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Guster announces second annual “On The Ocean” festival

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Guster perform during the inaugural "On The Ocean" festival, August 12, 2017, Thompson's Point in Portland. The band's second annual festival is set for August 3, 4 & 5, at the State Theatre, Thompson's Point, and Hadlock Field in Portland. Guster perform during the inaugural "On The Ocean" festival, August 12, 2017, Thompson's Point in Portland. The band's second annual festival is set for August 3, 4 & 5, at the State Theatre, Thompson's Point, and Hadlock Field in Portland. (Photo by Josh Frances)

It seems that I’ve always been drawn to bands whose music tend to be uncategorizable. Guster is one of them. Formed in Boston in late 1991, the alt-rock-pop-jammers (see what I mean?) have developed a global audience hungry for the group’s sublime songcraft, humor, and constantly evolving set-lists. Guster also has a deep connection to Maine. The band has just announced their second annual music festival, “On The Ocean Weekend,” to take place in Portland on August 3, 4 and 5.

According to Guster’s website, www.Guster.com: “It’s shaping up to be an awesome weekend celebrating Guster and Adam’s (guitarist and vocalist Adam Gardner) home state and their arrogant, self-aggrandizing motto (The Way Life Should Be). The goal is to cram in as much music and experience as we can into a weekend and hope it doesn’t rain. Worked out great last year!”

At 2017’s inaugural “On The Ocean” festival last August, Guster drew fans from around the world to four unique concerts performed at an equal number of venues, set either near or on the water.

This year’s edition of “On The Ocean” is scheduled to begin Aug. 3, with a Guster concert at the State Theatre, 609 Congress St. in Portland, with special opening guest Caroline Rose. The band has performed eight concerts at the State Theatre since 1999.

In December 2003, Guster recorded two concerts at the State Theatre, released on 2004’s live “Guster on Ice” CD and DVD.

Saturday, August 4, will be dedicated to a Reverb service project, hosted by Guster’s Adam Gardner, and a concert under the stars at Thompson’s Point in Portland.

Reverb is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to “greening” the music industry, established in 2004 by Gardner and his wife, Lauren Sullivan. Reverb works directly with artists, bands and their management, and teaches them new ways to make their tours safer for the environment. To date, Reverb has “greened” 91 concert tours, including outings from Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Norah Jones, Crowded House, Willie Nelson, Ben Folds 5, Grateful Dead and the Zac Brown Band.

Appearing with Guster at Thompson’s Point will be singer and multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi, formerly of the band Of Montreal, singing and songwriting duo The Secret Sisters (Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle), originally of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and Rest Assured, a youth reggae/rock band formed in March 2017 through the Maine Academy of Modern Music. Winners of the 2018 MAMM Slam (Maine’s annual High School Rock-Off), Guster invited Rest Assured to open their “On The Ocean” Thompson’s Point show.

On Sunday, August 5, the Guster-themed fun is scheduled to continue with the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field. The team will celebrate Guster day as they take on the Richmond Flying Squirrels of Richmond, Virginia, the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

The ballgame on August 5 is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., but the band plans to play catch on the field beginning at 10 a.m., followed by a “pre-game lunch hang” before throwing out the first pitch.

In May of this year, Guster earned their first gold record (sales of more than 500,000 copies), from the Recording Industry Association of America, for their single “Satellite.”

(Tickets for Guster’s “On The Ocean” festival are available atwww.OnTheOceanFest.com .)

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