Every year it seems there is a new festival popping up around St. Louis. Whether it is major productions like the River Front Times Showcase or the indie and experimental like the upcoming Dubb Nubb Fest. Last year St. Louis got its very own version of a nation wide phenomenon: Porchfest. Porchfest was started in Ithaca New York, and has since popped up in various cities around the country. St. Louis’s neighborhood of choice is the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood, mainly due to it being started by two Wash U students who fell in love with the area.
The neighborhood was the perfect match for the festival, with a mix of mansions and apartment complexes featured as the host porch. The festival is set up with multiple walking paths, each with a unique lineup of artists to see at various stops along the way. Each house offered a complimentary cooler of Urban Chestnut beer which definitely was appreciated on such a hot spring day. The atmosphere was completely open and relaxed, with music lovers sprawled across the yards and sidewalks. Plenty of people chose to bike the paths and maximize the artists they can see, many on Lime Bikes which recently debuted here in town. One of the major hubs of the festival was a the Focal Point stage, located just outside Joe’s Cafe.
One of the best aspects was getting to hear local music in such an intimate setting, just blocks away from some of the most popular music night clubs in town. This year’s line up included local favorites Aida Ade, Tonina Saputo, and Zach Sullentrup of Tidal Volume. Tonina even doubled up with an in store performance at Vintage Vinyl later that day. Besides there only being a single bathroom along the entire route, the festival essentially was seamlessly pulled off. Even when one porch had time to fill due to a last minute cancellation, the next act quickly filled in with some well appreciated cover songs before their set.
There weren’t too many huge names on the festival line up, but that was for the better. Everything about it was new and refreshing, all at zero cost to the attendee. We are definitely looking at watching the progress of this festival over the next few years.
Check out our photo gallery from the festival: