Outdoor Festivals Fill Neighbourhoods with Music

Four regional Porch Parties give thousands intimate, down-home music experience

Community volunteers have organized and Porch Parties in the Region of Waterloo, preparing to fill neighbourhoods with local music in a series of events running from May to August.

These unique local music festivals are held within residential areas and are open to all to attend; transforming front porches into multi-stage venues and creating a decidedly welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. “The goal is to get out of your house, meet your neighbours and enjoy some amazing musical talent”, says Joanna Mazur, long-time Grand Porch Party committee-member.

The local musicians, positioned on porches throughout the neighbourhoods, offer incredible diversity. “We have veteran musicians and those just starting out. We even have acts who play on their own porches, like singer/songwriter Shannon Lyon,” says Cindy Ward with Schneider Creek Porch Party. Different musical genres perform for local audiences including established bands, school choirs, Aboriginal groups, steel drum bands and everything in-between.

Audiences may end-up witnessing the next big thing with previous Porch Party acts going on to wider acclaim, including Safe as Houses, To the Trees, Elsa Jane, LoFi Mind and Jojo Worthington.

While each festival is unique, the Porch Parties arrange family friendly activities throughout the festivals including children’s music gardens, community-created art installations and even a sing-along. “This year, we’re hoping to connect all four Porch Parties by engaging the public to seek out something in our spaces”, says Laura McBride from the Hohner Ave Porch Party in Kitchener. “Stay tuned for more details”.

The appetite for Porch Parties continues to grow each year with over four thousand local residents and visitors expected to attend events in 2017. The community organized Porch Parties are responding with an exciting itinerary of music and events throughout the day; individuals are encouraged to attend each one.

Hohner Avenue Porch Party – Saturday, May 27 http://happ.ca

Grand Porch Party – Sunday, June 11 https://grandporchparty.wordpress.com/

Schneider Creek Porch Party – Saturday, July 22 https://www.facebook.com/SCPorchParty/

Preston Porch Party – Saturday, August 26 https://www.facebook.com/FansFirstProductions/

Thanks to the volunteers at the Grand Porch Party for writing this article.