Fredericksburg PorchFest is an annual music festival sponsored by RappArts that celebrates the remarkable musical talent in the central Rappahannock River region. On August 18, 2018, RappArts launched the first Fredericksburg PorchFest in the 800 and 900 blocks of Marye Street. Twelve different musical groups and individuals of diverse musical genres played on 11 porches throughout the course of the day. Building on the success of the first PorchFest on August 17th, 2019, despite the intense summer heat, over 1100 people turned out for Fredericksburg PorchFest 2019 to listen to 14 musical groups involving 39 musicians play one-hour concerts on Charlotte Street porches.
RappArts’ objective for PorchFest is to feature a variety of musical groups who offer diverse one-hour concerts and a quality listening experience for the local community on one summer day. The 2019 artists included several young performers who especially appealed to the 20-somethings in the crowd: Cori Blanch-Soulegacy, Kings of the Wild Things, and the more seasoned The McTell Brothers. Some of the veteran performers included folk singers, Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy; the mellow jazz of John and Mary Vreeland; the original songs of Karen Jonas; and the guitar playing of Tony Fauntleroy.
The day’s line-up also offered a variety of musical genres. Belles and Beaux, an English handbell group opened the day with their performance while, at the same time on different porches, Soulegacy delivered his acoustic soul music and Big Daddy Shag performed some of his acoustic rock original songs. Beatles fans showed up in force for The Acoustic Onion and bluegrass music fans enjoyed Hazel Run. The musical offerings also included performances by The Harry Wilson Jazz Quartet, Spanglish—a Latin American Band, and The Fairview Baptist Church Praise Team. There was something for everyone on the program!
The event is open, free of charge to all. Fredericksburg PorchFest provides a unique setting for music within the neighborhood and broadens support for the arts/music community from the public. One of the many enthusiastic comments heard from the attending musicians was that, with multiple one-hour concerts, performers also had the chance to hear, socialize, and interact with other musical groups throughout the day, something that is not always the case with working musicians.
Plans are in the works for Fredericksburg PorchFest 2020. If you would like to help us plan the event this year, please contact us.