There isn't a lot happening in the clubs this weekend, but there will be music in several outdoor venues, including two outdoor festivals. On Friday evening, head down to New London's Waterfront Park for the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival, taking place from Thursday through Saturday. Musical entertainment will be provided by Vince Thompson and friends from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. Vince will have Bob Metzger, Lou Bocciarelli & Dave Daddario with him, and they are all great players. It's an especially appropriate booking, given that Vince is a retired Merchant Marine officer. He is also a great singer and songwriter. Talent runs deep in the Thompson family, and if you're lucky, Vince's daughter Anna May might even join him for a song or two. The event is free and open to all ages and the band plays at the Custom House Pier (I've also heard City Pier, but don't worry, the show won't be hard to find). Check out the festival's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CTmaritime) for more information on additional goings-on. (Vince will play another show the following morning, as a duo with Anna. Read on.)
This Saturday is the annual I AM Festival in downtown New London, now in its eighth year. Beginning at 12:30 pm, 28 bands will perform on five different stages: Hygienic Art Park, Parade Plaza, the Telegraph, the Oasis Pub, and 33 Golden Street. Admission is free, and except for 33 Golden Street and the Oasis Pub, admission is open to all ages. The I AM Festival will be a great opportunity to see a LOT of bands, many of them bands from out of the area that you probably haven't seen before. The great thing is that all the stages are within a very small area of downtown, spanning a little over a block. I'll give you a few suggestions for bands that I would try to see, but there will be plenty of good music all day and into the early morning hours, so you really can't go wrong.