1. If you haven’t noticed, at this point in downtown Bangor just about every single restaurant and bar that can has put up an outdoor deck or patio. There are tables and chairs with people eating and drinking and hanging on literally every corner. It’s nice. In Bangor on Friday, take your pick from the following: indie rockers They Called Me Legion are at the Central Gallery, there’s a reception for artist Deborah Jellison at the Rock & Art Shop, songwriter Samantha Lynn is at Big Easy, metal dudes One Sixty One are at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons, and rockers Tomorrow Morning are at Paddy Murphy’s. On Saturday, folk trio the Otter Folk are at the Big Easy, local favorites the Rotating Taps (pictured) are at Paddy’s, Celtic rockers St. Huckleberry are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and out in Winterport, bluegrass ensemble Nevah takes the stage at 4Points BBQ & Blues. Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, about a half hour outside of town in Exeter is the annual Tent City festival, four days of electronic music and jam bands on a 64-acre farm on the Exeter Road. A full lineup of the more than 40 band, DJs and artists set for the weekend and ticket information can be found at tentcity.me.
2. It’s Old Port Festival weekend in Portland — more on that later! — so around all those festivities, there’s plenty of other good stuff to do. On Friday night, the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra plays with with Anna Lombard and Eyenine at Port City Music Hall; there’s a night of local metal with Hessian (pictured), Wounded Giant and Mos Generator at Empire, Raging Brass is at Bayside Bowl, reggae and jam bands the Wailers and Rusted Root play on the Maine State Pier, and at One Longfellow Square there’s the seventh annual Dudefest, a screening and celebration of the beloved movie “The Big Lebowski.” On Saturday, there’s an unusually rich array of standup comedy in town, including comedian Dave Attell at the State Theatre, comedian Daniel Tosh at Merrill Auditorium, and Local Laughs with Maine comedians Michael Sylvester, Aimee Poulin, Angela Merrill, Mark Turcotte and Tuck Tucker at Asylum. Also on Saturday night, the enchanting indie rock chanteuse Mirah is at the Space Gallery, with Plains and Kid in the Attic; David Gray and Rachael Yamagata are on the Maine State Pier, ska band El Grande rocks Bayside Bowl, and it’s Pride Fest’s live shadowcast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” with screenings at 8 and 11 p.m. at One Longfellow Square.
3. On the Midcoast, there’s a short but sweet collection of nice things to do this weekend. On Friday night, Shy Green is at the Speakeasy and the Otter Folk are at Rock City Coffee, both in Rockland. On Saturday, there’s the Children’s Film Festival of Seattle screening at 3 p.m. at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, featuring adorable animated shorts from all over the world. At 5 p.m., a roller derby bought featuring Rockland’s Breakwater Blackhearts vs. the Western Mass Destruction is at the Midcoast Recreation Center. That night, the Barbour Clarke Jazz Duo is at Rock City, country rockers Sharon Hood & Dixon Road are at Trackside Station in Rockland, and in Belfast, the dance party that is the band People of Earth are at Waterfall Arts.
4. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a festival in the summer in Maine, I tells ya. Here are three wildly diverse festivals happening this weekend, across the state. The Bethel Maine Moose Festival is set for Friday through Sunday, centered around the annual Moose Lottery, in which moose hunting permits are issued, but also featuring things like a moose calling competition, hunting, fishing and conservations workshops and demos, music from the likes of the Mallett Brothers Band, Denny Breau and many others and lots of vendors and booths. Then, on the complete opposite side of the state, it’s the annual Margaretta Days in Machias, all day on Saturday. This celebration of the 240th anniversary of the Revolutionary War-era Battle of the Margaretta starts off with a wreath laying at 9:30 a.m., followed by a parade, the Colonial Day festival on the mall at the University of Maine at Machias, music, plays, workshops and more. Finally, down south there’s the annual Kennebunkport Festival, which wraps up on Saturday with three big, fun parties, including the Grand Tapas Party and Brews and Tunes in the afternoon, and the Grand Finale party in the evening; for information, visit kennebunkportfestival.com.
5. Finally, it’s Old Port Festival weekend in Portland, an annual event that means summer is (unofficially) here. The fun heats up on Sunday, with a parade down Exchange Street at 11 a.m., followed by kid’s amusement rides and a rock wall on Federal Street, plenty of kid’s activities in Post Office Park, and a positively dizzying array of live music on seven stages throughout downtown. There’s also unofficial OPF events, like the annual Mathew’s Rooftop Show, featuring indie rock and metal bands from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fun for everybody! Check out oldportfestival.net for a full schedule.