5 Things to Love About Oakhurst Porchfest

I could try and succinctly summarize what it’s all about but it wouldn’t come close to how Oakhurst Porchfest blissfully describes themselves:

“Porchfest is a grassroots community music festival where front porches become stages, yards become venues, and radical generosity and good will rule the day.”

We attended this event last year, and no joke, I looked forward to the next one the entire year. If their description doesn’t sell you on this excursion right off the bat, I don’t know what will, but if you need more convincing or are just curious I invite you to keep reading. So here are my top 5 things to love about Oakhurst Porchfest:

A Sense of Community. As they indicate in their description, Porchfest is a grassroots event that exists because of the generous efforts of volunteers and residents of the neighborhood. The spirit of this is palpable as you meander through the streets walking among a bunch of smiling happy people eating drinking and being merry. I won’t lie, they do such a fantastic job at this that we actually spent some time looking at houses for sale in the neighborhood later that night!

Btw: there’s Jason with his much desired backpack cooler full of beer to the right : )

Great Live Music. This event keeps growing and this year boasted 220 performances. There is not a chance you won’t find something you like as the diversity ranges from alternative rock and electronic music, to folk, jazz, and even handbell groups! It also makes my heart happy that Porchfest presents an opportunity for local and smaller bands to showcase their work. Even though they are playing for free out of the kindness of their musical hearts, they are invited to put out a tip jar or sell their music. Either way, I love the opportunity for exposure for the bands and the ability for attendees to discover new music! We loved getting to know The Sunset District

And we enjoyed spending some time on the quaint Wylde Center property listening to The Ormewoods

Beautiful houses. The houses in the Oakhurst neighborhood are unique, gorgeous, and adorable all at the same time. It’s a good time even just wandering around and taking note of the architecture. There are a variety of styles to please the eye from a house that looks like a castle, to bungalows and very modern and visually appealing townhouses.

Art and Fundraising. A great side gig of the Porchfest is that there are also tables and tents displaying and selling art, or selling food and drink treats for their non-profit organizations (think Girls Scouts and puppies). For those who might be accompanying their music loving counterparts to Porchfest, this is a great added benefit to keep them occupied. 

It’s Free!!! I am my mother’s child and I like free stuff, but who doesn’t am I right?! Some porches/families/bands are SO generous they even have some finger foods and beer laid out for their guests!!! Take advantage of the generosity of the day, but I would also encourage you to make sure you bring some cash so you can tip or donate to the musicians and causes. Pay it forward people! 

Bonus: Keep a look out for any after parties. Porchfest puts one on at Harmony Park, but we also found one right around the corner where there were a few DJ’s spinning live (not officially associated with Porchfest). We thought they were pretty good so check ’em out:

– Kaleidoscope Jukebox (Bloomington, IN)
http://soundcloud.com/kaleidoscope-jukebox/
https://facebook.com/kaleidoscopejukebox

– Nashawti (Indianapolis, In)
https://soundcloud.com/nashawti
https://facebook.com/nashawti/

– replaze (Atlanta, GA)
https://soundcloud.com/replaze

Lastly, this event was modeled after what I think was the original porchfest in Ithaca New York. If you are looking for others around North American they will help you out.

What’s your favorite music festival? Let me know in the comments below!