The World Famous Grassholes performing outdoors. Photo by Ruby Pfeifle

With summer officially here, it’s time to get outdoors and see a whole lot of live, local music.

From free shows in public spaces to ticketed ones out on Casco Bay, there are endless options. Here are some of them.


The Concerts in the Park at Congress Square Park are free Thursday night performances featuring a variety of Maine acts.

See Tricky Britches on Thursday, Raging Brass on July 11, Heather Pierson Band on July 18, Darlin’ Corey on July 25, Catnip on Aug. 1 and Funkationland on Aug. 8.

Congress Square Park is on the corner of Congress and High streets in the heart of downtown Portland, and several restaurants are within walking distance.


All shows start at 6 p.m. Head to for complete details.

Another Portland option is the new Payson Park Summer Concert Series. See Bodenko on July 2 and The Flukes on Aug. 6. Bring chairs or blankets. For more info, visit

At Mill Creek Park on Hinckley Drive in South Portland, shows start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights. Bring chairs or blankets.

See Blue Steel Express on Wednesday, Alive in the Root on July 10, Skip Band on July 17, Jeezum Crow on July 24 and Totally Rad on July 31. For schedule and weather status updates, head to

But that’s not the only spot in SoPo where there’s music happening. Head to the Redbank Community Center on MacArthur Circle for outdoor performances by The Flukes on July 9 and the Maine Marimba Ensemble on Aug. 6. Both shows start at 6 p.m.

In Biddeford, the free Music in the Park series runs on Wednesday nights at Mechanics Park through July 31, with an additional show on Tuesday, Aug. 6.


The six-show schedule includes Jason Roman on July 3 and Sara Trunzo Band on July 24.

All shows start at 6 p.m. and are free. Go to for additional info.

Over in Gorham, the summer concert series runs on Tuesday nights through Aug. 6. Shows happen at the gazebo on the Municipal Center Lawn on South Street. The free performances start at 6 p.m., and schedule highlights include the World Famous Grassholes on July 9 and the Jim Gallant Trio on July 23. For more info, head to


The Western Prom Sunset Concerts series in Portland runs on Wednesdays from July 10 through Aug. 21. As summer progresses, the start time is earlier. The first three dates start at 7:30 p.m., July 31 and Aug. 7 start at 7 p.m., and shows on Aug. 14 and Aug. 21 are at 6:30 p.m.

All told, there are seven shows, and the schedule includes Primo Cubano on July 10 and Louisa Stancioff on Aug. 7. Keep an eye on the schedule on Facebook.



Quarryside at Rock Row in Westbrook presents a free acoustic music series, with performances happening Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Craft beer, cocktails and food trucks will be available at all shows. Shows run through Sept. 1, and a few highlights are Kris Rodgers on July 3, Mike Maurice on July 11, Emily Torres on July 21 and Toby McAllister on Aug. 15.

For the complete schedule, head to

The grounds of Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel. Photo by Chris Smith


Vinegar Hill Music Theatre hosts its Summer Chill Series on its gorgeous grounds at 53 Old Post Road.

On Sundays from 1-5 p.m., through Sept. 8, there’s a free local concert along with a weekly array of local makers, food trucks and drink specials.


Schedule picks include Sara Cox performing with her daughter, Lila Mae, on Sunday, Ben Cosgrove on July 7, Travis Cyr on Aug. 18, and John Nels on Sept. 1.

More details are at


It’s always a good idea when 98.9 WCLZ teams up with Casco Bay Lines and Three of Strong Spirits to present summer music cruises.

The 21-plus cruises are from 7-9 p.m. and cost $25.

Since the entire schedule is so solid, here it is: Gina and the Red Eye Flight Crew on July 18 and Sept. 5, Kenya Hall Band on July 26, Hello Newman on Aug. 2, and Toby McAllister & The Sierra Sounds on Aug. 22.


Hop on over to to grab tickets.

Another seaworthy option is to take a ferry to Peaks Island, because it wouldn’t be summer without reggae Sundays featuring Stream Reggae on the deck at Jones Landing. You’ll see the restaurant and hear the music as soon as you get off the ferry. The band plays on Sundays from 3-7 p.m. through Sept. 1. Keep tabs on the band at


The Maine Historical Society has a three-show series called Beer in The Garden, held at the Longfellow Garden at 489 Congress St.

See Robert Sylvain on July 11, Jessi Mallory’s Elvis tribute on Aug. 8, and Roll & Go (sea shanties) on Sept. 12. Local and nonalcoholic beer will be available for purchase.

All shows are 21-plus and run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Head to for details.


While you’re there, be sure to check out the “Music in Maine” exhibit.


Cape Elizabeth Community Services presents its Sounds by the Sea series of free shows that run on Mondays from July 8 through Aug. 12.

All shows start at 6 p.m. at Fort Williams.

There are six shows at two fort locations. Here’s the schedule: Novel Jazz on July 8 at the picnic shelter, Jeezum Crow on July 15 at the picnic shelter, Joan Kennedy at the bandstand on July 22, Blue Fuse Jazz at the bandstand on July 29, Maine Marimba Ensemble on Aug. 5 at the picnic shelter, and World Famous Grassholes on Aug. 12 at the bandstand.

Details can be found at



Other live music series venues this summer include Ellis Park Gazebo in York, the Poland Springs Gazebo in Poland, Vallee Square in Westbrook, and Music in the Park in Lyman.

There’s also plenty of outdoor live, local music to be enjoyed on the back patio of Amigo’s and on the enormous decks at Portland Lobster Company and The Porthole, all in Portland.

The free Summer Sunsets Live series is underway at Thompson’s Point in Portland, with shows happening on Thursdays and Fridays when there isn’t a concert, through Sept. 12.

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