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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.

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.