Indie music rules in Belfast

By Dagney C. Ernest | May 16, 2018
Weakened Friends is a strong indie noise junk band from Portland and Boston.

Belfast — The annual All Roads Music Festival is set for Saturday, May 19, spread across four city venues. A descendent of the Belfast Free Range Festival, All Roads is produced by Launchpad, a Bangor-based nonprofit arts incubator.

All Roads is a celebration of indie music, for which Maine serves as a fine incubator itself. Is it the long winters, perhaps, that lead to so many artists forging their own way? Both musically and in promotion and distribution, Maine indie artists are flourishing — for proof, spend this one Saturday in May in Belfast.

Actually, the music gets going the night before. The fest’s Opening Party will run from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 18, at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St. Renée Coolbrith and Zak Tallion (also known as Z2K) will perform as attendees enjoy light food, craft beers and the festival vibe. Admission is free for holders of the All Roads VIP Pass, $10 for others as space permits.

First up on Saturday is the popular Maine Songwriters Circle at the Colonial Theatre, 163 High St., at 1 p.m. Discussing and demonstrating their craft, and taking questions from the audience, this year are Joel Thetford, Hannah Daman, Seth Warner, Clara Junken and the Midcoast’s Vicky Andres (see story linked below). A Maine Women in Music panel follows at 2:30 p.m.; a little over an hour later, the Colonial joins the company of in-town performance venues.

Said venues include the Crosby Center, which began offering performing space last summer. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., the main stage will host more than half a dozen sets, while the more intimate small stage plays host to several acts, including a late-night performance by hip-hop artist Sarah Violette. The American Legion Hall is the second to open its doors Saturday afternoon, kicking things off at 1:15 p.m. with the marvelously named Mouth Washington. At 2:45 p.m., the just-crowned 2018 MAMM SLAM winner, Rest Assured, brings high school energy to the fest. And the First Church will host a band an hour from 2 to 6 p.m., ending its day at 7:30 p.m. with Kenya Hall.

Hall is one of a number of popular returnees; also back are Goldenoak, albeit with the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra in tow; Maine indie music touchstone Spencer Albee; and the Mallett Brothers Band, which has the honor of closing out the fest starting at 10:45 p.m. at Crosby. Dave Gutter is an All Roads regular, solo or with one of his side projects; originally scheduled to perform with Beards, he’ll bring Armies back to town, supplemented by one of his Beards bandmates.

Also on the schedule — which is subject to change — are Turner, Capture the Sun, Breakfast Cowboy, KGFREEZE, Wait, Weakened Friends, Other Order, Motherhood, Dan Blakeslee, Stephen Lewis, Johnny Cremains, Pretty Sad, Chris Ross & The North, Micromassé, Katie Matzell, Kong Kyote, JaneaSound, Dominic LaVoie, Builder of the House and local favorites Oshima Brothers. Jeff Beam will play the Closing Party at Three Tides; like Friday night’s opener — but a lot later — admission is included with the VIP Pass, $10 for others as space permits.

Said VIP passes are $30 in advance via EventBrite (linked on the festival website) and will be $35 on site, as available. Perks include line advantage, a T-shirt and the aforementioned parties. The regular Festival Pass is $20 in advance, $25 at the fest, and includes admission to all performances and panels, as space permits.

The schedule and information about this year’s artists can be explored at allroadsmusicfest.org.

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Staff Profile

Dagney C. Ernest
A&E editor for Courier Publications, LLC
(207) 594-4401/4407, ext. 115
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Dagney has been providing Courier coverage of the local arts scene since 1985 and has helmed the multi-paper A&E section since it debuted in 2003. She has been a local performing artist, community and professional for more than 30 years; and spent a decade writing, producing and announcing on-air for several Midcoast radio stations. When not in the NewsNest, Dagney likes to be in motion.

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