A Music Festival in Sanford – Meet the Women Behind Sanford Porchfest

An American flag on a porch that will be featured at Sanford PorchfestA music festival in Sanford, FL? We were thrilled to find out about Sanford Porchfest…

Historic Sanford is known for its beautiful architecture, which, along with the vast oaks and brick streets, create a sort of oasis in an otherwise busy area of Central Florida. Something about sitting on a porch with a cool drink in the afternoon listening to music conjures up vibes of an older Florida, transcending time for a moment, and I think that’s what people love so much about Sanford. Fortunately for us all, a group of Downtown Sanford neighbors are capturing this special phenomenon in a new event. Consider this your invitation to Sanford Porchfest, a grassroots music festival in Sanford, taking place in February 2018.

 

Sanford Porchfest, A Music Festival in Sanford FL, Coming February 2018

I had the pleasure of sitting down this Sunday with the founders of Porchfest, Kim Waters, Nancy Sepulveda, Shelly Allen, and Shana Gorondy, to discuss how the event came to be and where they hope it will go.

Sanford Porchfest Logo“The concept is ridiculously perfect for Sanford,” said Kim Waters. It’s true– we certainly have the right porches and plenty of local musical talent throughout Central Florida, but it took the right group of people at the right time to make the event a reality. All four women are Sanford residents with very different backgrounds and talents, united by the belief that Porchfest and Sanford are a match made in heaven.

1400 Porchfests take place all over the world each year, and the first one began in Ithaca, NY in 2007, though people have been having something like porchfests throughout history without knowing it. The idea is simple: neighbors book bands on their porches and invite other neighbors to hang out and listen to the music. Despite what seems to be a natural conclusion, like many new things, the idea of Sanford Porchfest faced pushback when the subject was first broached. That didn’t deter Nancy Sepulveda.

“Two years ago, I fielded the idea on social media, and some people said it could never happen,” she explained. “That’s when I started laying the groundwork by purchasing the domains and handles. I knew when we were ready, it would happen.”

The founders of Sanford Porchfest on a porch in the Sanford Historic District

A music festical in Sanford, FL? Why not, said these neighbors and created Sanford Porchfest!

A few short years later, Kim approached Shana Gorondy about the idea, who brought on Shelly Allen, and soon the team began to take shape. Sanford Porchfest is now a fully registered non-profit organization with a single goal: to bring people together in Sanford.

“Porchfest is created by residents, for residents,” Shelly explained. “This event is meant for mingling. We want people to get out here, meet new neighbors and adventure, whether on foot, bikes, or golf cart.”

A guitar on a porch that will be featured at Sanford PorchfestWhat to expect at Sanford Porchfest

Think of Sanford Porchfest as a one-day, neighborhood version of Bonnaroo– an outdoor music festival with a wide variety of musical talent performing on different stages.

The organizers plan to stagger the performance sets throughout the day, creating a “flowing day of music”. They hope to engage 5-8 porches in the historic district within a reasonable distance of Park on Park, which will serve as a familiar landmark to help attendees get around.

“We’d like to keep it small this year while we’re developing the event,” said Shana Gorondy. “Our focus is on promotion from within Sanford, and we definitely want to get the residents in the immediate area engaged and excited about being involved.”

A full set list and map of all of the participating porches will be made available on the Porchfest website well before the event, so attendees can strategize which porches to hit and in what order. Because the event is completely free to attend, the founders seek to fill the entertainment schedule with local musicians who are willing to donate their performances.

“We’d like to have artists who want to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Shelly said. “The entire event is about showcasing love for the community, and we’d like to connect with musicians who share that understanding.”A guitar on a porch that will be featured at Sanford Porchfest, the first music festival in Sanford FL.

The founders of Sanford Porchfest on porch swingSanford Porchfest is actively searching for porches, musicians, and sponsors to support this event. If you would like to be involved in bringing Porchfest to Sanford, visit their website for more information!

This music festival in Sanford is free and flexible, with no admission charge or pressure to make purchases– just like when you visit a friend’s house! Attendees are encouraged to “pack a picnic” with your family’s favorite snacks and beverages to enjoy as you listen to the music, and of course, you should always tip your musicians!

Personally, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the addition of Sanford Porchfest to our town’s line up of events. I think it has the perfect homegrown feeling we know and love from our most successful events, and it’s actually very exciting that this concept and execution is coming exclusively from the residents of Sanford, the people who live here and have a passion for showcasing the neighborhood. I love our small business-driven events, but it’s pretty cool to see neighbors creating and event just for fun! I can’t wait to see how this event grows with our town!

Stay tuned for additional details about this music festival in Sanford.Sanford Porchfest Wide Logo

Sanford Porchfest
11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday, February 24th 2018
Sanford Historic District

Sanford365 is not affiliated with Sanford Porchfest and was in no way compensated for this article; Sumalee is just a busy-body. If you would like for Sumalee to write about your next big event, reach out to Sumalee@Sanford365.com!

The founders of Porchfest, a music festival in Sanford FL on porch steps

Author: Sumalee Eaton

Sumalee is a single gal living, working, and playing in Historic Downtown Sanford. Growing up in the heart of the commercial district fed her passion for small town life, and today, Sumalee spends as much time exploring Sanford's possibilities as she does eating, drinking, working, and sleeping. She writes about her personal Sanford adventures on her blog, Sanford-Centric.

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