The Ballroom Thieves. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

The All Roads Music Festival is happening this weekend, and it’s worth every second of the road trip to Belfast.

A huge number of mostly Maine-based acts are slated to perform, and the lineup includes Angelikah Fahray, The Ballroom Thieves, Weakened Friends, Spose, Dead Gowns, King Kyote, Love By Numb3rs and Peter Gallway, among several others.

This year’s event will showcase more than 40 performing acts, representing over 150 musicians.

You’ll see them on five different stages clustered in downtown Belfast. Don’t sweat it should the weather be uncooperative as all of the music is happening indoors, and the venues are all within walking distance of one another.

Head up on Friday for the whole shebang or day trip it to Belfast on Saturday.

All Roads Music Festival is truly one-stop shopping for some of the best music Maine has to offer. From seasoned singer-songwriters to fresh new acts that cross into a number of genres, it’s a can’t-miss gathering. Folk, rock, hip-hop, indie, punk and bluegrass is some of what you can expect to hear.


The festival began in 2015, and this is the seventh one; the pandemic forced cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

Festival director Meg Shorette said that it was a relief to get back to the music last year after missing the previous two. “It felt like everyone was as excited as we were for the return of live music, especially the local musicians our event focuses on so heavily.”

This year, Shorette is thrilled that the American Legion, which she refers to as a “fan favorite venue,” will be hosting some of the acts. She also said that the opening- night performances have expanded from previous years.

Bait Bag. Photo by Bill Trevaskis

Friday’s schedule includes a pair of Belfast Community Co-Op showcases. The first features Graphic Melee, Malik Elijah, Brit Martin and Spose on the Legion Hall stage. Simultaneously at The Bazz, Alice Limoges, Darlin’ Corey, Tricky Britches and Peter Gallway will play. When those both wrap up, the festival’s opening party begins at Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. where Quantum, Angelikah Fahray and Bait Bag will play sets that close out the evening in grand fashion.

The music kicks off at noon on Saturday with showcases and performances running well into the evening. Venues are Legion Hall, The Bazz, The First Church, Belfast Library and Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.

You can also catch panel discussions at the library about making music videos and what The Studio in Portland has to offer for recording services.


The festival wraps up at the brewery with sets from psychedelic rocker Jeff Beam and synth-pop band The Button Men. By then, you’ll be absolutely exhausted but with a huge smile plastered on your face.

Shorette said her favorite aspect of All Roads is the artists because of their talent and diversity. “To be able to bring them all together in the same place feels really special.” Shorette also said that, for the musicians as well as the attendees, the magic is palpable. “I’ve made this joke before, but it feels like Maine musician summer camp when you’re walking the streets of Belfast looking for your next performance.”

All Roads Music Festival is presented by the nonprofit arts incubator Launchpad. Shorette said its mission is to build creative communities in Maine and beyond. “Thanks to the support of our sponsors, our team, the Belfast community, and our attendees, along with the artists and supporters of emerging talent here in Maine, All Roads continues to be the premier event for us to translate our mission into action. ”

Honestly, there’s not a dud to be found in this year’s schedule, and although you shouldn’t need much in the way of motivation to hit this festival, here are a few of my personal picks.

Midcoast-based indie folk duo The Ballroom Thieves is married couple Martin Earley, who plays guitar, and Calin Peters, who plays bass and cello; they both sing. They tour nationally, and their most recent album is “Clouds.” Last summer, they played an epic set at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.

Bait Bag is the feminist punk trio from North Haven Island. “Confident, Sloppy, and Loud” is their latest release. The band is Courtney Naliboff (vocals, bass), Fiona Robins (vocals, guitar) and Claire Donnelly (drums and shouting).


Weakened Friends are part of this year’s All Roads Music Festival in Belfast. Photo by Adam Parshall

Weakened Friends is the Portland-rock trio of Sonia Sturino (lead vocals, guitar), Annie Hoffman (bass, backing vocals) and Adam Hand (drums). “Quitter” is their most recent album, and I love this band so much I traveled to England to catch three shows last year.

Portland’s Dead Gowns is the ethereal yet fierce four-piece band fronted by singer, guitarist, keys player and songwriter Geneviève Beaudoin.

I’m not going to bother with honorable mentions because that literally would be the entire rest of the list. Shorette and her team did a heck of a job pulling together this lineup, that’s for sure.

Now, it’s up to you to make a beeline to Belfast.

All Roads Music Festival
Friday and Saturday. Downtown locations, Belfast, $30 Friday, $40 Saturday, $60 two-day pass, $80 two-day VIP pass, $10 youth 10 and under.

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