. The acts scheduled to play there this summer include Sarah McLachlan, Tim McGraw and the Dave Matthews Band.

The Maine State Pier’s capacity is about 3,000 for a concert.

William Baker, Westbrook’s assistant city manager, said the concerts scheduled on the Maine State Pier only confirm his research showing that demand for outdoor concerts in Greater Portland would likely enable a permanent venue to succeed.

Westbrook is considering building a 3,500-seat outdoor concert venue at Riverbank Park, at a cost of at least $1 million, Baker said.

He said promoters prefer permanent venues over temporary public spaces for concerts. Westbrook officials are discussing the potential concert venue with an unnamed national promoter, which some have speculated is Live Nation.

“I’m very bullish. I don’t think there’s any question that there’s a demand,” Baker said. “The promoters are looking for a venue that has everything that they need right in one place.”

Baker said he expects that by late spring, Westbrook officials will decide, with public input, whether to go forward with the project, which could open as soon as 2015.

At Thompson’s Point in Portland, developers have said that their mixed-use development would include a concert venue, with no permanent seating, that could host concerts for as many as 5,000 people. The venue would also host banquets and other large gatherings.

South Portland floated plans for a concert venue at Bug Light Park, but those plans have since been abandoned.

Portland City Councilor Kevin Donoghue said Greater Portland could probably use an outdoor concert venue. He said the region needs a spot that balances the needs of residents, fans, bands and promoters.

Although reggae concerts may be associated with marijuana use, security workers will be at the concert Aug. 10, said Grondin. Last year, Portland voters approved an ordinance that says recreational marijuana use is legal for adults in the city, although not in public.

Recreational marijuana use remains illegal under state and federal law. 

Joe Lawlor can be contacted at 791-6376 or at:

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