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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Porchfest 2024

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Artwork by Kim Bogosian

TIR: Porchfest is back!   It will begin at 11 am on Saturday, 6/15.  This time around it’s bigger and there have been some changes.  First, let’s talk about how many more bands and musicians there are.  Where did the committee find all these musicians? What types of music do they play?

Matt Ackermann: First and foremost, I couldn't be more thrilled to have Porchfest back! November was such an awesome success with Porchfest 1, but we knew that we got really lucky with the weather. With that in mind, we sat down with the Borough Administrator, the Police Department, and the Head of Communications, Kim Bogosian, to begin looking at dates in the spring for a permanent home for Porchfest. We believe that the middle of June is perfect. 

Then the Porchfest team of Alex Britez, Eddie Narucki, and I started to discuss how we could make it an even bigger and better event. So, we decided to double Porchfest. (The Doublemint Twins were right when they said Double your pleasure, double your fun!). We were so fortunate to find 13 homeowners to donate their porches across town to host 27 bands. (Up from seven porches and 14 bands.) 

The array of music is eclectic and incredible and features different genres and different ages. But one thing is constant: Incredible musicians. We feature some acts from Porchfest 1 (that are back by popular demand) and some incredible new acts. Everything from classic rock and Latin music to alternative and punk. It is going to be an awesome day of music. Alex, Eddie and I were so pleasantly overwhelmed by the talent that submitted and we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone.

TIR: Tell us about the two simultaneous loops of porches and bands.  Why did the committee decide to make this change?

MA: The first Porchfest was such a great day and we really wanted to make this event bigger and better. With that in mind, we designed two loops - so music is playing on two porches simultaneously throughout the day. The schedule is loaded with so many great bands and it all winds toward a three-band finale on Stuyvesant in the evening. It is going to be a great day. 

TIR: Why do you think Porchfest has been such a success?

MA: We are so fortunate to live in an incredible Borough with an amazing community. Since November, I have heard nothing but excitement about the event because we all love getting out and walking around Rutherford and hearing great music. We have such incredible people in this borough, from our Police and Fire Departments to the Recreation Department and the team at Borough Hall, who always want to create fun events for all Rutherfordians. That kind of spirit and community is what makes Porchfest so amazing. Specifically, I really can't thank Kim Bogosian enough for all that she has done to keep us organized and moving forward. I know that keeping artsy creatives organized can feel like herding cats at times, and Kim has been a great resource.

TIR: What are you most excited about for this upcoming Porchfest?

MA: I am such a music lover that I can't wait for the music. This year we have some areas we are calling "Acoustic Stoops," where smaller acoustic sets will be played. I think our goal was to make sure the music was inclusive for everyone. With inclusion as such a central theme, I thought about residents like my Dad and your parents, who might not want to walk the entire route. This year, we will have the Downtowner driving around to take folks from one loop to the other or back to their car that is parked near Lincoln Park. All in all, I know that parking and walking can be frustrating for everyone, so we wanted to make sure this was a great day that felt welcoming for all. 

Ooo, we are also pumped to have an amazing visual arts project as part of this year's event! Arts Committee Stars Laura Clossey and Jen Gonzalez have designed canvases that kids and families can color and paint at specific porches so at the end of the event the canvases will be assembled to create an amazing mosaic! 

To me, this event is all about the power of teamwork. Amazing music plus amazing details, will make this a great day for Rutherford.

TIR: What else would you like to share about this upcoming event?

MA: We have been fortunate this year to have so many incredible sponsors, specifically our event sponsor Bruno & Ferraro, who have enabled us to make Porchfest bigger and better without breaking the bank for the Borough. Doing this event less than a year after our first Porchfest was a big undertaking, but thanks to an amazing borough, an awesome community, terrific sponsors, and of course incredible homeowners and musicians, we can't wait for June 15! 

I am confident we are going to continue to grow this event annually. The Rutherford Arts Committee is dedicated to promoting the arts and music in Rutherford. Eddie Narucki loves to say that we are here to create teams for all the talent that "doesn't have numbers on their backs." It is only appropriate that the day begins at 9 am at Lincoln Park with our Rutherford Rocks program featuring all of the amazing kids in town. 

Rutherford is an incredible place to live, and the Arts Committee is here to shine a spotlight on talent from 6 to 60. I'm really lucky because I get to play a small role in keeping that momentum rolling.

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