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In the ever-changing culture of community and how people live and interact, enters a recent phenomenon, Porchfest.
This simple idea started in Ithaca, New York in 2007. Local musicians were invited to perform on several volunteered residential porches, which were used as stages. Anyone could come and listen. Neighborhood people could walk around until they heard sounds they liked, bring a lawn chair and sit in their neighbor’s yard and listen to the musicians. Several porches were active in various areas of the city, creating not only a palette of diverse music, but a traffic pattern of families and children walking, riding their bikes or scooters, or driving golf carts to enjoy the different sounds.
The idea has grown over the last decade and now includes numerous cities that plan and schedule annual porchfests. Some include art festivals along with the music. Many include lemonade stands tendered by local neighborhood kids, food trucks and other food vendors.
Porchfests are annual music events held across the United States and in Canada on front porches. Started in Ithaca, New York in 2007, porchfest events bring local musicians and neighborhoods together to celebrate and create a sense of community.
Porchfest music festivals began as a means for neighbors and local community members to highlight their music on front porches. The concept was to find musicians and porches on which for them to play. The original event in Ithaca, New York, started with about 20 musicians but has since grown to over 100.
Bands, singers, and instrumentalists participate in the festival for no other reason than to showcase their talents and engage the community. Music is diverse and can range from country to pop, classical, reggae, blues, rock, jazz, Latino, R&B, folk and many others. Musicians voluntarily take to the “stage” on porches at their designated times and perform for the public. Signs with artists’ names and performance times are usually posted in front of porches and online.