Rain jackets and umbrellas dotted the crowd as blaring rock music kicked off the Resurgam Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, its third annual appearance and second on Portland’s waterfront.

Four stages in or near the Ocean Gateway marine terminal building and surrounding outdoor areas offered several hundred festivalgoers numerous free concerts to choose from. Musical genres covered the waterfront: rock belted out by the Nobodies, a six-stringed instrument band, and a couple of sets performed by a boisterous 20-piece brass band accompanied by an accordion, drums, tambourine and washboard.

“It’s a great band. It’s a lot of fun,” said Jeremy Fink, who started the Ideal Maine Social Aid and Sanctuary Band in 2017 and began leading it two years later.

Borrowing the city motto that, translated from Latin, is “I shall rise again” to coincide with its reintroduction in 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic retreated, the festival kicks off the summer tourism season in Portland.

The Maine Academy of Modern Music, the festival’s organizer, 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 the Old Port so that there would be more parking and easier access for people.


Kerstin Gilg, development manager for MAMM, said Sunday the Resurgam “will be great at 2 p.m.,” when he predicted the rain would end. The festival serves several purposes: enlisting music students to participate, bringing musicians together to meet and network, and promoting tourism, he said.

Resurgam is a showcase for young musicians and adults who have had lessons with MAMM or who are in bands advised by MAMM instructors. Gilg said organizers put out the word beginning in January and February to musicians, local merchants and others to participate in the festival.

“We’re trying to be a community event with music at its core,” he said.

“We wanted to support everyone,” said Nancy Collins, of Saco, who attended the festival with her husband, Bob. “It was a huge turnout last year.”

The wet weather was in contrast to a “great week all week,” she said, expressing hope with hands folded in prayer for an end to the rain.

The “arts” portion of the festival included art lessons offered by the Portland Museum of Art and Love Lab Studio, a children’s and community art space. Art also took the form of face decoration applied by Jennifer Kruszewski using water-based rainbows, paints and glitter.


The trust and estate lawyer said she started face painting with her daughter and niece.

“This is my hobby,”  said Kruszewski, who sported a rainbow over her right eye. “I don’t want it to be a job. I want to have fun. It’s everything I love, wrapped in one art.”

The festival began at 11:30 a.m. and was scheduled to end at 7 p.m., an hour later than last year.

And as if on cue, the rain stopped at about 2 p.m.

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