Somerville PorchFest

Get out today to hear music played on porches throughout the city. It's free.

Somerville PorchFest is here. More than 100 musical acts will be performing on porches throughout the city, and it's all free.

Some highlights include Porch-i-oke, where people can sing along to a live band, and Henry, an 8-year-old who will play dramatic classical music on his violin.

If you want to see the whole lineup of acts, check out this map.


Tom O'Brien May 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM
This 'event' was a disaster, as anyone with any common sense should have foreseen. There was absolutely no control or supervision of any kind. My neighborhood was subjected to live, amplified music played from mid-afternoon until 6:45 p.m. We were also subjected to crowds who blocked the street (people had even set up chairs in the street), the sidewalks, and neighbors' driveways, and stood in the street and on neighbors' properties drinking all afternoon. Why, with no notification at all, were neighbors subjected to this?
Mary Ellen O'Reilly Powers May 21, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Complete opposite case in our neighborhood - this was a wonderful event that brought neighbors together - we met people we have never seen before. And the music was wonderful!! We look forward to next year.
pat lynch May 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
You must have been the exception to the rule. I don't think this event was well-thought out. It was certainly not well-organized or promoted. For neighbors to be unaware it is being planned is inexcusable. My neighborhood also had streets blocked, and if you attempted to drive down your own street people stood there and looked at you like you were doing something wrong.
Donal Waide May 22, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I knew it was on, because I keep up to date on happenings in my neighborhood. Our area was the 2-4 gig and was exactly that. Our nearest neighbor sent a flyer out announcing he'd be playing with his band and forewarned us it could get loud. It was loud and it was great. Thanks one and all. Looking forward to the next Somerville event...perhaps others could read about it in Patch, Scout, or the Journal?
pat lynch May 22, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I keep up with neighborhood events as well, and saw nothing about this event. I believe that an event such as this which is disruptive to the neighborhood, should have neighborhood input before being planned. I also think there should be a formal process for informing other residents, because obviously those in my neighborhood chose to ignore their neighbors. By the way, they were also scheduled for 2-4, but chose to play until almost 7:00!! Had they kept to the 2-4 time frame perhaps this wouldn't have become such an issue. Again, supervision, control, and communication is badly needed.
Ron Newman May 23, 2012 at 01:46 AM
This was a wonderful and beautiful event. I hope the city continues to hold this every May.
Tom O'Brien May 23, 2012 at 01:53 PM
While this may have been a wonderful event for those who chose to participate, there are people out there, believe it or not, who have responsibilities and commitments and for whatever reason did not wish to participate. However, when the music is played almost 3 hours beyond the appointed time, and people are lounging in the street and in your driveway, drinking beer, and you are forced to particpate because you happen to live there, it is most certainly not a beautiful event.
Seth H May 23, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I think it was great day, and the weather was perfect. Another example of how Somerville is one of the most vibrant creative communities anywhere. I hope this tradition continues for years. I on a (the?) porch that went from 12-6 (and unamplified for another hour) in the 2-4 zone. If you look on the schedule, those hours were communicated to the ARTs council, and we kept the volume at a responsible level. I understand that some people have responsibilities and commitments, but a few cranky people shouldn't stop thousands from enjoying a wonderful time. As for communication, do you expect a personal call? Someone knocking on every door in the city? It was well-publicized in all the local information channels.
Seth H May 23, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I'd also like to add that its possible you were having problems with a different group of people. Porchfest should not have been an excuse for trespassing/littering/public drunkenness. However, it sounds like you are taking issue with the music itself, and I don't think some tunes on a beautiful spring afternoon is too much to ask.
Donal Waide May 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM
If someone was lounging in my driveway drinking beer, then I would ask them to leave. If that didn't work, I would call the police. I saw neither, but then again, I didn't see all 100 or so acts.
jackie May 24, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I loved it! I think it is a great idea to get a community to interact with one another. I saw the notification on Patch, but perhaps it would be a great idea to require (rather than suggest) sponsoring porches to send out notification to nearest neighbors. We enjoyed the blue grass band playing in our neighborhood, and they ended at the scheduled time. I'm sad not everyone enjoyed it and not everyone observed the guidelines. I hope Porchfest can happen for years to come.
Steph May 30, 2012 at 12:22 AM
The whole thing was just stupid! Traffic going anywhere was insane took me and hour to get home from school with a drive that usually takes 15 minutes. There was absolutely no need for the music to be played longer than was said, and people definitely should not have been standing on the street! It was ridiculous and unneeded, if you want to hear music turn on a radio!
Ron Newman May 30, 2012 at 02:06 AM
This event did not close any major streets or squares. It was mostly on small residential side streets. Spectators traveled largely on foot or bike, not in cars. So I don't see how it could have had such an effect on traffic.


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