BINGHAMTON PORCHFEST 5
SUN. AUGUST 25, 2019
SIGNUPS OPEN THROUGH JULY 15
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS PORCHFEST?
Binghamton Porchfest is a completely free, completely volunteer-driven music festival that takes place the last Sunday of every August throughout the Abel Bennett Historic Tract neighborhood in the heart of Binghamton's West Side. Dozens of neighborhood residents offer up their porches (and stoops, and driveways, and yards) as impromptu stages, on which hundreds of musicians spend an afternoon playing all assortment of tunes and dirges for passersby. People dance. Kids hawk lemonade. Neighbors set up garage sales. It's a real hoot.
The residents of Ithaca, NY founded the very first Porchfest in 2007, and the model has since been independently adapted by hundreds of other towns and cities throughout North America. If you think Binghamton can party, be sure to head north an hour and check out the OG festival on September 22!
WHEN DOES IT TAKE PLACE?
The fifth annual (!!!) Binghamton Porchfest is scheduled for Sunday, August 25, 2019, from noon to 7pm.
WHERE DOES BINGHAMTON PORCHFEST TAKE PLACE?
Binghamton Porchfest takes place on residential porches throughout the historic Abel Bennett Historic Tract in the heart of Binghamton’s West Side neighborhood. Our footprint is defined by the rough borders of Seminary/College to the north, Chestnut to the east, Riverside to the south, and Rotary to the west. Map/schedule coming in early August.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Interested performers and hosts can sign up through July 15 at binghamtonporchfest.com. Host/performer guidelines are included in the signup form. If you’re interested in volunteering or you have an idea that would be a great addition to the festival, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAN I SPONSOR?
We sure hope so! Binghamton Porchfest is a completely volunteer-driven event, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost a whole load of money to produce. As the festival grows, so do our costs: porta-johns, programs, insurance, security, shuttle service, etc. If you’re interested in offering financial support to the cause, we’d love to talk! Reach out to email@example.com for more info.
I FREAKING LOVE THIS IDEA AND I DON’T OWN A BUSINESS THAT CAN SPONSOR BUT I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE A DONATION!
We freaking love you! Donations to our host organization, the Gorgeous Washington Street Association, are greatly appreciated. GWSA is a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) organization responsible for producing Binghamton Porchfest, promoting the monthly First Friday Art Walks, and coordinating local beautification efforts. If you want to keep free stuff free, we need your help! Donations can be made through gorgeouswashington.com.
WHERE CAN I FIND A SCHEDULE/MAP?
We’ll be releasing a performance schedule and festival map in early August. Keep an eye on our facebook page for updates. Festival programs will be available digitally and in paper form at local businesses the week leading up to the festival, as well as during Porchfest at all participating porches. Mobile schedule sponsored by our friends at baBing.
WHO'S ABEL BENNETT?
Abel Bennett was Binghamton's first mayor, a banker, and the owner of the Bennett Hotel in downtown Binghamton. In the latter part of his life, he parceled his farmland into what has become much of the West Side neighborhood.
IS THIS A FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT?
It sure is! Bring your kids, bring your in-laws! Leave Uncle Steve home. He knows why.
IS IT DOG FRIENDLY?
Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to join in on the festivities! Please pick up their poop and be mindful of crowds.
HOW WALKABLE IS THE ROUTE?
For the most part it's pretty traversable, less than ten minutes from corner to corner. Folks in wheelchairs should note there is a slight incline to the neighborhood.
WHERE DO I PARK?
There is street parking throughout the majority of the festival footprint, however it usually fills up quickly and there will be an influx of pedestrians during Porchfest, so we suggest arriving early in the day and staying for the duration if you're planning to park on the street. Free parking is available in Recreation Park, accessible from both Beethoven St. and Laurel Ave. If you don’t mind a bit of a walk, we request that able-bodied attendees avoid parking in the festival epicenter so that parking will be available for performers and those with accessibility issues.
WILL THERE BE A SHUTTLE?
Finally! We are excited to announce that new for 2019, we’ll have a shuttle weaving through the neighborhood all day! More info as we get closer to August.
WILL STREETS BE CLOSED?
Only where necessary for crowd safety. We won't be sure where to plan for pedestrian congestion until host signups are over, but we're tentatively planning on closing down stretches of Bennett, Chestnut, College, Seminary, and Johnson. Crossing guards and barricades will be stationed as needed, and we'll release a map in early August.
WILL THERE BE VENDORS?
There is no official vending at Binghamton Porchfest, with the exception of festival merch booths (locations TBA). Porchfest is meant to maintain a block party atmosphere, and we feel that a structured vending environment gets in the way of what the day is all about (although we'd be tickled pink if you bought a t-shirt). Hosts and neighborhood homeowners are welcome to invite craft vendors, non-profit tabling, and properly licensed food trucks to set up in their yards, so long as the entire setup remains on private property. No vending on sidewalks or streets, or anywhere without the express consent of the homeowner. Tell us what you're planning by August 1 and we'll happily include it in the festival program! If you're making money off of Porchfest, we ask that you make a donation at your discretion to the Gorgeous Washington Street Association.
CAN MY KID SET UP A LEMONADE STAND?
We'll be first in line! Any and all neighborhood kids are strongly encouraged to set up lemonade stands. This is the true spirit of Porchfest, and we're really enthusiastic about lemonade.
CAN MY NON-PROFIT TABLE AT PORCHFEST?
If you're on private property with the permission of the homeowner, have at it. There is no official vending village at Binghamton Porchfest, so it is up to you to arrange a place to table. Ask around your organization to find out who's got a yard in the neighborhood. Please no politickin'. Non-partisan voter registration is totally cool, though.
WHERE CAN I GET MY DRANK ON?
We do this thing on a Sunday and you still don't get the hint, huh? Alcohol consumption is only allowed on private property, at the discretion of each individual homeowner. Open container laws are in full effect, and drinking on the sidewalk or in the street will get you ticketed. Underage drinking will not be tolerated, public intoxication is prohibited, and violators are subject to arrest and public ridicule. Please remember, this is a family event. There is no alcohol vending at Binghamton Porchfest, however if you're looking to get a quick cuppa, here’s a few neighborhood bars to wet your whistle at: Abel's Pub (65 Rotary), The Beef (62 Leroy), The Belmar (95 Main), Callahan's (190 Main), and Cyber Cafe West (176 Main).
WHERE CAN I GRAB A BITE TO EAT?
Porchfest is all about the block party atmosphere- we do not have official vendors and encourage attendees to pack a picnic. If you’re looking for something substantial, there’s a few great eateries in and around the neighborhood. In addition to the bars listed above, we suggest checking out: Café on Seminary (46 Seminary), Nomikui Ramen (21 Main), Paul & Sons Pizza (67 Leroy), Peterson’s Tavern (11 Main), Pizza Nias (65 Rotary), and Thai Time (96 Front). There are also a handful of fast food options available on Main Street.
WHAT IF IT RAINS?
Why does everybody always insist on asking this? Porchfest is a rain or shine event, but even rain or shine events have their limitations. We've been lucky so far. In past years, we've planned on a rain date for the following week, but by planned, we mean "if we ever had to put together a rain date for this it would be a big, bad disaster." So this year, we're instead planning on worst case scenario rain locations, and by planning, we mean "for real this time but we're not going to tell you about it unless we need to and we won't need to because it's not going to rain so stop saying that dirty word."
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
We suggest a folding chair or blanket, a bicycle or unicycle, sunscreen, sensible shoes, a cooler full of picnic supplies and refreshing beverages (no glass), some cash for tipping, bubbles, fanny-packs, outrageous costumes, and a healthy dose of wanderlust. Please treat the neighborhood with respect and take out what you bring in.
CAN I BUY SOME SWEET SWAG?
Yes! Traditionally, our merch offerings have been live-printed shirts, coozies, and stickers, and we’re hoping to step that up a bit this year. Proceeds benefit the festival. Merch booth locations TBA.
WHAT IF I NEED TO PEE?
There will be porta-johns scattered throughout the neighborhood, and we’ll note locations on maps and programs. Running-water facilities are located at participating businesses and at Recreation Park.
CAN I SPIN SICK NASTY BEATS?
Porchfest is all about live music, so while we love all our DJ friends, Binghamton Porchfest is not the right outlet for your talents.
THIS SOUNDS EXHAUSTING, BUT NOT EXHAUSTING ENOUGH. CAN I WAKE UP REAL EARLY IN THE MORNING AND PARTICIPATE IN A FOOTRACE?
Yes! Our friends at the Empire Road Race Series are back at it this year with the Porchfest 10K and Harper’s 2-Person Relay. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to the Harper Stantz Memorial Scholarship. Registration and more info at errs.rocks.
GET OFF MY LAWN!
We encourage the collaborative efforts of the whole neighborhood to make Binghamton Porchfest happen, but we understand that not everybody is into all this merrymaking and carrying on. It’s your neighborhood, too: if you live within the footprint of Binghamton Porchfest and have concerns about the festival, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll do our best to work with you to create solutions that keep everybody happy.
WHO RUNS THIS?
Binghamton Porchfest is organized by the Gorgeous Washington Street Association, a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) organization that is also responsible for promoting the monthly First Friday Art Walks and coordinating local beautification efforts.
IS THERE A HASHTAG?
Use #binghamtonporchfest and #westsideisthefestside on all your instatweets and facegrams!
ARE YOU SERIOUSLY PLANNING ON GIVING A BUNCH OF KAZOOS TO KIDS SO THEY CAN ROAM AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD MAKING NOISE WHILE I'M TRYING TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC?
You bet your sweet bippy we are.
YOU DIDN’T ANSWER MY QUESTION.
Drop us a line at email@example.com with any other questions you’ve got!
Website by Paul Koanui. Not only is he a great banjo player, he knows all about gigabytes and interverses.