A unique local tradition is grabbing attention and enticing visitors to Ithaca's Fall Creek neighborhood. Porchfest puts musical talent on display. Tamara Lindstrom tells us how the afternoon celebration has grown.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Ithaca musician Diwas Gurung has played venues large and small around the world. But this weekend will bring a different kind of show.
"It's a really open atmosphere," Gurung said. "A lot of old friends and a lot of people you've never seen before like to come up and talk afterwards. It's very nice."
This is his second year performing at Porchfest, an annual Fall Creek tradition that takes talent to the front door and brings artists and fans together.
"There's a lot of festivals, but there's always sort of a divide between the performers and the people watching. But at Porchfest, the really nice thing is everybody's on the same playing field so there's less intimidation," Gurung said." People come up and talk to you and vice versa."
"It's a celebration of music in our community," said Andy Adelewitz, one of three Porchfest organizers. "And it's not just another concert, it's your neighbors playing music. It's people you know in a lot of cases, people just like you playing on their porches down the block from your house. It's really exciting in that way to celebrate the creative community we have in this neighborhood and in this town."
Everything from classical music to rockabilly, rap and sounds from around the world will drift through the streets, drawing a roaming audience of all ages.
"You'll see the kids out and dancing and really getting to take in a lot of music that a lot of people can't or won't go out to bars to see bands and things like that," Adelewitz said. "But Porchfest is a chance to just walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon and take in a lot of great music."
The neighborhood event that started with just 20 performers in 2007 has now grown to more than 130, attracting visitors from far and wide.
"This year we've gotten emails from people coming from way out of town. Coming from New Jersey, coming from Ontario, all over the place to come see our Porchfest which is mind boggling," Adelewitz said.
And with as many possible stages as there are homes in the neighborhood, there's plenty of performance space to go around.
"The best thing is you have enough time to set up and break down," Gurung said. "It's not like a stage show where you have ten minutes to set up and everything's a rush."
Meaning time for even the performers to sit back and enjoy the music.
Porchfest is free and runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. You can find a map and full schedule atwww.porchfest.org.