Play Time Downtown

Posted June 03, 2009, at 9:59 p.m.

Just two months ago, it was unclear whether there would even be another West Market Festival in downtown Bangor this year.

Arguably that all changed when Maine’s most popular band signed on to play.

“Yeah, when Rustic Overtones said they’d play, that pretty much sealed the deal,” said John Gillis, co-organizer with fellow Bangor resident Chas Bruns, of this year’s West Market Festival, taking place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 6. “That was a huge dream for us, so once that happened it was on.”

Rustic Overtones, the eight-piece funk-rock powerhouse, will headline a festival that includes a very long list of fellow Maine and New England bands, along with fashion shows, art and food vendors and much more. Unlike last year, the festival this year expands to two stages, one in West Market Square and another on Pickering Square. It’s bigger, it’s better and it’s all about Bangor.

“One big thing we learned from doing it last year was that people really want things like this to happen here,” said Gillis. “People constantly asked us, all year long, if it was going to happen again. We knew we had the support — we just needed to find more vendors and sponsors.”

Support came from new fashion partners, including The Gap and Charlotte Russe, in addition to local fashion designers including Bella Luna, American Retro and Hybrid Couture. New vendors include Amato’s, Bull Moose Music, WHSN-FM and Baxter Tea Co.

And, of course, there are nearly twice as many bands this year — from Bangor-based favorites Feel It Robot, the Barstuards, Sam and Yuri and People and Things, to Portland-based Dead End Armory and the Boston-based band British Yankees.

“We found out about the British Yankees because this blues musician, Vernon Northover, played at open mic night at Paddy Murphy’s last fall. Everyone was totally blown away by how good he was,” said Gillis. “We got in touch with him, and it turns out he has a band called the British Yankees. So we brought them up.”

Music, art, fashion, food and — keep your fingers crossed — lots of sunshine. Consider it an unofficial kickoff to your summer in Bangor.

West Market Square Stage

Noon: The Retro Rockerz, with GAP Kids Fashion Show

1 p.m.: The Barstuards

1:45 p.m.: People and Things with American Retro Fashion Show

2:30 p.m.: Riverbottom Funk with Bella Luna Fashion Show

3:15 p.m.: Feel it Robot with Hybrid Couture Fashion Show

4 p.m.: Affiliate

4:45 p.m.: British Yankees with Charlotte Russe Fashion Show

5:45 p.m.: DJ KTF with GAP Fashion Show

6:15 p.m.: Rustic Overtones

Pickering Square Stage

10 a.m. John Burlock

10:45 a.m.: Blistersgrow

11:30 a.m.: JP and the other two

12:15 p.m.: The Flannery Brothers

1 p.m.: Payson Nichols

1:45 p.m.: Anya Rose

2:30 p.m.: Sam and Yuri

3:15 p.m.: Hazy Room Review

4 p.m.: Dead End Armory

5 p.m.: The Step in Time Cloggers

6 p.m. O.ACE

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