Two weeks after announcing that the KahBang music and arts festival would be moving from Bangor to Portland this summer, organizers have canceled the music portion of the event because of a lack of financial sponsors.

That means a slate of more than 30 performances scheduled at three Portland venues, including shows by KahBang headliners St. Vincent and DMX at the State Theatre on Aug. 8, will not happen.

KahBang director Joshua Gass said the main reason for canceling the music shows is the loss of festival sponsors over the last few weeks. Volunteers created KahBang in Bangor six years ago, and most of the festival’s financial sponsors are located mainly in that area.

Sponsorship money is used to pay artists and to cover productions costs, Gass said.

In an email sent to festival patrons and fans, Gass said he and other volunteers “made every effort to find alternative solutions” that would allow this year’s KahBang to go on as planned.

“We are sorry to our fans for letting them down, but we just don¹t have the ability to maintain our vision for the event for this year,” Gass wrote. “No one is more saddened and apologetic at this development than we are.”

Other scheduled portions of KahBang, including the Art Fest and Film Fest, are not being canceled, Gass said. They will be held in Portland on KahBang’s previously announced dates, Aug. 7 through 10. Though music was arguably what KahBang has been best known for.

The canceling of KahBang’s music means that two of Portland’s best-known music venues, the State Theatre and Port City Music Hall, will lose three big shows. The State Theatre had been scheduled to host St. Vincent, DMX and seven other acts on Aug. 8; while Port City Music Hall was to host nine acts on Aug. 9 and another 10 acts on Aug. 10.

Lauren Wayne, who manages both venues, said Thursday neither the State Theatre nor Port City Music Hall will lose money because of the cancellations. She said her first reaction to the news Thursday was “really saddened” for KahBang’s organizers.

“We would have loved to serve as the venues for KahBang, but we totally understand. It’s hard enough to run a nonprofit organization, never mind a nonprofit festival,” Wayne said.

Wayne said that ticket holders will be reimbursed automatically, but they also can contact the State Theatre with questions. Gass said people who bought tickets though Ticketmaster could go to its website for refunds, and that people with questions could email [email protected]

Gass also said some of the acts that had been scheduled to perform at a “Hip Hop Showcase” at the Big Easy on Aug. 9 might play other shows in downtown Portland instead. He said information about any of those shows would be on the KahBang website,, in a day or two.

The Art Fest portion of KahBang will be held Aug. 8 and 9 at the Community Television Network studios on Congress Street and will feature the work of about 10 artists from all over the country, said Meg Shorette, the Art Fest coordinator. The Art Fest will be free, Gass said.

Shorette said a list of artists is on the KahBang website, along with a list of other participating art galleries.

The Film Fest portion of KahBang, also run by Shorette, will feature some 30 films to be shown at One Longfellow Square on State Street for all four days of KahBang’s originally scheduled dates.

KahBang organizers announced in mid-July they were moving the festival from Bangor, after five years, because they could not arrange for affordable lodging in the area for festival patrons. Because of Bangor’s location, the festival relied on being able to provide overnight lodging for fans coming from Boston or other distant locations. They said lodging would not be a big issue if the festival were held in Portland.

Calls to KahBang’s three top financial sponsors, all based in the Bangor area, were not returned Thursday.

Gass said on Thursday that KahBang organizers will “definitely try to regroup” and hold the festival again in the future.

Maine-based rapper Spose, whose real name is Ryan Peters, had been scheduled to play KahBang in Bangor. He dropped out when the festival moved to Portland because he had too many Portland-area gigs scheduled already. Peters said Thursday he hoped that by canceling this year organizers might avoid large financial losses and be in a position to hold the music festival in Portland next year.

“I hope they can regroup, because I think there’s a room for a festival like KahBang in Portland,” Peters said.

Portland city officials, while not directly involved in this year’s festival, said Thursday they hoped KahBang or an event like it might be held in the city in the future.

“We certainly would be open to working with them in the future,” said Jessica Grondin, director of communications for the city. “We’re always looking to bring more music to the city. Something like this would attract people locally, as well as regionally, which is certainly a good thing for the city.”

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