LISBON — Following a two year interruption, the Maine Blues Festival is ready to start anew, this time in Lisbon Falls.

Twenty-five Maine-based blues acts are scheduled to perform at five downtown venues, all within easy walking distance of each other.

Twenty-five Maine blues acts will be performing in Lisbon Falls for the Maine Blues Festival on June 18. Maine Blues Festival

The June 18 festival is unique in that it focuses exclusively on local blues musicians, rather than having nationally-recognized groups headline the event.

“We always felt that (Maine artists) have sufficient talent to support their own music festival, and we’ve been proven right on that,” Maine Blues Festival co-founder Kevin Kimball said. “Maine does not need to import talent, we have plenty of it right here in the state.”

Kimball said there is greater variety within the blues genre than many people recognize, and music lovers of all kinds will find something to enjoy at the festival.

“I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard over the years, people say, ‘well, I never really was a blues fan until I came to this festival, and now I’m a convert,'” he shared.


Naples has hosted the festival since its start in 2006, however a new location was sought for logistical reasons, Kimball said. Lisbon was thrilled to host the event, and the friendly, compact downtown made it an ideal location.

“Having something like the Maine Blues Festival take advantage of the space down by the river and the local businesses that we’ve grown over the last few years, (it’s) just amazing,” said Positive Change Lisbon President Ross Cunningham. “We’re thrilled to have them coming to town (and) we’re looking forward to having all those fans see the things that Lisbon has to offer.”

“We’ve got new breweries, we’ve got great restaurants, we’ve got walking trails (and) we’ve got waterfront,” he added.

The nonprofit organization is helping to connect festival organizers with local community groups and services, Cunningham said.

Before the pandemic, the festival had grown to be a three-day event with 5,000 attendees and 50 individual acts.

“It almost got to a point where we were at capacity, we couldn’t have taken much more,” Kimball said. “We never intended to make it all that huge.”


This year’s event, which is shorter and smaller, will be easier to manage and more intimate, he added.

“There’s a lot of a start-over feel to this,” Kimball said. “So the wise thing to do is just start small and let it grow, if it’s going to grow. We suspect it will, but let’s keep it simple and keep it fun for the first one.”

Performances will take place at the former Worumbo Mill site, Frank’s Restaurant & Pub, Railroad Pub and Restaurant, Flux Restaurant, and Olive Pit Brewing Co.

Advance tickets for individuals aged 13 and older are available online for $12; day-of tickets are $15. Children 12 and younger can attend the festival for free.

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