KahBang team promises bigger event in 2010

Posted Jan. 22, 2010, at 9:33 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Organizers of last year’s KahBang Festival on the Bangor Waterfront announced Thursday that the festival would return in 2010.

The said it would be bigger, better and include more events, spread out over more time.

The KahBang Music, Film and Art Festival is set for Aug. 6-14. It will include a film festival and music and arts events at various downtown venues throughout the week, leading up to the outdoor concert, set for two days this year — Aug. 13-14 on the Bangor Waterfront.

“As soon as we finished last year, we immediately decided to go forward and do it again,” said KahBang communications and marketing director Chris Michaud. “Last year, we had three months to put together the entire festival. Now we’ve had a whole year, and we’ve got a lot more to offer.”

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The inaugural KahBang Festival, held Aug. 15, 2009, brought more than 1,000 paying attendees to the Bangor Waterfront to hear indie rock bands such as Matt & Kim, Ra Ra Riot and Ida Maria. This year’s festival will kick off on Aug. 8 and will continue for seven more days.

The multiple venue approach was inspired by other citywide festivals, such as the popular South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

“The economic footprint of an event like South by Southwest is huge. If we can replicate something like that here, it could make a huge impact on the downtown community as a whole,” said Timothy Lo, executive director of KahBang. “We’re committed to bringing exciting, fun events to this community that will benefit it for the long run.”

The film festival aspect, under the direction of former Bangor Film Festival director Joshua Gass, will showcase local and national independent films — just as the music festival showcases independent and up-and-coming bands.

“We want to be the place you go to hear the bands that will be huge next year, and to see the films that you might not get to see otherwise,” Gass said. “We want to be the launch pad for a lot of talent.”

KahBang is now its own enterprise, and is no longer under the auspices of West Market Productions, the local promotions group that disbanded last month.

The festival will include both ticketed and free events over the course of the week. Ticket prices have not been formulated yet, but will be largely dependent upon the scope of the bands and artists set to perform, and the number of events throughout the week. Organizers expect the initial music and film lineup to be announced in the spring.

“We’re building a reputation as being a really unique place to hear music and, now, to see film,” Lo said. “It’s a big show in a small town. We want it to be entertaining and engaging for everyone — for those people who live right here in Bangor, and those who travel here to be a part of it.”

“We want to create an explosion of creativity here in Bangor, for that whole week,” said Michaud. “We’re calling it our ‘Big Bang Theory.’ If you make a big enough splash, it’ll be heard pretty far away. We want to put Bangor on the map for this kind of thing.”

For more information, visit www.kahbang.com.

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