In one image, here is why Porchfest is important


If you live in Somerville, you are most certainly are aware that Porchfest 2017 went down this past Saturday (May 13).

Few things are as community-minded as this annual tradition, where musicians take to their porches, decks, patios, driveways, and residence entranceways to play music for anyone who may wander on by. The participation seems to have risen to a new level in 2017, as countless stages sprang up across the city and our social media feeds were dominated all afternoon by photos and videos documenting the revelry.

Now, we don’t know the numbers — we don’t know how many bands played, how many people showed up, or how many porches became pop-up venues. We’ll save that data reveal for the Somerville Arts Council.


But what we do know is that the photo below, taken by The Secret Bureau of Art & Design’s Jenny Bergman, is why Porchfest rules.

It was taken during Carissa Johnson’s performance on Dimick Street, and features Bergman’s young daughter Britta watching the reigning Rock And Roll Rumble champ rocking out.

So much of our scene’s live music is hidden behind the quite-visible gates of age restrictions. And lot of it takes place long after kids like Britta go to sleep. While there are fantastic groups out there that enable young women to experience live music and encourage them to pick up a guitar or play drums or poke keyboards or scream and shout to their heart’s delight, sometimes the best way to empower youth is by eliminating barriers we so often see in live music and laying it all out right in front of them.


Britta had a front-row seat to one of the most buzzed-about musicians in Boston.

“It’s a family friendly, daytime event where I can expose my kids to music that we love,” Bergman says of Porchfest, adding that she tries to take her daughter to as many daytime shows as she can. “Boston definitely needs more all-ages spaces with early shows… I wish Britta could see more live music.”

For one afternoon, she was front and center to our city’s finest.

Britta wants to be @carissajohnsonmusic when she grows up. #porchfest #somerville #porchfest2017


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