The Story of the Oakhurst Porchfest
Years ago in Ithaca, New York, Lesley Greene and Gretchen Hildreth had an idea: What if we had an afternoon when porches all over the neighborhood became stages and everyone just meandered from yard to yard, listening, hanging out, and connecting/reconnecting with their neighbors?
Porchfest, the ultimate grassroots music festival, was born. 100% resident owned and operated, it’s been going and growing every year since. And in that time, other neighborhoods all around the country have taken the model and run with it. Including the Oakhurst neighborhood in Decatur, Georgia, which launched its own Porchfest in October, 2015.
The success that materialized that year — more than 130 performances in four hours — took us all by surprise and culminated in what Georgia's music tourism bureau called "very likely the most diverse lineup of any festival" in the state.
Until 2016, that is, when we bested that effort with 185 performances over six hours. And then again in 2017 with 220 all in. And so on and so on.
And now, on Saturday, October 14, 2023 from Noon to 7pm, we'll do it all again. And like previous years, the more folks who take ownership of it, the better it will showcase the best of what Oakhurst can be.
You can do this as a porch host (make sure your porch is within the festival boundaries). Or as a performer (anyone’s welcome, wherever you hail from). Or as a volunteer to help out. Or simply as a neighbor or visitor wandering about and enjoying the fun.
Hot Pants, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2015.
Carolina Stomp, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2015.
Thankful Baptist Gospel Choir, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2016.
Nine Years Apart, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2015.
Spoons, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2015.
Ol' Matt Donald's Farm, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2016.
Necy Ivory, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2016.
Band of Desperate Men, Oakhurst Porchfest, 2015.
Note: There are a lot of Porchfest photos that get passed our way by various folks. If any photo on this site deserves an attribution we're unaware of, please let us know here and we'll get it added. Thanks.