Sixth Oswego ‘Porchfest’ celebrated local musicians – the Oswegonian
The sixth Oswego Porchfest took place on September 19, featuring 64 local bands and musicians performing on the porches of homes in the historic neighborhoods of Franklin Square Park and Montcalm Park.
Sponsored by local businesses such as Pathfinder Bank, DuFore’s Diamonds, and GJP Italian Eatery, Porchfest is a free event that lasts from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., with several performances simultaneously in the west end of the city. Musicians range from smooth jazz and blues to classic rock and pop covers, with at least eight acts performing simultaneously.
The Oswego Renaissance Association supported the creation of the event after Gerri Millar attended the Ithaca Porchfest and wished Oswego the same event. The Executive Director of the Oswego Renaissance Association, Paul Stewart, and his partner Steven Phillips supported the company and offered $ 1,500 in seed capital in 2015.
“We’re raising around $ 4 million for the event today,” Phillips said during a concert at 53 W Seneca St., with donations from local businesses and sponsors.
According to Phillips, this year’s festival attracted around 4,000 attendees and growing every year. Local food trucks were the only vendors, in addition to an official PorchFest booth selling t-shirts and handing out brochures. Buc Boosters, a nonprofit in the Oswego School District, sold drinks and food at two kiosks, one outside Montcalm Park and the other in Franklin Square Park. Cam’s Pizzeria had a kiosk outside Montcalm Park and Roberts Family Mobile BBQ had one in Franklin Square Park.
Many artists had performed in previous years, and others, like SUNY Oswego alumna Angela Russell, were trying out a new style.
“I played a few years ago, but with the Oswego Opera Company,” Russell said. “It’s the first time I’ve done a full set.
Russell has performed solo with a guitar, playing covers of Sam Smith and Ella Fitzgerald as well as songs that will be released on his upcoming EP.
Many SUNY Oswego students and teachers were in attendance, some like Professor Suzanne Beason, who hosted artists on her porch and performed in previous years.
“It’s just an amazing event and I can’t wait to experience it every year,” Beason said.
With Beason, Dawn Reidlinger highlighted the diversity of the attendees, from young children and college students to older residents of Oswego.
“I like that it’s a multigenerational thing,” Reidlinger said.
Reidlinger also supported the lack of commercialization, saying she liked the fact that it was just a beautiful event with no cramped vendors or cheap goods.
Porchfest is expected to continue next year without an official date other than a target date for the end of September. Interested musicians can apply on the Oswego Porchfest website or contact the Oswego Renaissance Association.
Jean Custodio | Oswegonian