Music is a pretty big deal in Oak Park, IL. You see it through the weekly summer concerts in Scoville Park, or the undying support for its three indie record stores, or the marching band Longfellow Elementary School parents hire to parade the kids to school on the first day (yes, really). But this year, my family thought we’d bring our love for music a little closer to home. Really, about as close as you can get.
We volunteered to be one of the first hosts of a new Oak Park musical tradition: Porch Fest. The premise is pretty simple. It’s a public concert where the band performs on the front porch of a local house. In our case, about 200 people showed up on our lawn and spilled into the street. The street was closed off by “borrowing” the orange barricade horses from the next block, which was having a block party the following day. In certain circles this would be referred to as guerrilla place-making.