KahBang moves festival location to Portland

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The KahBang Festival has been bringing people from across the region to Bangor since 2009. With the announcement that this year's festival is moving to Portland, the City of Bangor and some local businesses will be taking a hit.

"KahBang is a specific style of event, and I think it deserves a specific level of execution," KahBang Festival Director Josh Gass said. "We just didn't think we could do that this year here."

Festival organizers said the location change is mainly because they were unable to find a camp site to host overnight festival goers, but slow ticket sales are to blame as well.

"Whether or not ticket sales are good or bad, you're absolutely looking at that as part of the equation. So I mean, I think everyone can deduce that if tickets sales were stellar, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Gass said.

Moving the festival has city-wide implications. Bangor Parks and Recreation director Tracie Willette said the city would have made $1.25 for every ticket sold. With about 1,200 tickets sold last year, the city made roughly $1,500.

Even though Bangor won't be making any money this year, Willette said he knows it is just business.

"It's not a typical timeframe to change an event, that's for sure. But again, things happen, we understand that, and we know they had to make decisions based on what they thought was best for their event," he said.

Downtown businesses will also be losing out. Blaze counts on events like KahBang to bring in customers, estimating about a 30 percent increase in sales on concert days.

"More and more things are happening in Bangor, and everybody's trying to ride that wave," Blaze's manager, Jake Bridges, said. "I think it's kind of disappointing to see something like this."


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