Like everything else in life these days, summer requires some intense scheduling.

If you want to take that day trip to Acadia National Park before the next snowfall, you’d better find an open weekend on your calendar ASAP. If you want to have that cookout for the neighborhood, pencil it in before the precious summer weekends slip away.

And if you want to see some of your favorite bands in an outdoor venue, you’d better make your plans now.

Lucky for all you music in the sun fans, there’s a ton of outdoor concerts to choose from this summer in Maine — and some exciting new developments in the outdoor concert scene to boot.

One new development is that L.L. Bean has just about finished putting together its summer concert schedule. Several big-name shows have already been booked for the annual concert series at Discovery Park in Freeport: country star Jo Dee Messina on July 4, rockabilly crooner Chris Isaak on July 7, innovative folksters Carolina Chocolate Drops on Aug. 4, bluegrass group Chatham County Line on Aug. 18, and country singer Suzy Bogguss on Sept. 1.

The L.L. Bean schedule features expanded outdoor music around the Fourth of July, because that’s when the iconic Freeport-based retailer is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The expansion is mostly about local acts playing all afternoon long on several days, as other activities are taking place at the same time.

All the L.L. Bean shows are free, so you don’t have to buy a ticket, but you’ll still want to plan ahead and arrive early to get a good spot.

Two of the big news items in the outdoor summer concert scene were announced earlier this spring. Portland’s State Theatre got city council approval to hold an all-day concert on Aug. 4 on the city’s Eastern Promenade with red-hot British band Mumford & Sons. The event will feature local bands playing beforehand, and the Eastern Prom park will be fenced off and turned into a festival grounds of sorts. Tickets are not yet on sale, so stay tuned for details.

It will be the first time in anyone’s memory that the city-owned park — with a gorgeous setting and direct view of Casco Bay — has hosted a ticketed concert, so it may set the stage for other shows in the future.

The other big news is that Bangor-based Waterfront Concerts got Scarborough town approval to organize a concert series at Scarborough Downs, the first such series at the horse-racing track. Waterfront Concerts has been bringing a huge slate of big-name shows to the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion — which holds about 8,000 seats — during the last few years.

So far, Waterfront Concerts has two very large, hard-rocking shows scheduled for Scarborough, and can do up to five for the season, according to its town permit. The Scarborough shows announced so far include a July 31 rap show with Wiz Khalifa headlining and an annual Maine hard-rock festival called Oxxfest, featuring 5 Finger Death Punch and other metal acts, on Aug. 10.

Bangor Waterfront Pavilion’s outdoor concerts have already begun in its namesake town. There will be a show there on Friday featuring heavy metal acts Godsmack and Staind, and several high-profile tours, including The Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Tour featuring every surviving member of the classic 1960s lineup.

To help you plan ahead for a summer of concerts, here’s a look at various outdoor venues around Maine and some of the shows scheduled so far: 


At DIscovery Park, L.L. Bean, 95 Main St., Freeport.; (877) 755-2326. All concerts are free; bring a lawn chair or blanket.

JULY 4: Ellis Paul, 3:30 and 4:45 p.m.; Jo Dee Messina, 7:30 p.m.

JULY 5: The Fogcutters, 5 p.m.; Matt Savage, 6:15 p.m.; Portland Jazz Orchestra, 7:30 p.m.

JULY 6: Beware of Pedestrians and Guilty Bystanders, 2 p.m.; Putnam Smith Trio, 3:30 p.m.; Lissa Schneckenburger, 5 p.m.; Jason Spooner, 6:30 p.m.; Ryan Montbleau, 8 p.m.

JULY 7: Kenya Hall Band, 11:15 a.m.; Lyle Divinsky, 12:30 p.m.; Jerks of Grass; 1:45 p.m.; Anna and The Diggs, 3 p.m.; Pete Kilpatrick Band, 4:15 p.m.; Chris Isaak, 7:30 p.m.

JULY 21: Martin Sexton, 7:30 p.m.

AUG. 4: Carolina Chocolate Drops, 7:30 p.m.

AUG. 18: Chatham County Line with This Way Out, 7:30 p.m.

SEPT. 1: Suzy Bogguss, 7:30 p.m. 


1 Railroad St., Bangor.; (800) 745-3000

FRIDAY — Godsmack and Staind, 7 p.m.; $47.50

MAY 27 — Country Throwdown with Gary Allan, Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, Sunny Sweeney and several others on multiple stages, 3 p.m.; $22.25 to $52.25

JUNE 2 — Zac Brown Band, 7 p.m.; $32.75 to $82.75

JUNE 21 — moe. and Gov’t Mule, 7 p.m.; $31.75 to $51.75

JUNE 22 — The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour, 7 p.m.; $47.75 to $91.75

JULY 6 — Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Eli Young and Edens Edge, 6:30 p.m.; $37.50 to $131.50

JULY 8 — REO Speedwagon, Styx and Ted Nugent, 6:30 p.m.; $37.50 to $71.50

JULY 27 — Happy Together Tour featuring The Turtles with Flo and Eddie, Micky Dolenz, Gary Puckett, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams, 7 p.m.; $21.75 to $61.75

AUG. 19 — Last Summer on Earth with Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Cracker, 7 p.m.; $23.25 to $62.75

AUG. 22 — Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford, 6:30 p.m.; $41.75 to $101.75

AUG. 31 — Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson, 7 p.m.; $22 to $67

SEPT. 1 — Keith Urban and David Nail, 7 p.m.; $27.75 to $71.75

SEPT. 2 — Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Deejay Silver, noon for local openers, 7 p.m. for main show; $27.75 to $71.75

SEPT. 28 — Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy, 7 p.m.; $31.50 to $111.50 


At Scarborough Downs, 90 Payne Road, Scarborough.; (800) 745-3000

JULY 31 — Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Chiddy Bang, Schoolboy Q and Chevy Woods, 5:30 p.m.; $50.65 to $71.35

AUG. 10 — Oxxfest featuring 5 Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Pop Evil, God Forbid, Emmure, Battle Cross and many others, noon; $39.50 


Eastern Promenade Park, Portland.; 956-6000

AUG. 4 — Mumford & Sons plus local bands. Tickets are not yet on sale, and a specific time has not been announced, but this one-day concert event has been approved by the Portland City Council, and is one of only a handful of shows planned by Mumford & Sons in the U.S. this year. Look for details soon. 

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

[email protected]


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