With more than 80 outdoor concerts scheduled within an hour or two of Portland this summer, music lovers have no excuse not to get outside and groove.
Not long ago outdoor concerts by major touring acts were fairly rare during Maine summers. But as more artists make the bulk of their money from touring instead of albums, and as more promoters and entrepreneurs discover how much people love the feel of an outdoor concert event, the number of outdoor shows continues to grow.
In Maine, the trend is fueled by new concert venues and new concert series that have popped up over the years. there’s Thompson’s Point and the Maine State Pier in Portland, plus Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor and Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H. Then there’s the free and long-running L.L. Bean outdoor concert series in Freeport.
The variety of shows is impressive, from legendary acts like Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and the Beach Boys to contemporary performers like Brandi Carlile, Ray LaMontagne and the Avett Brothers. In between there’s Kenny Rogers, Dierks Bentley, Dave Matthews, The Band Perry, Bonnie Raitt and Blues Traveler, to name a few.
As of last week, the most shows scheduled at one venue were 27, at Maine State Pier in Portland. Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor had 20 booked. Waterfront Concerts, which books both of those venues, was looking to add shows at both. Thompson’s Point, a venue in its second year and run by the State Theatre in Portland, had 12 shows already booked and was looking to add one or two more.
Each venue is a little different. Maine State Pier offers folding chairs, and standing room, on a pier jutting out into Portland Harbor. Thompson’s Point lets people lounge on the lawn near the Fore River and bring food in small coolers, but no glass or alcohol. L.L. Bean’s concerts are in an open area near the company’s Freeport stores.
For information on seating, times or new shows being added, check the website of each venue. For a list of many of the outdoor concerts scheduled check out our full roundup in Tickets on Sale this summer.
Here then are a few highlights of shows coming up at some of the area’s major outdoor concert venues.
Maine State Pier, Commercial and Franklin streets, Portland. Waterfrontconcerts.com
Hot Summer 2016 with Fat Joe, Ty Dolla Sign and Post Malone, June 4, $38.50 to $48.50
Jackson Browne, June 9, $25.75 to $99.75
Barenaked Ladies with Howard Jones and OMD, June 24, $25.75 to $75.75
The Beach Boys and The Temptations, July 7, $25.75 to $99.75
Gov’t Mule with Blackberry Smoke, Aug. 11, $35.75
The Band Perry, Aug. 18, $29.75 to $79.75
Bonnie Raitt, Aug. 19, $27.75 to $89.75
Blues Traveler with The Wallflowers and G. Love & Special Sauce, $24.75 to $59.75
Thompson’s Point, off Fore River Parkway, Portland. Statetheatreportland.com
Brandi Carlile, June 4. Thompson’s Point, $40 in advance, $45 day of show
Michael Franti and Spearhead, June 15, $39 in advance, $45 day of show
Ray LaMontagne, June 16, $45 in advance, $50 day of show
moe. June 17 and 18, $45 in advance, $50 day of show, $80 two-day
The Avett Brothers, July 4, $46 in advance, $50 day of show
Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples, July 16, $80 in advance, $85 day of show for seated, $64 in advance, $70 day of show for lawn
M83, July 20. Thompson’s Point, $40 in advance, $45 day of show
The Lumineers, Aug. 5, $39.50 in advance, $45 day of show
Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, 1 Railroad St., Bangor. Waterfrontconcerts.com
Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser, Cam and Tucker Beathard, June 6. $26 to $60.75
Dave Matthews Band, June 8, $75
The Dixie Chicks, June 16, $38 to $132
Dolly Parton, June 18, $25.75 to $89.75
Def Leppard with REO Speedwagon and Tesla, June 24, $25 to $125
Daryl Hall and John Oates with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave, July 14, $25 to $125
Tedeschi Trucks Band with Los Lobos and North Mississippi All Stars, July 15, $19.75 to $69.75
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Aug. 18, $36-$136
L.L. Bean Summer, Discovery Park, 95 Main St., Freeport. LLbean.com (all shows are free and start at 7:30 p.m.)
Thirdstory, July 3
David Mallett and The Mallett Brothers Band, July 4
Frankie Ballard, July 23
Grace Potter, July 30
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Aug. 6
The Lone Bellow, Aug. 13
The Ballroom Thieves and Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, Aug. 20
Prescott Park, 105 Marcy St., Portsmouth, N.H. Prescottpark.org. (All shows are 7 p.m., $8 to $10 donation suggested)
Sara Watkins, June 22
Sarah Jarosz, June 29
The Tallest Man on Earth, July 6
Dawes, July 10
Shakey Graves, July 13
Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, July 17
Darlingside, July 27
Josh Ritter, Aug. 10