Waterfont Park in Bath. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Listening to live music outside in summer is a glorious thing here in Maine. And with how expensive everything is right now, it’s even better when it’s free.

Knowing the artist hardly matters at these free concert series, held in parks around southern Maine. All you need is to pack yourself a picnic basket or grab some takeout and throw lawn chairs or a blanket in your car (or under your arm or in your bike basket), perhaps along with some bug spray and a hoodie in case it cools down.

As you take in the sight and sounds, make sure to store all the memories for when you need them in February while scraping the ice from your windshield. And maybe you’ll even like some of these acts and to buy a ticket to an indoor show come fall.

Hinckley Drive, South Portland

You need to watch where you step, because the bazillion geese who live there are, shall we say, messy. That aside, it’s a nifty, centrally located park with a bandstand, and the shows happen on Wednesday nights through Aug. 10. You can easily dash into Hannaford or Shaw’s for snacks or grab takeout from Taco Trio. Pre-gaming at Foulmouthed Brewery, which has a robust food menu, is another option. All shows start at 6:30 p.m. For more information, go to sopoparksrec.com.

July 13: Maine Marimba Ensemble
July 20: Stone Broke (rock, country and blues covers)
Aug. 3: 12/OC Sound (country and bluegrass)
Aug. 10: Studio Two Tribute (Beatles tribute)


Corner of Congress and Franklin, Portland

The Friends of Lincoln Park group is dedicating its series of Love Lincoln Park shows to Frederich Law Olmsted, known as the father of American parks, in honor of his 200th birthday. Home to a fountain and sculpture, the small-ish park is on the edge of the Old Port. Food carts and trucks will be on site on a rotating basis. These shows haven’t happened since before the pandemic, and organizers are very excited. Performances are at 6 p.m. on Tuesday nights through Aug. 9. lovelincolnpark.org

Tuesday: The Renovators (rock and blues)
July 26: Katie Daggett & Ed DesJardins (soulful harmony)
Aug. 2: Lincoln Park Troubadours (aka Wayne Street)
Aug. 9: Blues Prophets (Chicago style blues)

Downtown Bath

You’ll be right on the Kennebec River as you enjoy music presented by The Chocolate Church Arts Center and Main Street Bath. All sorts of takeout is available within walking distance. There’s plenty of room to spread on the grass and watch boats go by as the music plays. Performances are at 5 p.m. on Saturday nights through Aug. 27. chocolatechurch.org/summer-season

Saturday: Pete Muller and Kindred Souls (singer-songwriter quartet)
July 23: Peter Gallway and The Real Band (alt-folk and rock)
July 30: CRYS (melodic, soulful rock and country)
Aug. 13: Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection (bluegrass)
Aug. 20: Crystal Vision (Fleetwood Mac tribute)
Aug. 27: Pan Fried Steel (steel drum band)


Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth. Kenneth Keifer/Shutterstock.com

Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth

Presented by Cape Community Services, the series is called Sounds by the Sea, and the concerts are a pretty easy sell because location, location, location. Be sure to arrive early enough to allow time for a cliff walk to the lighthouse that truly never gets old. On the food front, if you’re feeling splurgy, there’s usually a lobster roll truck on site. Non-perishable food donations for the Rotary Food Drive will be collected at every show. All shows are on Monday nights starting at 6 p.m. capecommunityservices.org/sounds-by-the-sea

Monday, July 18: Sonja and Good Friends (jazz, Latin and vintage pop)
July 25: The Earthtones (at the picnic shelter, four-piece acoustic string band)
Aug 1: Joan Kennedy Trio (at the bandstand, country, pop and blues)
Aug. 8: Joe Boucher (at the bandstand, piano-based singer-songwriter)
Aug. 15: The Katie Oberholtzer Septet (at the bandstand, jazz)

Don Campbell. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Durant Drive, Scarborough

This is a lovely park off of Route 1 with a pond and bandstand. A wide range of food is available for takeout (Amato’s, El Rayo Taqueria, Pat’s Pizza, etc.) within a short drive. There are also a couple of pickleball courts in the park should you want to get in on the sport that’s sweeping the nation before settling in for the show. For the daredevils in your life, Scarborough Skate Park is on the edge of the park. All shows start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. scarboroughmaine.org

Thursday: Don Campbell Band (rock, pop, country originals and covers)
July 21: Motor Booty Affair (disco and funk )
July 28: Something Stupid (rock and pop covers)
Aug 4: Running Down a Dream (Tom Petty tribute)

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