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First Fenway Porchfest Set for Tomorrow

Free music at more than 25 neighborhood sites


It all started with a group of neighbors and a ukulele in Ithaca, N.Y., back in 2007. About 20 local musicians gathered on front porches to bring the community together through live music. What they didn’t know then: that first Porchfest would spread to local communities across the United States and Canada. Today, Porchfests have taken hold in big cities (Montreal, Philadelphia, and Kansas City, Mo.) and little towns (North Liberty, Iowa, and Grants Pass, Ore.).

In 2011 Somerville was the first town to bring Porchfest to the greater Boston area. This year, nine communities and neighborhoods around the city will host a Porchfest. The first annual Fenway Porchfest is tomorrow, Saturday, June 16, and should be a showstopper.

The afternoon event (noon to 4 pm) will feature 70 local musicians, bands, and ensembles performing at 25 Fenway locations. Both amateur and professional musicians will be on hand, including the Boston Pops Esplanade Brass and the Boston City Singers. Festival organizers plan to give special priority to musicians who live or work in the neighborhood.

Given the Fenway’s dearth of porches, tomorrow’s Porchfest stages will include green spaces, stoops, and patios.

Fenway Porchfest poster

Tomorrow marks the first annual Fenway Porchfest. Photo courtesy of Fenway Community Development Corporation

Visitors will be able to enjoy music from R&B soul to Indian violin. There will also be student performers, like Jordan Reynolds from the New England Conservatory, and Fenway natives, among them singer-songwriter Walter Noons.

To include as much musical variety as possible, performers will be allotted 60-minute slots. So slap on some sunscreen, grab some water, and head over to the Fenway for what promises to become a popular annual tradition.

The Fenway Porchfest is tomorrow, Saturday, June 16, from noon to 4 pm, throughout the neighborhood, and is free and open to the public. Find more info about performances and locations here; find a printable map here and a mobile map here. Brochures will be available so visitors can plan their stops.

Upcoming local Porchfests: Quincy Porchfest, Saturday, June 23, and Jamaica Plain Porchfest, Saturday, July 7.

 Sarah Wells can be reached at swells21@bu.edu.

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