What is PorchFest? PorchFest is a celebration of music and community for people of all ages. For one afternoon porches become stages and people can stroll from porch to porch to listen, sing, dance, and connect with their neighbors.
How does it work? Swampscott’s PorchFest is a family-friendly community music festival and open to all! The afternoon consists of porch performances at private homes by individual bands and musicians performing various types of music. The organizing committee manages the basic logistics, coordinates performances and promotes the day.
When is Swampscott PorchFest 2023? Saturday September 23, noon to 6 pm. Rain date is Sunday September 24, but it will only be postponed in the case of heavy rain. (PorchFest 2019 was successful even with a light rain.)
PorchFest has been postponed until Sunday, October 1st, (noon to 6 pm) due to the high potential of poor weather on September 23rd.
Where will it be held? The kick-off will be at ReachArts, 89 Burrill Street at noon. From there spectators will stroll around to the various porches. NOTE: in 2019, PF was limited to the Olmsted district. In 2021 and 2022 PF expanded! We would like to expand it again this year if there is sufficient interest.
Is there a map or some kind of schedule? ReachArts will have a schedule and map available online once sign-ups are finished and details are finalized in early September.
Can anyone host? Yes, anyone who lives in Swampscott and has a porch. You can play on your own porch, or invite a friend to perform, or we can pair you up with a band.
Note: It is okay to have a band play on a stoop or front or side yard but if the home does not have a covered porch we ask that the host make a canopy available so that musicians’ equipment can be covered in case of rain.
Can anyone perform? Yes! If you sing, play guitar, cello or kazoo (or anything else!) PorchFest wants you! Acts can be solo musicians, big bands, or anything in between. Poetry, spoken word and dance performances are also encouraged.
Note: If you do not have your own porch, or a friend in Swampscott with a porch who will host you, we will attempt to pair you with a host. However, we can't guarantee you a spot. Be advised that we probably will not know for sure until the beginning of September.
Can anyone volunteer?
Yes! ReachArts is seeking volunteers to help organize and run the event.
Note: If you are a host who plans to play on your own porch, please fill out both forms. If you are a host who has your own musician lined up to perform on your porch, fill out the host form and have your musician fill out the band form.
Will you be closing streets? Yes. The Town of Swampscott may, at its discretion, close down certain streets hosting PorchFest performances.
Note: We will still be sharing public space and making every effort to accommodate one another. For drivers, this means slowing down and expecting to find pedestrians, bikes, and families spilling out into the streets. For those enjoying the festival, it means being mindful that sometimes people in cars need to get somewhere. It's the neighborly thing to do.
Do the musicians get paid? No one does! Organizers, performers, porch hosts, and others all participate as volunteers and all give freely of their time, talents, resources, and hospitality as a neighborhood. Donations pay for banner printing and incidental costs.
Food and Drink Porchfest has no prohibitions on outside food so feel free to bring your own. Please consider supporting the food trucks (we are trying to have food trucks!) Or picking up food from one of our local restaurants and packing a picnic! Or, after the finale, head to a local restaurant with friends for dinner. Some hosts may choose to go all out and provide snacks and refreshments for their audiences, but that is not required.
Alcoholic Beverages There are no alcohol sales or consumption permitted in prohibited public areas. Event performances take place on private property but are linked by public streets and spaces. When in public, you're responsible for your own behavior and subject to all existing ordinances regarding alcohol consumption. Remember that all of our venues are someone’s property so be sure to clean up after yourself.
Who organizes this? Swampscott Porchfest is brought to you by ReachArts with the added assistance of the Swampscott Summer Concert Series, and the Swampscott Recreation and Public Works Departments.