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100 bands play on despite rain at Arlington's first Porchfest

ONE EXPERIENCE: Facts & opinion: A slice of what I heard;  how about you?

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Gin Daisy at 2016 PorchfestProtected on the porch, Gin Daisy performs at 2016 Porchfest.

Rain drops began to tap my windshield as I drove on Broadway near Together in Motion, and I saw musicians taking chairs indoors just before 1 p.m. Saturday, June 11. Uh-oh. Would Arlington's first Porchfest be rained out?

Nope. You couldn't douse the spirits of more than 100 musicians throughout East Arlington in a free community event fully supported by the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Indoors, the Elderly Brothers (the local version), performing what one member said is its third swan song, slid from Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" to Buffett's "Margaritaville" to the Stones' "Dead Flowers." On a table next to them were an assortment of instruments, and the audience was invited to use them.

Showers turned heavy and then let up by 2:30 p.m. Leaden skies were the only threat after that, as hundreds of game participants enjoyed the wide variety of musical messages in venues that were mostly porches but expanded the definition of what community stages can be.

The cool temperatures likely had a benefit: Those who did not want to hear strident rock could keep their windows closed.

That may have included the Cleveland Street neighbors of the 27 Club Band, who agreed to an audience request, "Free Bird," originally by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rock licks chased the rain drops.

Down at 30 Cleveland, a young boy scampered among those under a bevy of umbrellas, handing out cards for Gin Daisy, twanging out Bluegrass harmonies on the porch.

Porchfest logo, 2016

Around the corner, on the wide porch at Mass. Ave. and Trowbridge, Jamie Martin fought the rain for passersby, strumming out Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer." Relaxing with her were a dog, a woman and a little girl at play.

The audience: anyone who walked or biked by, reminding all that Porchfest was an event friendly to those on foot and on two wheels.

At 30 Marathon, the Undercovers, led by Stanley Pollock of Arlington, drew from their classic-rock collection with "Walking the Dog" (Rufus Thomas) and "Love option No. 9," the Leiber and Stoller hit recorded first by the Coasters in 1959.

As I walked away, I could hear: "Don't want your looooove, any more ...." It was "Cathy's Clown." It seemed the rain had stopped, and I had finally heard a sing by the Everly Brothers. It sounded young again.

Over at the Center for the Arts, Michael Mahin and Sarah Buyer were making the best of the day as The Other Door gave tribute to Pink Floyd's past.

The organization of the entire event was marvelous, given all of the circumstances, and reflected an energy I hope Arlington does not lose, as the Center seeks a new home -- and raises money to support that effort.

Donate to Arlington Center for the Arts >>

Yes, the sun came out bright and warm Sunday, June 12. Perhaps it's a sign.

Give feedback about Porchfest here >> 

Leave your email and have a chance at $1,250 raffle prize. Your feedback helps ACA demonstrate the event's impact to future sponsors.

The foregoing was a slice of my experience. What was yours? Email your comments here for publication. Thank you. 

PUBLISHED EARLIER: You've heard of Porchfest -- the outdoor neighborhood get-together via music that has played in Somerville since 2011. Now Arlington had its own version.

Jazz, soul, folk, indie rock, pop, psychedelic, classical and more -- become part of a musical extravaganza that Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m., for Arlington’s first Porchfest.

A veritable kaleidoscope of local musical talent and flavor, Porchfest grass-roots music festival featuring 100-plus bands performing on East Arlington porches. Visitors walked and biked around town to enjoy this cornucopia of amazing live music, which the Center for the Arts hopes will be an annual event.

Presented by the Center for the Arts and co-produced by Linda Shoemaker, ACA executive director, town resident and musician, Arlington Porchfest was further made possible by a team of volunteers who dedicated their considerable talents and efforts to bring this year’s event to musical life.

From recruiting bands and porches to creating an online schedule and map to designing marketing and branding materials, this team of Arlington residents, musicians and creative minds helped to honor the grass-roots nature of this community-minded music festival.

A printable map and online schedule, available on the Arlington Porchfest website, will allow visitors to see when and where bands are performing around town on June 11.
In the event of rain or inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Sunday, June 12.

For more info about this year’s event, including the event map and a complete list of performers, visit www.arlingtonporchfest.orgBands were assigned to specific porches as shown on a map at the Arlington Porchfest websiteYou may also download the map here >>

The Arlington Center for the Arts is a community arts center devoted to the mission of "transforming lives and building community through the arts." To learn more, visit our website at

Raffle details

Arlington Porchfest has a raffle with more than $1,250 in prizes donated by local businesses.

Enter the raffle by filling out a feedback form either paper or online. Details here >> 

Thanks to these local businesses for generously donating prizes:

13FORESTRistorante OlivioDerby Farm Flowers & Gardens,Capitol Theatre & CreameryPlay Time Inc.Arlington Center for the ArtsCommon Ground ArlingtonDrumConnectionFusion Taste,Zhen Ren Chuan Martial ArtsArtbeat Your Creativity Store,Morningside Music StudioBrickstone Cafe/pizzeria ArlintonThe Artful Heart GalleryPeter CiccoThe Computer CafeLuv and Other Gifts,Rebecca SacksSweet ChiliSomething Sweet Without WheatFitness First ArlingtonMagic Dragon Comics.

This announcement was published Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, and updated June 12, to include fact and opinion. 

YOUR VIEW: Opinions: Murals politics, Town Day, Medford St., AFD, ACMi, poetry, Mugar, Alewife

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