Any questions about Lambertville’s resiliency following the devastating flash flooding there earlier this month should be dismissed once and for all on October 2. That’s when Porchfest happens.
What is Porchfest?
Only the most Lambertville thing ever. It’s a DIY music festival where homeowners across the riverside town volunteer to host a singer or band on their front porch. The acts will be staging live performances throughout the day for whoever wants to stop and watch from the sidewalk.
At last count, 10 locations were signed up to host concerts, and more are expected, even as many in some corners of Lambertville continue the long process of restoring their flood-ravaged homes. In light of that fact, it could be argued that Porchfest should be cancelled, as Shad’Toberfest was. But the point of Porchfest isn’t to lure hundreds of day-trippers Lambertville. It’s to bring those who live there even closer together for an afternoon.
By nature of its dense streets and abundance of porches and stoops, Lambertville has long been an especially neighborly community. Now imagine live music of all kinds carrying from around every corner simultaneously. In a moment like that, walking down a sidewalk, it’s hard not to feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself.
And if you’re really into music, this is a prime opportunity to geek out. You’ll ricochet from seasoned folk singers to garage bands to comedian-musicians to classical guitarists. (You can view a full rundown of the performers scheduled so far here.) They’re all locally-bred – and likely participating because they covet any chance to perform for a few people at a time.
(If you’re musician interested in playing Porchfest or a homeowner who wants to be a host, a Facebook group has been set up to help facilitate pairings.)
How do I take in Porchfest?
None of the hosts will be charging admission. The entire festival is free to attend, which makes it all that much more conducive to drifting between performances as you wish. Check the Porchfest site to see if a schedule posts. (One was expected to be made available on Sept. 26.) If it doesn’t, plan to show up early in the afternoon and just follow the music.
The one thing you do need to make sure you bring is a mask. Porchfest is entirely outside, but organizers are stressing that COVID precautions will be in full effect. A note on the website reads, “Porch owners and musicians may call you out if you are watching a performance without a face covering.”
Beyond that, just enjoy the sights and sense of community. On any given day, Lambertville is a great strolling town. This just sweetens the pot.