Porchfest : NDG Rocks and Strums

Po Lazarus. NDG Porch Fest. Photo Evelyn Richardson-Haughey Po Lazarus. NDG Porch Fest. Photo Evelyn Richardson-Haughey

With lilacs, tulips, daffodils, and trees blooming, NDG also has another spring crop: musical acts. Every May, Porchfest (Balconfete) takes over the patios and balconies of NDG for one weekend. Musicians, both soloists and bands, set up in front of homes and sometimes street corners and perform hour long sets. The audience wanders from makeshift stage to makeshift stage, enjoying both the music and the neighbourhood simultaneously.

Porch Fest 2016. Photo Rachel Levine

Porch Fest 2016. Photo Rachel Levine

Some performers are familiar from playing around the city. Other bands come out from their private jam sessions and appear for the first time ever. All donations collected during the event go to the Westhaven-Elmhurst Community Association that offers free programs for teens and young adults in NDG and Montreal.

Porch Fest 2016. Photo Rachel Levine

Porch Fest 2016. Photo Rachel Levine

Don’t know where to go? Well, pick at random, or perhaps try this route on Saturday. First check out the Opening Show in front of the NDG Food Depot (2146 Marlowe) with La Chasse Balcon. Maps, posters, t-shirts, and food are all available as the audience gets to hear Louisiana balcony jams and “trad” music. Another act to catch is the wonderfully gifted performer Sarah Segal-Lazar whose folk music goes from salty sea shanties to haunting ballads. She’ll be performing at 2218 Old Orchard at noon. Ramble on for the soul/blues act of Eleuthera and the Melrose Mob at 2201 Melorse at 1 p.m. 15-year-old Emmy Aronovitch will be singing her heart out at 2283 Wilson at 2 p.m. Let 3 p.m. be your hour of blues with The Brokenhearted at 6059 de Maisonneuve West, and close things out with Greg Halpin who is back from touring with his first solo album, Notes from a Bedroom at 1087 Girouard at 4 p.m.

Sunday also has an incredible lineup. Caribou Stew, Iguana on Fire, Mia Verko, the Comeau Family, Po Lazarus and many more are playing.Everyone should come to the closing show at 5 p.m., again at the NDG Food Depot (2146 Marlowe) with Takeyce-Ti and the Reggae Funkers at 5 p.m.

Maps and schedules for this year’s Porchfest on May 20 and 21 are HERE. Check out our interview with the organizers from last year HERE.

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