BANGOR – After an 18-year run, the organizers of the American Folk Festival have decided to end the summertime waterfront music fest that brought thousands to town.
The tempo of the music along the Bangor Waterfront got just a little bit slower Tuesday, as word made the rounds the American Folk Festival will be no more.
“Losing this is really losing a piece of that fabric of our culture,” said Kerri Tripp, the executive director of the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And for me, that’s really sad.”
The goal of the American Folk Festival was to present a variety of different cultures to Mainers through music, dance, storytelling and other arts.
Traditional artists from across America and the globe converged on Bangor for the annual event.
“I think there’s just a sadness in the community today that we have decided to close down the festival,” Nicole Gogan, the chairwoman of the American Folk Festival board of directors, said Tuesday.
The American Folk Festival began in 2005 on the heels of the National Folk Festival.
The National Folk Festival selected Bangor in 2002 and held a trial festival here for three years, then moved on to plant the musical seed in other communities. That is when the American Folk Festival in Bangor began.
Over the years more than 300 performers played, danced or sang for crowds who gathered for the free three-day music festival held along the Bangor waterfront.
In a statement, organizers said ending the festival was a financial decision, one that was tough but “responsible.”