This could become the summer of the sell-out.

After a couple of years of pandemic postponements, rock and pop concert tours roared back into action last summer and fans came out in droves. That passion for summer shows continue this year with tickets selling fast, concert promoters in Maine say. By early May, six of the 16 shows scheduled so far at Thompson’s Point in Portland had sold out, and another was very close to it.

The sell-outs so far include Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on July 3, Cake on July 16, Billy Strings on July 28 and 29, Maggie Rogers on July 31 and Tyler Childers on Aug. 6. Few tickets were left for second show by Rogers on Aug. 1 as of last week. Thompson’s Point’s capacity for summer outdoor concerts is 6,300.

“Having so many sold-out shows this quickly in advance of summer is a testament to both what the State Theatre has created as a concert venue as well as people being eager to live outdoors in the summer and celebrate together again,” said Lauren Wayne, manager of Portland’s State Theatre, which books Thompson Point shows. “The 2022 season was our biggest yet, and 2023 is going to be equally as big.”

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

Some of the Thompson Point shows scheduled for this summer that still had tickets available as of early May include Goose on July 6, Rebelution on July 8, the Backseat Lovers on Aug. 2, the Revivalists & Band of Horses on Aug. 8 and Guster, featuring Cape Elizabeth resident Adam Gardner, on Aug. 12 and 13.

Shows are also selling quick at the Maine Savings Amphitheater in Bangor, but there were no sell-outs by early May, as the venue holds more than 15,000 fans. Alex Gray, whose Waterfront Concerts books the Bangor venue, say he thinks tickets are selling fast because fans continue to feel outdoor concerts are their safest choice. He also says bands and artists are excited to be touring again after a couple of years of pandemic cancellations. Some of the dozen shows scheduled at the Bangor venue so far include Dave Matthews Band on June 16, Weezer on June 30, Tedeschi Trucks Band with Ziggy Marley on July 5, Godsmack and Stained on July 25 and Santana on Aug. 2.


There are dozens of shows of all music genres scheduled around Maine this summer – outdoors and indoors – so if you get shut out for one show, you can probably find another with a similar vibe. Or the sell-outs might prompt you to consider another artist you’ve never seen or a local artist you’ve heard a lot about.

Here are some suggestions for alternatives to shows that are already sold out, as well as for shows or venues you might not have thought about.

Rock band Extreme will play the State Theatre in Portland on Aug. 2 Photo by Jesse Lirola


Robert Plant’s classic rock lineage is pure, as frontman for Led Zeppelin in its heyday. As an alternative to seeing Plant, consider seeing Extreme on Aug. 2 at the State Theatre in Portland, with Living Colour. Extreme formed in Boston in the mid-80s, and its repertoire includes frenetic hard rock as well as rock ballads, like the No. 1 hit “More Than Words” in 1991. The show is sponsored by Portland’s classic rock station, WBLM. Tickets are $35 to $65. For more information, go to


Krauss made her name in music as a teenage fiddle and bluegrass prodigy and has crossed over into pop. As an alternative to Krauss, consider seeing the Maine band Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection on July 7 at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield. Like Krauss, Brown is a fiddler and singer. Plus, Stone Mountain is an intimate space, a timber-frame building south of Fryeburg. Dinner is available too. Tickets are $20. For more information, go to 



If you had wanted to hear singer-songwriter Tyler Childers and his mix of country, bluegrass and folk, you might instead check out Gregory Alan Isakov on July 27 at Thompson’s Point, with Josh Ritter. Isakov is also a singer-songwriter, and his 2019 release “Evening Machines” was nominated for a best folk album Grammy. Tickets are $46 in advance, $51 on show day and free for kids 3 and under. For more information, go to


If you want to see a great show and combine it with a weekend Maine staycation, how about indie pop artist Rufus Wainwright on July 1 at the historic Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor? The show includes Wainwright’s sister, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Portland-area singer Lyle Divinsky. Divinsky spent several years with the Colorado-based funk band The Motet before recently resuming his solo career. Tickets are $49.50 to $99.50 for most seats. For more information, go to

James Taylor will play Maine Savings Amphitheater in Bangor on June 27. Photo by Tyler Demogenes Photography


Several of the sold-out shows feature up-and-coming acts, or certainly performers whose career is still closer to the beginning than the end. But sometimes it’s fun to see someone you’ve heard on the radio all your life and whose songs make you feel warm all over. So for that vibe, there’s James Taylor on June 27 at Maine Savings Amphitheater in Bangor. JT has been making hits for 50 years and established himself as one of the predominant singer-songwriters of the 1970s with songs like “Fire and Rain,” “Your Smiling Face,” and “Sweet Baby James.” Tickets are $59 to $185. For more information, go to 


Most of the big outdoor summer shows feature national acts. But maybe you want to see some local acts too, on a big outdoor stage. If so, you can see Griffin William Sherry perform as part of the show by roots rockers Dispatch on Aug. 19 at Thompson’s Point in Portland. For 11 years, Sherry was the frontman of the popular Portland holler folk band The Ghost of Paul Revere, which played its last show in September. Tickets are $49.50 in advance, $55 on show day and free for kids 3 and under. For more information, go to

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