June 19, 2018
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Website names KahBang one of top 5 up-and-coming U.S. music festivals

John Clarke Russ | BDN
John Clarke Russ | BDN
Revelers are silhouetted against the colorful light display of freeform dubstep electronic artist Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, who performed at KahBang on Bangor's waterfront Saturday night, Aug. 11, 2012.
By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor’s KahBang music festival, now entering its fifth season, picked up some welcome offseason buzz and publicity with its inclusion as one of website DJZ’s Top 5 Up-and-Coming U.S. Festivals.

DJZ, a website dedicated to everything connected to electronic dance music and established last year, named KahBang fifth on its list. The online article/blog by Gabrielle Nicole Pharms had this to say about the annual arts and music festival:

“Since 2009, KahBang has exposed festival goers to its world of art and music along a mystical waterfront. This is the ideal festival for music lovers that like to discover new acts before they go ‘big.’ Bassnectar, Paper Diamond and Lazerdisk Party Sex were among the headlining artists for last year’s event. A key highlight is the Insomniac Stage (1 a.m.-3 a.m.) that features up-and-coming electronic artists and DJs.”

KahBang organizers were understandably happy to hear about Monday’s DJZ blog post, which also included audio and video footage of last year’s KahBang performances.

“We get buzz when we put out our performers’ lineup with the headliners each year, but getting mentioned in the offseason is a really great thing, especially in the dead of winter,” said Meg Shorette, executive director of the nonprofit KahBang Arts festival. “I’d say any press is good press, especially on the Internet. There are so many festivals just in the U.S., so just having our name mentioned on a top five list is significant.”

Shorette said she thought the blog was “pretty spot-on” as far as its description of the festival.

“Referencing our Insomniac Stage was pretty cool just because maybe even some of our own people aren’t that familiar with it,” she said with a chuckle. “I’m pretty pumped about it.”

KahBang is scheduled to run Aug. 8-11 at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion, festival grounds and secondary stages around the Pavilion, Westmarket Square and other downtown Bangor venues.

“Getting that kind of recognition and awareness is exciting, as we’re still building our brand and our awareness,” said Josh Gass, KahBang’s creative director. “We got mentioned a couple years ago on Pitchfork’s — www.pitchfork.com — summer guide, and now there are many more promoters and acts that know we exist.”

Gass said the total number of acts and musicians at KahBang has increased each year.

“We no longer have the room to accommodate everyone who wants to play, although we usually get about 75 percent of the bands who want to,” he said.

Gass said he also views Monday’s blog mention as a well-deserved honor and pat on the back for the work organizers and volunteers have done to make KahBang an annual presence.

“It’s validation for all the hard work put into this each year,” he said. “It tells us we’re doing good work and getting the word out there and putting on a quality event in Bangor.”

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