One of the rites of spring for Maine music fans is marking up your calendar and making plans for the upcoming season of outdoor concerts.

From blues to singer-songwriters, rock, country and just about everything in between, we’re looking at another red-hot summer of music.

Here are some picks for you to peruse, but don’t sleep too long on tickets, or you’ll be singing the summertime blues instead of rocking out to them.

Several shows at Thompson’s Point sold out fast, including Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Cake, Billy Strings and Tyler Childers. Maggie Rogers has sold out her July 31 show at the Portland venue, but there are still a few tickets left for a second performance on Aug. 1.

Fear not, there are a ton of other shows to choose from, plus we’re throwing in a couple of spectacular music festivals. Think of this as a highlight reel of some of what’s to come during the best time of year in our state.

Connor Garvey. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Sandy River Music Festival


Make your Memorial Day weekend entirely memorable with a trip to Farmington for the Sandy River Music Festival. Camping is available, or you can day-trip it. The lineup on both days is a first-rate list of folk/singer-songwriter, rock, soul, blues and bluegrass acts from Maine and the Boston area. Saturday’s lineup includes Adam Ezra Group, Lyle Divinsky, Coyote Island, Connor Garvey and Sagittarius Rising. Sunday is just as solid, with Griffin William Sherry (formerly of The Ghost of Revere), The Wolff Sisters, King Kyote, The Grassholes and Invite the Wild.

May 27 & 28. Narrow Gauge Drive-In, 123 Narrow Gauge Square, Farmington, $50 for two-day pass, $30 for individual days.

Lee Brice. Photo courtesy of Red Light Management

Lee Brice & Cole Swindell

One of the first big outdoor summer shows of the season is a country one, featuring Lee Brice and Cole Swindell. Both are stars of their genre. Brice’s many hits include “A Woman Like You,” I Drive Your Truck” and “Hard to Love,” and he’s five albums into his career. Swindell has four albums under his belt, and eight of his songs have reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. In other words, the hits will keep coming all night long with these two performers and their bands, and it should be quite a hoe-down blast in Bangor.

6:30 p.m. May 28. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $39.50 to $89.50.

Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Music Festival


If you’re a bluegrass fan, you’ve got two chances to spend several blissful days in Litchfield. The annual Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Music Festival happens over four days in mid-June and then another four days in late August. Choose one, or swing for the fences and attend both. Camping options are available, and as for the music, it’s a smorgasbord of bluegrass greats, including The Gibson Brothers, Zink & Company, Nothin’ Fancy and the Katahdin Valley Boys, depending on which month you attend.

June 15-18 and Aug. 24 to 27. Litchfield Fairgrounds, Litchfield, $95.

Dave Matthews Band will play Maine Savings Amphitheater in Bangor on June 16. Photo by Sanjay Suchak

Dave Matthews Band

Rock act Dave Matthews Band has been a huge deal since releasing the debut album “Under the Table and Dreaming” in 1994, with hits like “What Would You Say,” “Satellite” and “Ants Marching.” “Crash” came out two years later, and it’s home to “Crash Into Me” and “So Much to Say.” Eight albums have followed, including “Walk Around the Moon” which is out on Friday.

7:30 p.m. June 16. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $49.50 to $149.50.

Kane Brown


Country singer-songwriter Kane Brown climbs onto the huge stage in Bangor armed with hits from a trio of albums. Plan on hearing songs like “Good As You,” “Homesick” and “One Mississippi.” The tender-voiced Brown is out on his “Drunk Or Dreaming” tour and will be supported by fellow country acts Gabby Barrett and Restless Road.

6:30 p.m. June 22. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor $39.50 to $99.50.

James Taylor. Photo by Norman Seeff

James Taylor & His All-Star Band

When it comes to universally loved singer-songwriters, James Taylor is among the tops and has been since he released his debut album in 1968. It’s hard to imagine a world without songs like “Carolina in My Mind,” “Shower the People,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and “Fire and Rain.” Same goes for Taylor’s take on Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” Expect to feel a rich sense of nostalgia as you sing along with Taylor. It will be your smiling face and everyone’s else during this show.

7:30 p.m. June 27. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor $69 to $185.

Tedeschi Trucks Band. Photo by David McClister

Tedeschi Trucks Band


Derek Trucks sure can play his guitar. So can his wife, Susan Tedeschi, who also has one heck of a singing voice. They’ve been recording and playing together for years as the blues and rock outfit Tedeschi Trucks Band. The band, which has won several Grammy Awards, has a dozen members that you’ll see on stage in Bangor as they tear through tunes from albums like “I Am the Moon” from last year and the debut “Revelator” from 2011 that includes the sublime track “Midnight in Harlem.”

6:30 p.m. July 5. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $59 to $250.

Shemekia Copeland will be part of the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland this summer. Photo by Brad Elligood

North Atlantic Blues Festival

Blues fans live for July because they can enjoy two days (and nights) of their favorite kind of music. It all happens in Rockland during the annual North Atlantic Blues Festival that takes place right on the water and spills into several downtown locations during the unofficial club crawl on Friday night and the official one on Saturday. The heart of the festival is during the day on Saturday and Sunday in Harbor Park, where you hear sizzling sets from the likes of Gabe Stillman, Jontavious Willis, Joanna Connor and Shemekia Copeland, among others.

July 15 & 16. Harbor Park, Rockland, $40 single day, $70 two-day ticket.

Ossipee Valley Music Festival


Ossipee Valley Music Festival is a tradition in Maine that’s a showcase of fantastic roots acts from here and well beyond. Over the course of four days, you can soak up the tunes of artists including The California Honeydrops, Allison Russell, The Travel McCourys, Yasmin Williams, Twisted Pine, The Mallett Brothers Band and a whole bunch more. The festival also features a slew of workshops, yoga sessions, dances, food trucks and craft beer. If you like to camp, spots can be reserved.

July 27 to 30. Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds, Hiram, $40 one day Thursday pass, Friday after dark pass. $170 Thursday to Sunday pass, 17 and under free.


Fifty-four years after performing at the historic Woodstock music festival during the summer of ’69, rock band Santana is still going strong, as is its frontman, the guitar great Carlos Santana. Just a few weeks after the Woodstock appearance, the band released the debut, self-titled album, and 25 have followed, along with several live ones and compilations. Santana is out on its 1001 Rainbows tour, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Carlos Santana and his band plan on playing a career retrospective show in Bangor.

7 p.m. Aug. 2. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $39.50 to $205.50.

The Chicks. Photo by Kim Maguire

The Chicks


Natalie Maines (vocals, guitar) and sisters Martie Maguire (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Emily Strayer (banjo, guitar, vocals) are the multiple Grammy-winning country trio The Chicks. Last summer, they tore it up all over the country, and they’re back at it. This time, the tour includes a stop in Maine, where you can expect all the hits against an incredible multimedia video backdrop. In 2020, the band released “Gaslighter,” its first album in 14 years. Stand-out tracks include “Texas Man,” “Juliana Calm Down,” March March” and “For Her,” all of which are part of their current show.

Aug. 13. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $39.50 to $139.50.

GoldenOak. Photo by Becca Haydu

Under the Oaks Music Festival

Mark the unofficial end of summer by spending part of your Labor Day weekend in Farmington. The Under the Oaks Music Festival is presented by indie folk-rock band GoldenOak in their hometown of Farmington. They’ll be playing both nights, with the first night for VIP ticket holders on a small stage and Saturday on the main one. Other performers you’ll hear are Kat Wright, Oshima Brothers, Rigometrics and Darby Sabin. You can also take a mushroom ID workshop and a morning bird walk, and more activities are being planned. Embrace the great outdoors by purchasing a camping spot. Several options are available.

Sept. 1 & 2. Narrow Gauge Drive-In, 123 Narrow Gauge Square, Farmington, $30, $50 VIP.

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