Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood will get a street-festival makeover when the Portland Bach Experience hosts A Midsummer Night’s Dream on June 11, a free, carnival-style concert and community celebration involving more than 25 local arts organizations, eateries and other creative enterprises.

The festival will be held on Anderson Street from 3 to 8 p.m. with performances by musicians from the Portland Bach Experience, Ballet Bloom Project, 240 Strings, Shoestring Theater, A Company of Girls, Love Lab Studios and others. Food and drink will be supplied by Blue Lobster Urban Winery, Goodfire Brewing Company, eighteen twenty wines, Lone Pine Brewing and Urban Farm Fermentory.

It begins with a parade for wood nymphs and fairies at 3 p.m. led by the giant puppets of the Shoestring Theater and continues with a Fairy Queen drag show at 6 p.m., with classical accompaniment. A community dance will begin at 7 p.m. The festival will include scenes from Portland Bach Experience’s “The Fairy Queen,” an opera based on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as well as maker-spaces with kids activities and an art market.

Masks are required and costumes encouraged.

The activities will occur between Urban Farm Fermentory at one end of Anderson Street to Running With Scissors at the other end. There will be a beer garden and stages throughout.

Emily Isaacson, founder and artistic director of the Portland Bach Experience, described her vision of the festival “as a celebration and a relief – we have made it. It’s a chance to bring back silliness and laughter.”

She expects about 600 people will attend. “With the idea of a carnival, you are wandering around, getting some food and drink, the kids are playing and there is music and dance, and something for everyone on multiple levels. You can create your experience for yourself, based on your own designs and comfort levels. Everything is broken down in small bites, designed to engage your eyes and ears,” she said.

The one-day festival is the kick-off event of the larger Portland Bach Experience, which includes 10 days of classical music events and a dozen live and virtual concerts from Portland, Sanford and Brunswick.


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