PorchFest cruises from East Coast to Sac

Marissa Montoya

Downtown Sacramento is a grid full of bustling bars, fresh and flavorful food, charming boutique stores and some of the friendliest porch dwellers you will ever meet. On Saturday, Sept. 26, the porches of Midtown will be transformed into musical stages for the first ever Sac Porchfest.

Porchfests have been held annually in cities across the U.S. and Canada since 2007. The first Porchfest took place in Ithaca, New York in an attempt to bring together local musicians and residents of their community.

Sac Porchfest will take place from 2-7 p.m. on porches around the corner of 21st and I Street in downtown Sacramento. This is a free, family-friendly event.

“We’re excited about the event,” said Mike Phillips, one of the local organizers of Sac Porchfest. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for folks in the neighborhood and across the city to come together and enjoy a fun afternoon of amazing local music with their friends and neighbors.”

The lineup includes an array of genres from bluegrass and folk to classical such as One Button Suit, The Family Bandits, Scott Ferreter, Joseph in the Well, Sac Philharmonic, Salt Wizard, and Be Brave Bold Robot.

One of the more eclectic bands in the lineup is Be Brave Bold Robot, whose music can be described as lyric-heavy rock with some acoustic, folk, pop, and hip-hop influences.

Dean Haakenson, one of the members of the group who sings and plays guitar, said the band is excited about playing at Porchfest because of the non-traditional concert setting.

“House parties and block parties are good examples of fun places to play music because there’s a looseness to the situation that is visceral and impromptu,” said Haakenson. “We also try to play fundraisers when we can, to give to our community when we can, so this Porchfest really includes all of these delightful parameters.”

While attendance to Porchfest is free, donations will be accepted at the stages to benefit the Mustard Seed School, one of 16 programs offered by Sacramento Loaves and Fishes. Mustard Seed School is a local, free, emergency school that provides education and other necessities for homeless children.

Bryan Gross, director of Mustard Seed School, explained that part of their mission is to fill in the gaps of education and transition children back into regular public schools as soon as possible.

“Loaves & Fishes does not accept any state or federal dollars so therefore, we rely on the kindness of the community to help provide services such to our guests,” said Gross. “The Mustard Seed School uses the donations we receive to feed our children and often times to purchase food for those families living in cars and sleeping in tents along the riverside. We try to provide as many opportunities as possible for our kids they otherwise would not have the opportunity to be exposed to because of the lack of income by the parents.”

Gross suggested that Sacramento State students, who would like to support the Mustard Seed School, get involved by volunteering or hosting their own fundraiser, such as Sac Porchfest.

If this first Sac Porchfest goes well, Phillips said he has high hopes for future, larger Porchfests for Sacramento. Be sure to use the bathroom before arriving because the residents of midtown draw the line at sharing their porches, or just stop by one of the local hot spots and grab some grub while you’re there.