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Porchfest 2024: University and Town Come Together for Community Music Festival

Tue Apr 30, 2024

The third annual Princeton Porchfest brought together the University and local community on Saturday, April 27, to enjoy the talents of local musicians and singers. The free festival was presented by the Arts Council of Princeton with support from Princeton University.

”Each April, Porchfest is an opportunity for the campus and community to enjoy a wide range of great performances, hang out with friends, and to shop or grab a bite to eat and drink at local cafes and restaurants,” said Kristin Appelget, assistant vice president for community and regional affairs.

For Porchfest 2024, 15 neighbor-volunteered porches throughout town and at Maclean House on campus were transformed into intimate mini-stages. Audiences sat in lawn chairs and blankets enjoying the performances, as students and other members of the University community mingled with Princeton residents.

View from the stage looking at the crowd in the middle of the town.

The free music festival featured 15 venues around campus and town. The community event was presented by the Arts Council of Princeton with support from the University.

“I always enjoy seeing the variety of musical acts and catching up with neighbors from campus and community. We are grateful for the leadership and staff of the Arts Council who make this possible,” Appelget added.

“It’s a great chance to meet other people and see local performers,” agreed Porchfest attendee Paco Gonzalez, a first-year master’s student in the School of Public and International Affairs from Guadalajara, Mexico. “After the last week of classes, it’s the first chance to wind down.”

At the Maclean House stage, organized by the Princeton University Undergraduate Student Government, the Princeton University Band kicked off performances. The high-energy group set the tone for upbeat music, generating enthusiastic reactions to performers including the student a cappella groups the Wildcats and Roaring 20. Many attendees continued to circle back to this central gathering spot throughout the afternoon.

Visiting campus for the weekend to attend an alumni event, Frances Han, Class of 1995, found the a cappella singers particularly impressive. “It’s also nice to see the interaction with the community and opportunities for the performers,” she said.

Along Witherspoon Street, friends and families chatted before pausing to enjoy performances by classical, folk, blues and rock musicians in front of the Arts Council of Princeton.

In Palmer Square, music by The Johnny Woods Band prompted a father to swing his daughter in circles while another propped a child on his shoulders for a clear view of the performers.

“I’m enjoying the artists and weather. I’m also planning to listen to a guitarist later on Leigh Avenue,” said Princeton resident Sangita Karra.

The sunny, cool day closed with performances from metal, hip-hop, alternative and other musical groups that kept the crowds dancing and enjoying the event until early evening.

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  • Princeeton Band
    The Princeton University Band gets the crowd excited for Princeton Porchfest. 
Guitarist singing
Marina Mancoridis, Class of 2024, sings at Porchfest. The event featured student and local musical acts of all genres. Photo byMatthew Raspanti, Office of Communications
Two singers
The Wildcats a cappella group performs.Photo byMatthew Raspanti, Office of Communications
Bassist with glasses playing the bass.
The band Prisms performs in front of the Arts Council building.Photo byMatthew Raspanti, Office of Communications
Group of four performers
Members of the student rock group Plum after their set.Photo byMatthew Raspanti, Office of Communications
A man sitting on the ground while watching a performance.
Students, faculty, staff and local Princeton residents spent Saturday, April 27, enjoying Princeton Porchfest. Photo byMatthew Raspanti, Office of Communications