Portland Stopover!
June 29, 2012 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Attending the "Gentlemen of the Road" festival in Portland, ME on August 4th. Looking for information both on the festival and on where to stay the night (cheaply!)

A friend and I will be traveling up from Boston for the concert. Taking the Downeaster Amtrak seems like the best option for travel - and personally, I love traveling by train. However, the latest train to Boston leaves at 8PM, which seems a bit early.

Unfortunately, there is practically no information on the website linked above. There isn't even a reliable starting time posted. I've looked at the information from the UK stops (Huddersfield, Galway) and it seems like events will be going on late enough that staying the night makes the most sense. Where we spend the night - and IF we stay the night - depends on how late the concert goes. Staying the night also depends on finding relatively inexpensive accomodations that we can get to without a car (if we take the train). We do have the option of driving (if we can't find affordable sleeping arrangements), but we'd both rather take the train than put more wear on my friend's elderly car.

All this boils down to me looking for the following info:
  1. Did you attend one of the UK shows? How late did things go? Is it worth staying for the late stuff? I assume Mumford and Sons don't go on until the very end, at the least. Any general thought you'd like to share about the festival? What should we bring?
  2. Is there anywhere within a reasonable walk, bus, or taxi ride of Portland's "Eastern Promenade" where the concert is located?
  3. Are YOU going to this show too? I know meetups belong in IRL, but if you are attending and would be interested in sharing accomodations (cost dilution!), this seems a more appropriate place for it. Also, of course, I'd love to arrange a meetup.
posted by maryr to Travel & Transportation around Portland, ME (14 answers total)
1. According to the Press Herald, the concert is supposed to run from noon until 9 PM.
2. Is there anywhere... to stay? There are a couple of hotels downtown (Regency Hotel, Portland Harbor Hotel, and a Hilton), but I'm assuming that they'll be a little pricier than a chain hotel.
3. Yes! We should meet up!
posted by Stephanie Duy at 11:23 AM on June 29, 2012

Forgot to mention--downtown is maybe a 20 min walk from the Eastern Prom. There are buses that go around the Eastern Prom, but I don't know if they'll be running (http://www.gpmetrobus.com/ for schedules)--the city typically blocks off the East End area for big events like the 4th of July, and this concert.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 11:27 AM on June 29, 2012

Lodging option in town are going to be a touch on the pricey side. Looks like $139 is the going list price for a hotel room right next to the train station (you might be able to do better somewhere online). That's a 2 mile walk from the Eastern Prom, right down Congress St, which is the main drag and should be a safe walk at any time of day or night. It also shouldn't be a super expensive cab ride, but don't plan on being able to flag a cab - plan to call for a pickup.
posted by that's candlepin at 11:28 AM on June 29, 2012

Check out the Inn at St John, in town, walkable. Good value.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:29 AM on June 29, 2012

I'm not sure you'd want to walk from the train station to town--it's very hard to cross into town, because of all the cars.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 11:30 AM on June 29, 2012

Another option, train up and take bus back. There is a Greyhound station in town (walkable) and the Concord Trailways at the Amtrak station slightly out-of-town both of which end up at South Station. The busses run more often than the train.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:49 AM on June 29, 2012

Don't forget about Megabus!
posted by Stephanie Duy at 12:04 PM on June 29, 2012

I was going to suggest the Inn at St. John, but I think they only room available for that night was like $170. And yeah, walking to the Amtrack/Concord Trailways station is a bit rough because you have to cross a pretty heavy-duty traffic zone right near the station, but it's not impossible at all. Sidewalks the whole way.
posted by that's candlepin at 12:43 PM on June 29, 2012

Response by poster: This seems to be the Press Herald article Stephanie referred to.

Bus suggestion was a good idea I hadn't thought of, but won't work:

Megabus's (Concord Trailways) last bus from Portland, ME to Boston for Aug. 4th leaves at 7:30 PM and the next bus leaves at 3:15 AM 8/5. (Add'l Portland to Boston buses: roughly every 2 hours from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM)

Greyhound runs only 3 buses daily from Portland, ME to Boston - 9AM, 2PM, and 5PM.
posted by maryr at 1:12 PM on June 29, 2012

@maryr: This is actually the article that I'm referring to. I'm not sure if that's old information, though.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2012

Response by poster: Holy moly. My friend and I had no idea we had been quite so lucky to get tickets.

Two highlights from the article Stephanie just linked:
Tickets for the concert went on sale June 1. All 12,500 tickets sold out in 25 minutes.
Wayne said she learned that all of the city's hotel rooms have been booked for that date.
posted by maryr at 3:26 PM on June 29, 2012

Portland, Maine has lots of hotels. You can also consider a B&B on Peaks Island, a pleasant 20 min boat from the mainland, which is still part of the city of Portland. Portland is reasonably walkable if you're accustomed to walking. Also, we have taxis.
posted by theora55 at 10:25 AM on June 30, 2012

I've gone ahead and created an IRL proposal for a concert meetup. I know a few of the Maine MeFites will be there.
posted by mikepop at 7:23 AM on July 2, 2012

Peaks is a really cool suggestion, but I doubt it's price competitive. Last ferry is at 11:30, so timing might work.
posted by that's candlepin at 10:32 AM on July 3, 2012

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