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Music festival creates a bang in Bangor

From left, Northeastern students Sarah Harrington, Cassandra Pecoraro, and Abbey Mahan with Northeastern alumnus, and KahBang founder, Tim Lo. Courtesy photo from Joshua Gass.

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Born and raised in New Eng­land, North­eastern alumnus Tim Lo often wondered why the region didn’t host its own yearly music fes­tival. That’s why, after returning to his home­town in Maine, he jumped on an oppor­tu­nity to start some­thing unique, the Kah­Bang Music Fes­tival.

“Bangor has a ton of infra­struc­ture that’s per­fect for a fes­tival,” said Lo, who grad­u­ated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion. He pointed to the city’s trans­porta­tion, lodging, and nat­ural beauty as its most vital assets.

The fifth annual fes­tival will take place August 8–11 on the newly restored water­front of the Penob­scot River, a five-​​minute walk from down­town Bangor.

Head­liners for this year’s six-​​stage show include Paper Dia­mond, The Weeks, and Dr. Dog, but the spot­light is not solely focused on up-​​and-​​coming musical acts. The fes­tival also fea­tures an assorted lineup of artists and film­makers. Artistic mediums range from tra­di­tional forms like paint­ings and sculp­ture, to inter­ac­tive pieces and per­for­mance art. With an audi­ence as diverse as those drawn to Kah­Bang, it’s impor­tant to Lo that no fan goes underserved.

“We’re about dis­cov­ering your next favorite band or artist or film­maker, we thrive on the con­cept of dis­covery,” said Lo. “We’re big advo­cates for having a bal­anced lineup with a little some­thing for everyone.”

It’s safe to say KahBang’s busi­ness model is working. According to Lo, some 12,000 fes­ti­val­goers attended last year’s show. Many of which take advan­tage of a camp­site not far from the fes­tival grounds, where a late night stage will have acts until 3 a.m.

Since the festival’s incep­tion, the majority of its most pas­sionate employees have come from Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram, including the three music industry stu­dents who are helping Lo plan this summer’s show. He said stu­dents looking for expe­ri­ence in event pro­duc­tion or fes­tival branding covet the oppor­tu­nity to work in the live music business.

“My expe­ri­ence at Kah­Bang helped me realize that putting on and booking shows is what I want to be doing,” said Abbey Mahan, a senior on co-​​op with Kah­Bang for the third con­sec­u­tive year. “I’m happy just knowing that I was part of putting this fes­tival on for three years. That impact is the best I could have.”

This article was originally published by news@Northeastern.