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Another year of All Roads

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Music festival returns to Belfast for second year

BELFAST The All Roads Music Festival is making its triumphant return to Belfast.

The festival, taking place on May 21, features well over two dozen bands and musicians performing a wide array of genres folk, rock, hip-hop, you name it - at assorted venues. In addition, there are panel discussions, art installations and the return of the well-received Maine Songwriters Circle. For tickets, a schedule of events or for other information about the festival, visit

Launchpad, a nonprofit arts organization based in Bangor, is the driving force behind All Roads. And the driving force behind Launchpad is Meg Shorette, Launchpad's Executive Director.

Bringing something like this to life once is quite an undertaking. However, bringing it back presents its own set of challenges and rewards. Shorette was kind enough to take some time to share with us her thoughts on the second year of All Roads and some of what attendees can look forward to.

The Maine Edge: What did you learn from last year that informed your approach to this year's festival?

Meg Shorette: With last year being our first year, a lot of things were a little bit easier this year. That gave us time to seek new venues for musicians to perform in like The First Church and to come up with new ideas for panels or musician showcases.Last year, we were really careful with the schedule not to overlap sets as much as possible thinking that the festivalgoers would be the ones who appreciated it most, but it turns out that musicians rarely get to see each other perform.We made sure to keep that in our model this year as well.

TME: Are there any major changes that people can expect?

MS: We've added a fourth venue to accommodate the larger lineup, added a new showcase featuring three youth bands from the Maine Academy of Modern Music and we will have shuttles helping attendees go from downtown Belfast to Waterfall Arts, which is our farthest venue from downtown.

We've also added six visual artists to the festival this year. Their outdoor installations will be displayed across downtown Belfast along the festival footprint.

TME: Any specific bands or events that you're especially excited about?

MS: For me, the Maine Songwriters Circle is a favorite. There's something beautiful about hearing some tell the story of the songs they write and then play them in an intimate setting. It's being held at the Colonial Theatre this year.Oh, and our opening party is at Waterfall Arts this year which is going to be a rocking kickoff to Saturday's events!

As a new addition to 2016, we are giving our first Legacy Artist Award to the Rustic Overtones and featuring a retrospective event and Q & A - also at the Colonial Theatre - to honor the mark they've left on the Maine music scene over the past 26 years. That should be a great time.

There are some great bands at this year's festival like Bangor's Wait and They Called Me Legion, Portland's Weakened Friends, Spose and Ghost of Paul Revere and the Midcoast's own Sugarbush. I believe we're over 25 bands total, plus six singer/songwriters.I'm pretty excited for the entire day.

TME: What drives you to create and continue an event such as this one?

MS: I love creating events that bring people together in positive ways. Music is so important to the people who create it and the people who enjoy it, so for a festival that is still quite small and in an intimate town, it's really special to see fans interacting and sharing the day with their favorite Maine musicians.

(All Roads Music Festival takes place in Belfast on May 21. You can find out more at their website

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 16:07


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