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The Summeriest: Porchfest is a Music Fest That Truly Gets Summer

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The Rogue Appalachian Dulcimers will be performing at Porchfest. Courtesy of Porchfest

Things everyone hates about music festivals: traffic, claustrophobic crowds, high ticket prices, being trapped inside, price-gouging by vendors. Here’s what people like about music festivals: a lot of different acts to see in one central place.

A new music festival in Grants Pass may not have holographic Tupac headlining, but it addresses a lot of the other issues by making the music festival a neighborhood affair. It’s called Porchfest, and it’s going down from noon-3 pm on Sat., June 17. For the festival, dozens and dozens of musicians will be playing on the front porches of houses in a historic Grants Pass neighborhood. The streets will be shut down and attendees can stroll or bike between them at their leisure, all for free. Schedules and maps will be hand and food vendors will be on site if you like, and local restaurants are nearby if you don’t.

The Messenger caught up event organizer Linda Scott to get some background on what may be the summeriest event of the summer.


RVM: How many bands are playing, and how many styles are represented?

LS: As of today, nearly 90 musicians, soloists to an eight-piece group,  will be performing a variety of music genres at Porchfest including alternative, folk, Celtic, jazz, bluegrass, light classical, Celtic, blues, reggae, etc., etc.

RVM: How much planning was required to make Porchfest happen?

LS: We have been organizing the event for over 6 months.

RVM: Where did the idea come from?  

LS: The first Porchfest was held in Ithaca, NY in 2007, and has spread to large cities and small towns across the U.S. and beyond since that time.  Having moved here from Napa, CA, I had attended Napa Porchfest for several years, and was very familiar with the event.  In discussions with other residents around how to bring people together and bolster a sense of community in order to better address challenges that our county faces, I thought of the Porchfest event, and what a fun, popular event it is.  

RVM: What is it about Grants Pass that makes Porchfest possible?  

LS: Grants Pass has the perfect combination of a lovely historic neighborhood with many front porches to stage performances on and gracious residents willing to host the performances, an abundance of local musicians willing to volunteer their time and talent for this charitable cause, incredible business sponsors dedicated to improving the quality of life of the community, and enthusiastic volunteers working to make our first Porchfest a great success.

RVM: Will Porchfest be back in 2018?  

LS: Definitely!  Porchfest will be an annual event.



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