All About Napa Porchfest, the West's First Porch Music Festival

Here's what the Napa Valley Register, Napa Valley Marketplace, other publications and bloggers are saying about Porchfest, plus info on what to expect when the free, all-volunteer music festival returns July 29 in neighborhoods all over Napa.

Porchfest maps are now available! See below for information.

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What is Napa Porchfest? As one of its founders, I'm a little too close to the subject to be much of an unbiased source, so here's a round-up of what others have written about the event returning July 29 from 2 to 5 p.m.

It's "one big community hug," according to a recent article in  by Evy Warshawski, who also writes about Porchfest in the brand-new issue of . 

The free local music festival's 2011 debut on more than two dozen porches in historic Napa neighborhoods was "an awesome community event," wrote Cindy Watter in a letter to the .

"" raved innkeeper Jim Gunther of in his Napa Patch blog.

Register city editor Kevin Courtney called Porchfest "The day the porches sang," reporter Chantal M. Lovell filed a story and a video titled "Porchfest rocks Napa" and Register editorial cartoonist Roberto Tinoco contributed a thank-you drawing.

In another Register letter published after last year's festival, Nancy Gilien wrote "Porchfest was fun; let's make it annual."

And so it has come to pass, with about 75 musical acts volunteering their talents and 48 homeowners opening their porches for another three hours of free live music in Napa neighborhoods July 29 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Though geared for Napans and their neighbors, this year's event is getting some attention outside the valley, including a plug on the "Worth the Drive" blog from NBC Bay Area.

A map of all the porches is available at the , 1219 First Street, and at  across the street (both closed Mondays).

The festival is in need of volunteers to assist the porch owners and bands, as well as to distribute handbills and maps.

To volunteer, sign up on the Napa Porchfest Facebook page or contact , the festival's nonprofit sponsor.

Stop by the information table in front of the at Thursday's to sign up and get a list of performers.

Here's more about this year's event, from the Porchfest Facebook page maintained by downtown merchant Thea Witsil of :

An assortment of live music on many porches in Napa playing on the same day at the same time scattered throughout Downtown neighborhoods.

You pick and choose the ones you want to go hear.

You can bike, drive, walk, skip, roller skate, skate board, pedibike or fly from porch to porch much like you would cruise from studio to studio during the Open Studio events.

A detailed mapwith music bio's and schedule will be available online at our website at napaporchfest.org AND on this page. 

Napa's 2nd annual Porch Festival is a one day event showcasing Napa Musicians playing on some of the finest historic porches in town.

Mark your calendar, tell your friends, fill your water bottles and grab your beach chairs.

Come on out and roam from porch to porch to hear some really great music.

Bring your friends, bring your family and bring yourself down to the neighborhoods of Old Town for what promises to be a really great time!!!! 

Please leave your dogs, goats, chickens, rabbits and kitty cats at home.

Maps will be available online at napaporchfest.org and hard copies at WILDCAT, 1210 First Street, the Goodman LIbrary, 1219 First Street and at The Thursday night CHEFS MARKET on First St between 5-9pm in Napa!! 

Bringing music out of the garage and onto the porch!

The "Porchfest phenomenon" began in Ithaca, N.Y., according to an article in Making Music."

Similar festivals have sprung up in other Eastern and Midwestern cities, but Napa's — sparked by an article on the Somerville (Mass.) Patch website —is the first west of Cleveland.

For more about this year's free festival, please see our Napa Porchfest 2012 topic page.

For more than 200 photos and videos from the first Napa Porchfest, please see the Porchfest 2011 topic page.

Musicians and presenters: Are your events listed in our calendar? Don't miss the chance to reach thousands of Napa readers on our home page and through our daily newsletter: Upload your event listings at napa.patch.com/events/new. It’s a free service for the community.

Thea Witsil July 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Marvelous Louisa!! Thank you so much!! A beautiful spotlight capturing the true spirit of Porchfest!!
Louisa Hufstader July 12, 2012 at 10:31 PM
It could never happen without you, Thea! Thanks for the kind words and all your very hard work to make Porchfest come alive.
Juliana Inman July 13, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Louisa, thanks for pulling all of these links into one piece! It's so great to have you, Paul, Jamie, Thea, Mark, Rachael, Lori Ann, John, Nancy and Jay on the committee.
Louisa Hufstader July 13, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Thanks to you, too, Juli. And everyone in Napa should check page 63 of the brand-new issue of Napa Valley Life Magazine (with the Oreo Cows on the cover) for another Porchfest article by Evy Warshawski. Thank you, Evy and NVLM publisher Kari Ruel for showing your Porchfest love!
Marcy Nielsen-Berruezo July 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I CAN"T WAIT!!!! I missed it last year and vowed I'd not be traveling during the Porchfestivities this year. I have too many friends on and in front of those porches! Marcy Nielsen-Berruezo, Big Fan


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