The Maine Lobster Festival is known for offering a wide range of entertainers, from the perennial one-man-band Professor Paddywhack and King Neptune’s court roaming the grounds; to regional jazz purveyors playing dinner music in the Eating Tent; to internationally-known artists performing on the main stage. The festival’s 64th edition, which runs Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 3 through 7 in Harbor Park, is following suit.

For a complete schedule including all the daily entertainment options, visit Following is information on this year’s three big concerts.

Lobsters in Paradise

Thursday evening will feature Changes in Latitude, a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Party Band, and seating in front of the main stage for the 8 p.m. concert is included with regular admission. The nine-piece band, fronted by the amazingly Buffett-like Steve Kareta, professes to be to Buffett what “Beatlemania” is to the Beatles. Every concert is a party with beach balls flying, dancing conga lines and leis galore. This is an authentic tribute show, capturing the look, feel, and sound of a real Buffett concert — everything but the tailgate party.

Kareta has invested plenty of time in Hawaii and the Caribbean and is a professed Parrot Head, having followed Buffett from New England to Florida and New York to Las Vegas. For a while, he toured as a pro audio engineer for folks like Joe Cocker, Paul Anka, Peter Wolf, and the 10,000 Maniacs. He put together Changes in Latitudes just for fun and it has become his full-time “job.” Kareta is joined in this Margaritaville endeavor by the Latitude Adjustment Ensemble.

Grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts are de rigueur. For more information on the band, visit

Countrified Drive

Country stars Emerson Drive will take the stage Friday at 8 p.m.; seating in front of the main stage is $25, which includes full festival admission. Emerson Drive’s dream began in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and the musicians’ camaraderie and tireless work ethic has made them one of country music’s busiest bands. Non-stop touring — their old bus recently passed the one-million-mile mark — has won them fan loyalty that has been a key to their longevity.

Lead singer Brad Mates’ passionately expressive vocals is well matched by the musical prowess of his band mates Danick Dupelle on guitar, Dale Wallace on keyboards, David Pichette on fiddle and Mike Melancon on drums. The quintet’s first Nashville album almost a decade ago produced breakthrough Top 5 hits “I Should Be Sleeping” and “Fall Into Me” (their first No. 1 video on CMT) as well as follow-up hit “Only God (Could Stop Me Loving You).” Their second album gave them four Top 15 Canadian hits and one Top 20 in the U.S.

A few years later, the band’s “Countrified” resulted in hits “A Good Man” and the career-changing “Moments,” a No. 1 hit nominated for a Grammy and whose video was named Inspirational Country Music’s and Canadian Country Music’s Video of the Year. The band’s latest album, “Believe,” showcases all of the attributes that have fueled the group’s long, steady rise through the country ranks and its title track hit the Top 5.

Kracking the myth

The big Saturday concert at 8 p.m. will feature Uncle Kracker; tickets for seating in front of the main stage are $30, which includes full festival admission. Gifted singer/songwriter Matt Shafer is better known as Uncle Kracker and perhaps best known as Kid Rock’s DJ and sidekick. He has been writing songs since before he was a teen, however, and as a performer he combines a love for hip hop with acoustic country, pop, rock, soul and even do-wop in a distinctive way that has led to No. 1 hits on several different charts and a gold album as well.

The Detroit native’s latest album, “Happy Hour,” is as upbeat as its title. It took some five years to produce, but that’s because Uncle Kracker was, among other things, on the road with country star Kenny Chesney, who made a memorable stop on the Midcoast last fall. Chesney had appeared on Uncle Kracker’s “Last Night Again” and Uncle Kracker returned the favor by singing on Chesney’s “When The Sun Goes Down,” which topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for five consecutive weeks.

Uncle Kracker said he learned from Chesney how to have a more positive outlook on things, an influence clearly evident on “Happy Hour.”

Admission and tickets

Seating within the ticketed reserved section is on a first-come basis; bringing your own seats is not permitted. Reserved seating tickets are available in advance on the festival website and at J. Edward Knight Insurance, Rockland, and the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce, Camden; or by phone from the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, 800-562-2529.

Regular admission at the gate to the Maine Lobster Festival is free Wednesday, Aug. 27 (Hometown Day); and $8 for adults, $2 for children 6-12 and free younger, Thursday through Saturday. Sunday has new Family Fun Day admission of $5 for adults; children’s prices remain the same. Discounted four-pack of one-day tickets are available.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to

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