The outdoor music festival season starts this weekend in Farmington with the Sandy River Music Festival, and there are several others happening all summer long.

Music festivals are an ideal way to spend a few days outdoors, usually in a gorgeous locale, hearing a range of national and local acts playing a multitude of genres.

Plus, most festivals offer camping options, so you can truly unplug and immerse yourself in firepit jam sessions while making new friends and chatting about which acts you’re most excited to see.

Here are six festivals to consider.

Keenan Hendricks, Derek Haney and Josef Berger of Rigometrics. Photo by Ryan Raby

Sandy River Music Festival
May 25 & 26. Narrow Gauge Amphitheater, Farmington.
The Sandy River Music Festival is part of the Whistlestop concert series on the picturesque banks of Sandy River. On Saturday, you can catch sets by Lady Lamb, Della Mae, Session Americana, The Wolff Sisters and The Court Jesters. Sunday is just as solid, with Griffin William Sherry (formerly of The Ghost of Paul Revere), The Ballroom Thieves, IMY2, The Chicken Street Band and rock trio Rigometrics, an audience favorite at the recent Fogcutters Big Band Syndrome show at the State Theatre.

Cedar Ridge performs during the first day of the Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival at the Litchfield Fairgrounds in Litchfield on June 15, 2023. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The Blistered Fingers Family Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23 and Aug. 22-25. Litchfield Fairgrounds.
The Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival dates back to 1991, and the second session in August was added five years later. With banjos, fiddles and high harmonies, the two family-friendly festivals attract thousands of fans who adore bluegrass music. The lineup always includes both local and national acts, and the grounds have plenty of room for buses, RVs, campers and tents. Acts you can see in June include The Gibson Brothers, Hemingway Brothers and Katahdin Valley Boys.


A late night dance party during The Happening at Harry Brown’s Farm in Starks. Photo by Katherine Grout

The Happening at Harry Brown’s Farm
June 20-23. Harry Brown’s Farm, Starks.
The Happening at Harry Brown’s Farm is held at a property called Harry’s Hill, with panoramic views and a top-notch sound and lighting system. Campsites are less than 10 minutes away on foot from the festival’s three stages, and there’s no charge to stay there. Expect lots of jams and dancing all weekend long to sets from Kristy Cox & Grasstime, Lee Ross, Love Whip, B Positive, Balkun Bothers, The DeadheadsMA, Fungk Shui, Hannah’s Field, Peak and several other bands at a festival that’s grass-friendly – not the kind you mow.

The North Atlantic Blues Festival
July 13 & 14. Harbor Park, Rockland.
The first North Atlantic Blues Festival was in 1994. Thirty years later, the two-day event still draws huge crowds of rabid blues fans who descend on Rockland Harbor. Expect red-hot performances from Dylan Triplett, Monster Mike Welch and Vanessa Collier, among several other rising and established stars of the genre.

Amythyst Kiah will perform at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival in Hiram.

The Ossipee Valley Music Festival
July 25-28. Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds, Hiram.
The Ossipee Valley Music Festival is a standout festival of the summer, featuring a wide range of nationally known acts interspersed with some local ones. The roots festival also offers several workshops, dances and yoga classes, and there’s always a huge array of food trucks and craft beer. This year’s lineup includes Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway, Watchhouse, Amythyst Kiah, Willie Watson and Jake Blount.

Under The Oaks
Aug. 30 & 31. Narrow Gauge Amphitheater, Farmington, $35 general admission Saturday, $60 VIP Friday and Saturday.
Under The Oaks packs a whole lot of Maine music into a two-day festival in Farmington. It’s presented by the Portland-based indie folk band GoldenOak, which is part of a lineup of singer-songwriters, folk and rock acts. Camping is encouraged because you won’t want to miss a single second of performances by Oshima Brothers, Max Garcia Conover, Connor Garvey, Louisa Stancioff, South For Winter and Dead Gowns.


Summer Jam Camp Out
July 11-15. Thomas Point Beach and Campground, Brunswick.


The American Roots Revival
Aug. 2 & 3. Narrow Gauge Amphitheater, Farmington, $35 one day, $60 weekend pass.

The Grateful Camp Out
Aug. 9-12. Thomas Point Beach and Campground, Brunswick.

Mainely Reggae Farmington
Aug. 16 & 17. Narrow Gauge Amphitheater, Farmington, $35 one day, $60 weekend pass.

Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival
Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. Thomas Point Beach & Campground, Brunswick.

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