Larchmere PorchFest kicks off free-music festival season

oldboy plays PorchFest. (Photo by Claire Goodfriend, Goodfriend Photography.)

The sixth annual Larchmere PorchFest, featuring 30 bands on 30 porches, is set for Saturday, June 21, 1–8 p.m. The event takes place in Cleveland’s Larchmere neighborhood, and is free, family-friendly and open to all.

Heights-based band and Porchfest veterans Oldboy will open the event at 1 p.m. This is Oldboy’s fourth year as part of the PorchFest lineup, and Michael Kinsella—Oldboy’s bassist, Heights resident, and local music advocate—is excited about the event’s growth.

“Cleveland is the perfect place to grow an independent, original music scene,” said Kinsella, who works with Cleveland Rocks, the Heights Music Hop and PorchFest toward the shared goal of breaking down the “silos” in the local music scene, to create a collaborative and inclusive environment for musicians.

The Heights community continues to support that kind of collaboration. FutureHeights, founding organizer of the Heights Music Hop, is sponsoring a porch as part of this year’s PorchFest, and Heights businesses are getting involved as well, challenging both shopping district borders and city boundaries.

The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights also plans to sponsor a porch, and thus extend its support of local music beyond the popular series of free concerts it launched earlier this year at its Lee Road shop. Dubbed The Music Spot, the series offers free music on the last Friday of each month, 7–9 p.m.

Looking ahead to fall, The Wine Spot will again host a stage as part of the Heights Music Hop, planned for Oct. 11.

Perennial PorchFest favorites include Filmstrip, Jah Messengers, and Fever, Fever. New bands in the lineup include Cellocentric, Nate Jones Band and These Knees.

Blues lovers can check out Woodson’s Blues Party, at 12113 Mt. Overlook Ave., with the Cleveland Blues Society, featuring Blues Chronicles, Dan “Mudfoot” Hubbs and the Blues Messengers, and The Vernon Jones Blues Cartel. PorchFest veteran Steev Inglish will also be performing Mississippi Delta Blues, just down the block.

Finale performances will be presented by reggae/world music artists Gato’s Gullah Gumbo at 6 p.m., and blues rock band Scarlet & the Harlots at 7 p.m. Multiple afterparties run 8–10 p.m. at Jezebels Bayou, Felice Urban Café and Academy Tavern.

Modeled after Ithaca, N.Y.’s popular PorchFest, the idea took shape in 2009 after Larchmere neighbors, who were talking about what was great about their neighborhood, decided to express that positive energy via a community event. Five months later, Larchmere Porchfest was born, and last September Porchfest gained official nonprofit status.

For more information, and the complete 2014 band lineup, visit

Patti Carlyle

Patti Carlyle is a member of the FutureHeights Board of Directors and PR czar for the 2014 Heights Music Hop.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 2:51 PM, 06.02.2014