April 26, 2018
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Downtown Bangor bustling this weekend despite KahBang’s departure

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — KahBang went away, but Bangor will still play.

When the weekend-long music, film and art festival announced just three weeks before showtime that it would be relocating to Portland for the year in an attempt to save itself, Bangor was left with an empty slate on the waterfront for a prime summer weekend.

That doesn’t mean the city will be quiet.

A group of downtown businesses, arts and community leaders put their heads together after last month’s announcement and planned Bangor Culture Shock. It’s not so much a new event or festival as it is a promotional showcase for stuff that can be found in downtown Bangor on any given weekend, according to Gibran Graham, a city councilor and one of Culture Shock’s organizers.

“I’ve often been disappointed that I couldn’t do more than one thing at a time,” Graham said. “Just because one thing leaves doesn’t mean we’re empty.”

This weekend’s slate of performances and attractions won’t be much different from the norm, with the exception of a few added and beefed-up shows.

The agenda opens at 5 p.m. Friday with a lineup of reggae music performances at Tantrum Night Club on Front Street. Linear Live, an offshoot of downtown-based graphic design firm Linear with a focus on music news, band website design and videography, will host its launch party at 8 p.m. in Coespace. At 8:30 p.m., River City Cinema will show “Independence Day,” the ’90s blockbuster featuring Will Smith and an alien invasion, under the stars in Pickering Square. River City Cinema planned to show that movie earlier this summer, but it was rained out.

On Saturday, Central Street Farmhouse will host a homebrewing expo at noon. At 7:30 p.m., Her Majesty’s Cabaret, a sketch comedy troupe, will present the Never Annual Rock Show, featuring Sunset Hearts, Chamberlain and Rotating Taps, at the Union Street Brick Church.

Bands will be performing all over town on Friday and Saturday, with bands scheduled in The Big Easy, Nocturnem, Paddy Murphy’s, Seasons, Penobscot Pour House and Hollywood Casino.

Organizers created fliers to put up downtown advertising the various events and spread the word on social media.

The Senior League World Series also holds its opening ceremonies, a celebration featuring kids from across the world who will face off on the diamond in Bangor, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Ultimately, KahBang canceled the music portion of its festival, but the film and art portions of that festival will still be held in Portland.

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