1. It is a very busy weekend indeed along Bangor’s Waterfront and Main Street Boulevard, between fairs, festivals, comedians and concerts. Friday brings the opening day of the 167th Bangor State Fair, which runs through Aug. 7. It also brings the last screening in River City Cinema’s summer outdoor movie series, with 90s rom com “You’ve Got Mail” set for sundown. There’s also 90s pop star turned 2000s country star Darius Rucker at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. Later that night, enjoy either indie rockers Forget Forget (pictured above) and Hunter at Paddy Murphy’s, Rossignal at Nocturnem Drafthaus, or, out in Winterport, The 2 Guys are at Pub in the Port. On Saturday, the first-ever Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival is set for the Bangor Waterfront, featuring tasty beer, tasty barbecue, and blues legend Taj Mahal, with guests Texas Flood, Jon King, LC Williams and the Driver and Tas Cru; it’s set for 1 to 10 p.m. Also that evening, comedian Ron White is at the Cross Insurance Center, while in downtown, there’s some heavy music from Friday Night Lights, Dear Father, the Waking Life, Athoi and As Time Goes at the Central Gallery, there’s another show from Forget Forget and Hunter at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s the Junkyard Cats at Paddy’s, Between Dead Stations at the Sea Dog, and up in Old Town, there’s Riff Johnson at Boomhouse.
2. As this statewide heat wave continues, I suggest any of these wonderful — air-conditioned! — shows on Friday night. There’s the Paper Kites and Larkin Poe at Port City Music Hall, there’s the fifth edition of Emo Night at Portland House of Music, the band Fifth Freedom plays an album release with The Resistance at Empire, there’s indie folk band Shel at One Longfellow Square, and there’s three separate sets from Time Planet, Welterweight and Los Federales each at Blue. On Saturday, the legendary Eddie Izzard does a comedy set at the State Theatre, while Portland blues man Samuel James is at Portland House of Music, there’s some epic Maine metal with Ogre, Sunrunner and Doomstone at Empire, and at Blue, there’s three sets from Sue n’ Blue, the Jared Steer Trio, and Max and Joe’s Quintet. Also, north of Portland, there’s a free concert by Grace Potter at the L.L. Bean Discovery Stage in Freeport at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Portland favorites Beirut play at the State Theatre with Hiraldo Negro.
3. On the Midcoast, on Friday Maine’s favorite indie bluegrass band the Ghost of Paul Revere performs at at Savage Oakes Winery in Union. Also that evening, Vicky Andres and Max McFarland perform at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, and in Rockland, songwriter Tom Albury is at Rock City Coffee and the Blind Albert Band is at the Speakeasy. On Saturday, 5 p.m. at the Midcoast Recreation Center in Rockport see the Rock Coast Rollers (pictured above) take on teams from the Pioneer Valley Roller Derby. Later that night, songwriter Kevin A. Libby is at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, and songwriter Bob Funck is at Rock City Coffee.
4. This weekend, the Bangor area is a hot spot for anyone that knows and loves two of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the past 20 years: Harry Potter and Pokemon. Saturday night, local bookstore the Briar Patch and other local businesses will transform Central Street into Diagon Alley from the beloved book series, to celebrate the release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Wands at Ollivander’s, photos by the Daily Prophet, butterbeer, fire spells, candy from Honeydukes and much more; the free event is set for 10 p.m. to midnight on Saturday night. Then, on Sunday, there’s an ultimate Pokemon Go meetup on the Bangor Waterfront, set for 1 to 4 p.m. and featuring raffles, vendors and giveaways, the proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association; expect to be able to catch some seriously rare Pokemon!
5. Finally, this weekend there are two great Maine music festivals, each showcasing different genres. The annual Ossipee Valley Music Festival in the western Maine town of Hiram runs from Friday through Sunday, and features an array of roots and Americana acts, including the California Honeydrops, Sarah Jarosz, John Jorgenson Gypsy Jazz Quartet, Mandolin Orange and many more; visit the website for more information. Also this weekend is the inaugural Matrix Music Festival, set for Friday through Saturday at the Mt, Jefferson Ski Area in Lee, 45 minutes north of Bangor. The lineup includes the Yonder Mountain String Band, the Sam Roberts Band, Zach Deputy, the Adam Ezra Group and Maine favorites like Murcielago, Jeff Beam, Seepeoples, Forget Forget, Dominic and the Lucid, They Called Me Legion and many, many more. Visit the website for more information.