June 7, 2012

Old Port Festival: 40 bands, 100+ vendors and plenty for kids

Some 40 musical acts – more than half of them local – are set to play the festival.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Rain or shine.

WHERE: The Old Port, roughly bordered by Federal, Union, Pearl and Commercial streets in Portland

HOW MUCH: Free admission; fees charged for rides and food

INFO: portlandmaine.com


ALL ACTS are local unless otherwise noted.

• FOX 23/Dispatch Magazine Stage (Middle and Temple streets)

Noon: Ariana Cogswell (acoustic)

12:15 p.m.: Mike Furey (electro-rocker from Maine, lives in New York)

12:55 p.m.: Dom Colizzi (acoustic)

1:10 p.m.: Amy Allen (pop)

2:20 p.m.: Pretty Girls Sing Soprano (a cappella)

2:35 p.m.: The Wrecking (rock)

3:45 p.m.: Lady Zen (eclectic)

4 p.m.: Sparks the Rescue (rock)

• 98.9 WCLZ Stage (Fore and Sliver streets)

Noon: Dominic and The Lucid (alt-rock)

1 p.m.: Jason Spooner Trio (roots-rock)

2 p.m.: Pete Kilpatrick Band (acoustic rock)

3 p.m.: Meiko (nationally known indie folk artist)

4 p.m.: Eric Hutchinson (nationally known folk-pop artist)

• Coast 93.1 Stage (Middle and Pearl streets)

Noon: Maine Transmit Authority

1 p.m.: Dia Frampton (nationally known alt-pop/rock artist)

2 p.m.: Time Pilots ('80s hits band)

3 p.m.: Jon McLaughlin (nationally known rock act)

4 p.m.: The Cab (nationally known rock act)

• WPOR 101.9 Country Stage (Fore and Union streets)

ALL ACTS are national except for the Maine-based Mallett Brothers.

Noon: The Mallett Brothers

1 p.m.: Greg Bates

2 p.m.: The Farm

3 p.m.: The Lost Trailers

4 p.m.: Bucky Covington (former "American Idol" contestant)

• Maine Academy of Modern Music Stage (Dana Street)

Noon: Emergency Sirens (rock)

12:10 p.m.: Metal Sideburns (punk)

12:20 p.m.: Untitled Revolution (pop-rock)

12:30 p.m.: Beatboxing by 7-year-old Ethan Kasprzak and MAMM instructor Chas Lester

12:40 p.m.: Static (alt-rock)

1 p.m.: Jake Marcus Striker (indie rock)

1:20 p.m.: Average Suburban Housecats (folk-rock)

1:40 p.m.: Guilty Bystander (alt-rock)

2 p.m.: 2012 MAMM Slam winner The Veayo Twins (alt-pop/rock)

2:40 p.m.: Beware of Pedestrians (pop-punk)

3 p.m.: Dean Ford (local pop-rock artist, not a MAMM student)

3:40 p.m.: The Twisted Truth (power-pop)

4 p.m.: Lady & The Tramps (hard rock)

4:20 p.m.: Parenthesys (metal)

4:40 p.m.: Simple Burden (hard rock)

• Bull Feeney's Irish Music Stage (Moulton Street)

11:30 a.m.: Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corps

Noon: The Milliners

1 p.m.: The Napper Tandies

2 p.m.: The Squid Jiggers

3 p.m.: Rum Riot

4 p.m.: The Pubcrawlers

• Children's Area (Post Office Park)

Noon: "Mad Science" experiments

1 p.m.: Dancing to steel band music with Island Beats

2 p.m.: Society for Creative Anachronism relives medieval times

3 p.m.: Hip hop and jazz dance performances by Pulse Dance Company

4 p.m.: Movement and storytelling with Nevaeh Dance Company

If you don't get out to Portland's bars and clubs much to check out the vibrant local music scene, don't worry about it.

You can play catch-up on Sunday afternoon.

The 39th Annual Old Port Festival has been organized as a one-stop-shopping mall of local bands. There will be six stages of music ranging in genre from Irish, folk and country to metal, punk and electronic. More than half of the 40 or so bands playing the festival are local.

And if the reason you don't hit the clubs is because you have trouble staying up late, never fear: The Old Port Festival is packing these musical acts into one single afternoon. It ends at 5 p.m.

"There's so much great music here in Portland, it makes sense to have a lot of local music," said Will Ethridge, events manager for Portland's Downtown District, the city-funded downtown improvement group that organizes the festival. "This festival is really a celebration of what Portland and the Old Port has to offer, from restaurants and shops to music."

The festival also includes national acts (though not big names), including country singer and former "American Idol" contestant Bucky Covington, and up-and-coming folk-pop artist Eric Hutchinson, who has toured with Jason Mraz and Kelly Clarkson, among others. (See story on Hutchinson.)

Children and family entertainment will be part of the festival, starting with the annual parade at 11 a.m. on Exchange Street. Led by the giant puppets of Portland's Shoestring Theater, the parade will include local mascots in costume, dancers and stilt walkers.

There will be lots of kids' entertainment (free) and kids' rides (cost). There will be more than 50 food vendors, more than 90 Maine artists and crafters, and at least another 50 non-food vendors selling local products, said Ethridge.

The children's amusement area on Federal Street will include a train ride, a pirate ship ride and a fun house. There will also be a free kids' entertainment area in Post Office Park with something happening every hour of the afternoon. (See the attached schedule.)

Most of the live music starts at noon and lasts until the festival's end. Three stages are organized by local radio stations, while one will be hosted by Dispatch Magazine and a fifth by Bull Feeney's pub. A sixth stage will feature students of the Maine Academy of Modern Music.

Parking is free at downtown meters on Sunday, but they might be hard to come by. There are several area garages (see map); the Fore Street Garage will be charging a flat fee of $10 for the entire day.

There will also be, for the first time, a free bicycle valet service run by the Maine Bike Coalition. Bikers can look for a sign on Union Street, between Middle and Fore, where coalition members will take their bikes, give them a ticket and park the bikes -- just like a car valet service.

Ethridge said the hope is that the bike valet will ease some of the traffic congestion that the festival usually brings.

It's regularly listed as the largest one-day festival in Maine, normally attracting more than 30,000 people to the Old Port during a five- to six-hour span.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


Twitter: RayRouthier


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