There’s so much to love about a free concert.

You don’t have to think about the ticket price or whether you can stay the whole time. You don’t need to worry about whether it’s your favorite genre. You can just show up and see where the music takes you.

“It’s always special to play a free show. It just brings people together in such a sweet way,” said Sean Oshima of the Maine-based Oshima Brothers band. “It’s just one of the best things.”

Oshima will get to play a free show in front of thousands of people Sunday at the third Resurgam Music and Arts Festival. The event features a full day of free performances by Maine musicians, dancers and artists near the Ocean Gateway marine terminal on the east end of the Portland Harbor waterfront, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event kicks off with a parade led by Portland’s Shoestring Theater and its giant puppets and will feature some 50 performances by artists and musicians from all over the state. There will be more than 30 acts affiliated with the Maine Academy of Modern Music, the festival’s organizer. Some of the professional Maine-based musical acts performing include: Oshima Brothers, a pop and rock group and the festival’s headliners; Muddy Ruckus, an Americana duo; Midnight Breakfast, an indie-soul sextet; the rock band Primrose; and the fiddle band Fiddlers Three.

Oshima Brothers will perform at the Resurgam festival Sunday. Photo courtesy of Oshima Brothers

The festival is free thanks to sponsors and partners, including Otto pizza restaurants, the main sponsor this year. It’s held on a Sunday, said MAMM executive director Jeff Shaw, to take advantage of the fact that parking is free all over Portland. The events and concert stages will be in or near the Ocean Gateway marine terminal building and surrounding outdoor areas, near the corner of Thames and Hancock streets.


MAMM launched Resurgam in 2022, partially to fill a void in the city’s arts and cultural life when the Old Port Festival ended in 2019 after a 46-year run. The Old Port Festival had also been held in early June, as a summer kickoff event, and was a showcase for local musicians and artists, including many MAMM students.

The first Resurgam festival was held at Thompson’s Point on the Fore River, off outer Congress Street. But Shaw said MAMM wanted to move Resurgam to Portland’s Old Port so that there would be more parking and easier access for people.

Last year’s festival, the first on the waterfront, drew about 7,500 people, compared to 5,000 when it was on Thompson’s Point, Shaw said. He said the easy access and the beautiful location, sandwiched between the historic brick buildings of the Old Port and the scenic vistas of the harbor, fit well with the festival’s mission. The festival also runs for an hour longer this year compared to last year, until 7 p.m.

“We want this event to celebrate the heart and soul of Portland, including its arts and its kids,” said Shaw. “It’s a great place for the community to come together.”

Resurgam is a showcase for young musicians – and some adult ones – who have taken lessons through MAMM or who are in bands advised by MAMM instructors. Aleta Krajewski, 11, will be playing her third Resurgam festival Sunday when she takes the stage with her punk rock band, The Phreakers.

Krajewski, who is in sixth grade at Thornton Academy in Saco, sings and plays keyboards. She said the festival is a great chance to see what other MAMM bands are working on, as well as a rare chance for her band to play its new music for a large and diverse audience.


“It’s always great because we get to share with so many people what we’re working on,” said Krajewski. “It’s really interesting to play in front of so many different people.”

The festival’s name comes from the Portland city motto, adopted in 1832, which means “I shall rise again” in Latin. When announcing the new festival in early 2022, Shaw said he thought “resurgam” would hold special meaning at that moment, as everyone looked forward to getting back to a more normal daily life after more than two years of COVID, including by celebrating arts and culture together.

The festival has kept part of the Old Port Festival’s traditions and elements, including the Shoestring Theater parade and puppets, and several stages of music, plus food trucks and food vendors. But Resurgam also features many local arts or youth groups organizing demonstrations or family activities.

Max Abraham runs through Moon Tide Park while performing with the band Corpus Chicanery at last year’s Resurgam festival. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Some of these include: Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine; Love Lab Studio, a children’s and community art space; SailMaine, which will be giving sailboat rides; Portland Museum of Art; Hustle and Flow dance studio; Portland Youth Dance; and Palaver Music Center, which offers early childhood music classes.

Besides music and dance performances, some other performers will include storyteller Mike Burns, presented by the Maine Irish Heritage Center, and professional hula hoop and circus artist Nettie Loops. Space, an arts and performance venue in Portland, will help kids create their own music videos to be posted online.

While the complete schedule of performances was not available at press time, it will be posted on the festival website, said Shaw.

Oshima Brothers – founded by Sean and Jamie Oshima of Whitefield – has been playing professionally for six years and is well known around Maine. But this will be the first time the band has played Resurgam. Later in June, the band will start a tour of the Northeast.

Sean Oshima said he’s been looking foward to playing Resurgam for months.

“It brings together musicians of every age, folks who’ve never been on stage, and folks who’ve been on hundreds of stages,” said Oshima. “We get to celebrate and rock out by the water in Portland. It’s a summer dream come true.”

Portland alternative rock act John Hughes Radio performs during The Resurgam Music and Arts Festival in 2023. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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