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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk of course.

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Posted: June 19, 2017

Where to hear live, local music outside in Portland this summer

Written by: Aimsel Ponti
On a particulary cold and drizzly walk to work this past winter. Staff selfie by Aimsel Ponti

On a particularly cold and drizzly walk to work this past winter.
Staff selfie by Aimsel Ponti

I started walking to work last August. It’s three miles each way, and it’s my favorite part of the day, especially in the morning. With headphones on and a cup of coffee, I map out my day with each step and nothing seems impossible.

I decided that nothing was going to stop me, not even the cold weather. And so through sub-zero mornings and blizzards, I trudged over Casco Bay Bridge and took comfort as each morning grew a little bit lighter, same with the afternoon. A few mornings were brutal, especially when the foot path on the bridge was unplowed and the struggle was very real, navigating through 2 feet of snow.

But you want to know one of the things that kept me going? It was thinking about summers in Maine. They might not last long enough, but they sure are sweet, and like many of you, I like to spend as much time as possible outside. One of summer’s many glorious trends here in Portland is live, local music in the great outdoors.

Yes, we’ve got the big, national acts happening at the Maine State Pier and Thompson’s Point, and those are awesome, but we’ve also got a huge amount of stellar local acts who do their thing on the decks, patios, squares and lawns all over Portland, all summer long.

This might not capture every single spot in Portland where you can hear local music outside, but it’s a pretty nifty guide that includes several places that have live music fairly regularly in the open air. At many of these places, it’s happening every day – or almost every day – of the week, sometimes twice. I’ll hit you below with some highlights of upcoming acts, but be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook pages and websites of these spots for complete schedules and updates.


WHERE: 58 Alder St.


UPCOMING: Woodshed Mystics on June 27 and July 11 at 6 p.m.


WHERE: 20 Custom House Wharf


UPCOMING: American Ride on Friday at 7 p.m., The Two Tones on Saturday at 2 p.m., Pat Foley Band on Sunday at 2 p.m., Dan Merrill on Tuesday at 6 p.m., June 27, Isaiah Bennett on Wednesday, June 28, at 6 p.m.


WHERE: 180 Commercial St.


UPCOMING: Dominic Lavoie & Friends on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Vinyl Tap on Friday at 7 p.m., Scotty River Trio at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Andrew Bailie & Friends on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Gina Alibrio & Friends on Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Ryan Halliburton Quartet at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.


WHERE: 9 Dana St.


UPCOMING: OC & THe Offbeats on Thursday, Junco on Friday, Fat Knuckle Freddy on Saturday. Amigos has live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 9:30 p.m.


WHERE: Corner of High and Congress streets


UPCOMING: Choro Louco on July 21, Casco Bay Tummlers on July 26, MAMM Ultimate Rock Showcase on Aug. 4, Inanna-Sisters in Rhythm on Aug. 11


WHERE: 25 Preble St.


UPCOMING: King Memphis on June 23, Stains of a Sunflower on June 24, A Band Beyond Description on June 25, Primo Cubano on June 29, Zeme Libre on June 20, Dapper Gents on July 2, Forget, Forget on July 5


WHERE: 57 Center St.


UPCOMING: MB Padfield & DJ Tiny Dancer on Thursday at 6;30 p.m., The Pubcrawlers at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30.


WHERE: Fort Allen Park Bandstand, Eastern Promenade


UPCOMING: All shows at 6:30 p.m. Viva & The Reinforcements on July 6, Sylvain’s Acadian Aces on July 13, Joan Kennedy on July 20, Chandler’s Military Band on July 27, Maybe Somedays on Aug. 3, Zulu Leprechauns on Aug. 10, Royal Hammer on Aug. 17, Tricky Britches on Aug. 26. Downeast Soul Coalition on Aug. 31.


WHERE: 103 Fox St.


UPCOMING: Micromassé on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., Keanu Keanu on Sunday, July 2 from 1 to 4 p.m.


WHERE: 37 Exchange St.


UPCOMING: Stealing North at 6 p.m. on Friday, Prime the Pump at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feel Good Drift at 6 p.m. on June 30.


WHERE: 25 Temple St.


UPCOMING: Happy Hour with The Working Dead every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.


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