Spring may be slow to warm this year, but the Belfast Free Range Festival promises to heat things right up Saturday, April 27. Begun in 2010 as a way to shake the mud season blues, the festival will bring almost three dozen musical acts to venues all around town. The live music will run from 11:45 a.m. to midnight.

Actually, this year’s festival will kick off the night before with a party Friday, April 26, at the American Legion Post 43, 143 High St. The event begins 7:30 p.m. with a show by the Bangor-based Her Majesty’s Cabaret. This band of comedians, writers, filmmakers, performers and other creative types mix sketch comedy, short films and more into a satirical, comical and not-really-for-the-kids entertainment stew. Also performing will be the Blind Owl Band from the Adirondacks.

On Saturday, things really get cooking at venues large and small. Advance tickets are recommended for the often-close-to-sold-out day of live music by local, regional and nationally touring acts, and there definitely is limited seating at some of the concert-hosting locations. Sets run 45 minutes, and the schedule is arranged to encourage taking in lots of them. Artists come from as far away as Chicago and St. Louis to as close as Camden and Belfast; and their genres vary as well, from garage stomp and indie rock to traditional music from a number of different cultures.

The traditional-music focus comes in part from a leaning toward acoustic instruments. Free Range options include teens playing ukuleles to the Midcoast’s revered folkmaster Gordon Bok and his handmade 12-string guitars. One band, a funk outfit from Brooklyn, N.Y., boasts a Moog synthesizer — and a former member of GWAR. Waldo County’s own Tremolino purveys Portuguese fado, while Olas from Portland performs — instrumentally, vocally and in dance — flamenco.

There’s a lot to choose from, and this year’s festival website — freerangemusicfestival.com — includes audio samples and videos to peruse ahead of time for those who want to plan ahead. But another way to approach Free Range is to take its moniker to heart and wander around town, dipping in and out. One never knows when one will hear the music of his or her dreams.

Full Weekend passes are $25 in advance and include the kick-off party (party walk-up is $10). Advance price for Saturday Only Passes is $20. Advance passes are on sale through the festival’s website and at the Belfast Co-op, 123 High St. If available, Saturday passes will be on sale for $25 on festival day at the Free Range Info Center in the Our Town Belfast office at the mini-mall, 171 High St. Discounted passes for children younger than 13 are $10, available for Saturday only.

The 2013 Free Range Music Festival, directed by Meg Fournier, is presented in partnership with Waterfall Arts. Following is a schedule-by-venue/start-time and brief band descriptions; for full information, visit the website.

Åarhus Gallery, 50 Main St.

• 11:45 a.m.: Clio & Chloe are Midcoast teens who met in Malcolm Brooks’ music composition class. They have been singing and playing together about a year.

• 1:45 p.m.: Local reporter Ethan Andrews shares his indie pop after-deadline side, playing with local musical stalwarts Jason Dean, Eric Green, Nik Cody and Al Crichton.

3:45 p.m.: Alhan, Maine-based Middle Eastern music ensemble, combines the authentic and the contemporary, pairing the diverse characteristics of this music with spirited dance rhythms.

5:45 p.m.: New York City/Germany’s Samara Lubelski offers kaleidoscopic adventures that dance around contemporary genres.

First Church, 8 Court St.

• Noon: The dancing will commence early, thanks to local faves The Hips. The six-piece dance-party combo plays eclectic originals that get its namesake going full tilt.

• 2 p.m.: The Burst & Bloom Family Band Revue from Portsmouth is a loose configuration of performing cohorts including Audrey Ryan, who performed at the 2011 Free Range fest. Expect an easy-going mix of rock, folk and pop.

4 p.m.: Portland’s Ghost of Paul Revere made some Midcoast fans at Thomaston’s Billy’s Tavern this winter and aims for more with its rural roots music infused with soul, blues, rock, and bluegrass.

• 6 p.m.: American Gothic singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Marissa Nadler suffuses her songs with ghostly melancholy.

Colonial Theatre, 163 High St.

• 12:30 p.m.: Maine’s Blue Northern, a five-member acoustic Americana/country/bluegrass band, plays traditional, original and contemporary acoustic music.

• 2:30 p.m.: Camden’s Gordon Bok on the Colonial’s stage offers a rare opportunity for local fans to see and hear a master of traditional maritime music, as well as a creator of compelling original song sagas.

• 4:30 p.m.: Anders & Kendall, longtime friends and collaborators from New York and Vermont, have blended their talents into a lyrical indie-rock duo.

• 6:30 p.m.: Singer/songwriter Josephine Foster once aspired to be an opera singer, and art-song influences sometimes flavor her psychedelic indie rock.

8:30 p.m.: St. Louis’ Jack Grelle & the Johnson Family Band features country and folk singer/songwriter Grelle, who has come to Americana via the DIY punk movement.

American Legion Hall, 143 High St.

• 1:15 p.m. Portland’s Pete Witham & The Cozmik Zombies offer blazing rocka-psychobilly roots. As lead guitarist with Spookie Daly Pride, Witham opened for Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade, Arrested Development, Bob Dylan and more.

• 3:15 p.m.: Portland modern rockers Endless Jags bring their six-piece outfit to the festival’s rock-ready stage.

• 5:15 p.m.: The random, diverse and eclectic CSC Funk Band promises a psychedelic avalanche of technical mastery, avant-experimentation and noise-punk.

• 7:15 p.m.: O’Death brings on the Gothic Americana, drawing on traditional folk, bluegrass, punk, gypsy music, metal, swing and jazz.

• 9:15 p.m.: Burlington, Vt.’s Waylon Speed is already known to locals, thanks to featured guitarist Kelly Ravin, a Mount View High School grad who has brought his band to Waldo County in recent months. They serve up what could be called country punk rock.

Myn’s on Market (a fest-only space)

• 2 p.m.: Brooklyn foursome Mount Sharp turns in pop gems with sweet/aggressive vocals, primal/surf-inspired drums, skronky guitars and hyper-melodic bass.

• 4 p.m.: Freedom’s Heather Vergotis and Mark E. Kaylor perform and record as Hammer of Hathor … and they have been known to distribute those recordings on cassette tape.

• 6 p.m.: P.G. Six is the current nom-de-performance of New York City’s Pat Gubler, cofounder of the current folk revival influence Tower Recordings.

• 7:45 p.m.: Chicago’s Spires That in the Sunset Rise is Kathleen Baird and Taralie Peterson. Their instrumentation is varied and eclectic, including harmonium, guitar, slide, banjo, bowed psaltery, cello, flute, autoharp, spike fiddle and mbira.

• 9:30 p.m.: Portland’s Video Nasties promise to jam the night away.

Waterfall Arts, 256 High St.

• 2:30 p.m.: Maine’s Herbcraft offers songs half-composed, half-improvised, played with freewheeling first-take intensity by a seasoned lineup whose musical lines swirl around each other in psychedelic delight.

• 4:30 p.m.: Bangor garage stomp band Chamberlain, with Patti Smith-esque vocals by Kat Johnson, will put the renovated Fallout Shelter performance space to the test.

• 6:30 p.m.: Local favorites Edith Gawler and Bennett Konesni perform old-time fiddle and banjo music, Swedish dance tunes and farmer’s ballads and hollers as Edith & Bennett.

Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

• 3 p.m.: Freedom’s Leslie Stein fronts Tremolino, a Waldo County quartet devoted to fado, the fiery, soulful folk song style from Portugal characterized by passionate lyrics and mournful tunes.

• 5 p.m.: Young Richie Keyes and sisters Hallee and Kati Pottle, all from Waldo County, are Mister Moon and claim the genre title “foograss” to describe their trio's sound — glowing three-part harmonies and eclectic acoustic arrangements.

7:15 p.m.: The Assembly of Light choir is a ramshackle collection of about 20 women from Providence, R.I. The group made an unexpected dent in the metal world last year when their self-titled album opened with a cover by doom duo The Body.

Chase’s Daily, 96 Main St.

• 6 p.m.: Olas from Portland is an all-acoustic ensemble heavily inspired by traditional and contemporary flamenco music and dance. Olas blends Arabic, Afro-Cuban, rock and American folk with original dance choreographies.

Three Tides, 26 Marshall Wharf

9 p.m.: Music blog HillyTown’s 21-and-older after party features Ava Luna, New York City’s girl-group-meets funk and noise dance band; Brooklyn’s Leapling, whose members are behind the Bushwick DIY venue/art space Big Snow Buffalo Lodge; and Portland foursome Leaves, Leaves.

HillyTown has released a sampler of tracks from many of this year’s participating musicians that may be streamed or downloaded for free at hillytown.bandcamp.com/album/2013-free-range-fest-sampler.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.