Porchfest Host Tips
Thank you so much for being a part of our first-ever 731Day Porchfest! This wouldn't be possible without you.
If you're still wondering what to expect and how you can best prepare for the event, check out our handy list of tips below, but make sure to contact us if you have any questions.
Thanks again! We can't wait!
Keep an eye on the clock.
Each performer gets a 45-minute block that overlaps fifteen minutes with the next musician. (For example, Performer A will perform 7:00 P.M. to 7:45 P.M., and Performer B [just a few houses away] will perform 7:30 P.M. to 8:15 P.M.) Make it easy for your musician to begin performing no later than ten minutes after their start time and encourage them to take water breaks between songs; no worries if they finish a few minutes early, too. Just know that your home will be the life of the party for about an hour with the come and go, so be ready to entertain starting thirty minutes before the performance.
Pull up a chair.
While we are encouraging visitors to bring their own totable lawn chairs to move easily from house to house, any extra seating you're willing to offer is welcome! Gather up your own indoor chairs, lawn seats, and blankets for the grass; we suggest having spots for at least twenty folks.
There is a wide gamut of lighting changes between 5:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M., so make sure to think through how well lit the "stage" will be. No need to rent any fancy equipment, it just might be helpful (and cozy) to grab a few lamps and string lights to light up your porch.
Considering that July 31 is in the peak of summer, your guests will likely be sweating within five minutes of arriving. Pay attention to where the best shade in your yard is, and consider hooking up a handful of fans or passing out handheld ones to keep them cool.
Prep your pooch.
While guests are likely to bring their own pets on leashes to this event, decide what's best for you to do with yours, whether that's letting them roam as usual or keeping them inside during the performance. Between allergies, barking competitions, and all that pets can get into, it might be best for your pooch to be kept in a secure place.
Consider offering refreshments.
While it is not required of you to offer guests any food or drink (especially since we'll have a few food trucks parked throughout the neighborhood), refreshments always make events more fun and hospitable. Consider affordable and low maintenance options, and know that we'll be providing you with bottled water. It's up to you whether you choose to serve alcohol, but know that all responsibilities fall on the host for checking IDs and limiting guests' consumption to the premises, and because this event should be "family-friendly," it might be wisest to pass on booze.
Each performer is responsible for providing and setting up their own equipment (we ask them to be at your home an hour before performing to prepare), but do your best to help them out as necessary. Most musicians will be performing acoustically, so try to set up your yard for the best acoustics. Not sure what that would be? Ask your musician; they know this stuff best.
Decide whether you're willing to offer your restroom.
It's up to you whether you're willing to open your home to those in need of a bathroom break (other than the musicians—they deserve it!), but please let us know ahead of time so that we can communicate so on our printed maps.
Keep it clean.
As we're expecting you to be pretty pooped by the end of the event, we encourage you to recruit some friends to help with the clean-up. Also keep in mind that whether you're serving refreshments or guests are bringing food from a nearby food truck, you may want to set out a few large trashcans to prevent your yard from getting littered.
Prepare for rain.
If Jackson is a monsoon on 731Day, no worries; we will cancel Porchfest. But if it's simply some threats of sprinkles throughout the day, the show will go on! It's best to find covered areas anyway for shade, but consider having a handful of umbrellas available in case of a sudden downpour. We will also need confirmation from you as to whether you'd be willing and able to move your show inside your house in case of rain. If not, no worries; just email us ASAP so we can know for reference.
Make your musician feel at home.
As a thank-you to the time and talent our musicians have donated to make this event possible, make sure that they feel right at home from set-up to tear-down. Make sure you're communicating with your performer well before the event so you can ensure that you're on the same page; we are counting on you to be their primary contact since nearly a dozen homes will be a part of this event. Take the time to get to know them and their music so you can best the best host possible!
Spread the word!
While we've published our Facebook event, created a website, and hung up posters around town to advertise Porchfest, you're welcome to do everything you can to get friends at your house! We encourage inviting them via Facebook and printing flyers/door hangers to post throughout your specific neighborhood. (It's also polite to warn any neighbors who were unaware their street might be packed that day.)
Thanks so much for volunteering your time, home, and hospitality!