112 musical acts to take part in N.D.G. event
Front stoops all over N.D.G. will come alive with the sound of music this weekend, as 112 acts perform at the fourth annual N.D.G. Porchfest.
The inclusive event accepts anyone who applies, on two simple conditions.
“If you have a porch in N.D.G. and you want to play, you can play,” said Porchfest founder Aurora Robinson. “As long as you make it in on time. We can only take so many bands. I think (112) is pretty generous.”
Robinson came up with the idea for the event after taking in porchfests in Boston, where she lived for four years. Upon returning to Montreal, she decided to start one in her neighbourhood.
The initial reaction was hesitant with a touch of confusion.
“The first year, I went to the N.D.G. Community Council with (the idea), and they didn’t get it,” she said. “To be fair, my husband didn’t even get it. But once we did the first one everyone was on board and lots of people came out of the woodwork and wanted to help. Now we get a lot of support from the N.D.G. Community Council and we have N.D.G. Arts Week helping put on a show.”
The key to Porchfest’s appeal is in the friendly neighbourhood feeling that spreads as people who might otherwise pass each other silently on the street begin playing and taking in music together on the steps of each other’s homes.
“You’re listening to your neighbours play music on their front porch and getting to know your community at the same time,” Robinson said.
“The bands love doing it. They like giving back to the community and discovering other musicians who live nearby; and they love being able to play for their neighbours and reveal a bit about their life and work.
“People who live in the neighbourhood love to discover that as well: ‘Oh, who knew my neighbour was a sax player?’ ”
Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., open-minded music fans can walk the streets of N.D.G., with their downloadable Porchfest map in hand, and take in a wide range of performances, beginning with the sultry soul sounds of opening show headliner Hanorah — who was a quarter-finalist on season 5 of hit Quebec reality show La Voix — Saturday at 11 a.m. at Girouard Park.
Hanorah, quarter-finalist on season 5 of La Voix, headlines this weekend’s N.D.G. Porchfest. She performs Saturday at 11 a.m. at Girouard Park.