This story was originally published in The Cortland Voice.
CORTLAND, N.Y. — A concept that began in Ithaca and has since spread to other parts of the United States and Canada has made its way to Cortland.
On Sunday, Aug 28, from 12 to 5 p.m., 25 bands will perform on the front porches of 13 different houses on Van Hoesen, Harrison, Joy and Chestnut streets for Cortland’s first-ever “Porchfest.”
Molly Andrejko, vocalist for Molly & the Badly BENT Bluegrass Boys and a main organizer for the event, said Cortland’s Porchfest was organized by several local musicians with help from the Cortland Youth Bureau.
“Our neighborhood is very musical. There are two music teachers on this street. We have a band. Rosie has like four bands—“
“Seven,” he interjects.
The first-ever official Porchfest is believed to have originated in Ithaca in 2007. Since then, cities across the country have held similar events.
Local musicians including The Unknown Woodsmen, jazzhappensband, Jimmy Lawler and Rachel Beverly will perform at Cortland’s Porchfest. Almost of all the performances will be acoustic.
The event will also feature performances from local dance troupes, face painting, kids’ games, storytelling and arts and crafts.
Despite this being Cortland’s first Porchfest, fellow organizer and local musician Ted Andrejko said bands as far away as Rochester have expressed interest in performing at the event.
“We’re just going to keep it to local acts this year,” he said. “We’re kind of just testing the waters this year to see what happens. Hopefully, in years to come, we’ll have a couple of different food vendors.”
Molly Andrejko said she hopes the event will shine a light on Cortland’s local music and arts scene.
“I’m proud to be from here and chose to come back here,” she said. “My goal is to keep improving the town until I can I say I contributed.”
The free event is sponsored by a number of local businesses and organizations including the Cortland Youth Bureau, Uncorked Creations of Cortland, Cinch Art Space, the St. Mary’s School and Reagan Land Surveying.
Donations will be accepted, and all of the proceeds raised will go towards the Cortland Youth Bureau’s music program and improvements to playgrounds at local parks, Andrejko said.
Follow Porchfest Cortland on Facebook for updates and to see a schedule of performers.