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About San Rafael PorchFest

San Rafael PorchFest is an annual music event held on porches throughout the historic Gerstle Park Neighborhood that brings San Rafael and neighboring communities together for a day of fun, music, laughter and community building. 

Video credit Lukas Schulz

Hosted in Gerstle Park, one of San Rafael's oldest and most cherished neighborhoods, PorchFest draws thousands of attendees and dozens of different musical acts. People stroll from porch to porch, mingle with old friends and new, and listen to local Marin County artists. Attendees can fuel up and cool down with gourmet food trucks or bring a picnic lunch to enjoy while the kids play at Gerstle Park. The musical team makes an effort to ensure a diverse set of artists play the event, including folk, Americana, gospel, soul, virtuosic instrumentalists, gypsy jazz, rock, psychedelic, indie, Latin, funk, family and teen bands. 


Inspired by the Napa Porchfest, long-time San Rafael resident, Tom Obletz spearheaded the movement to bring it to San Rafael. In mid-2018 he pulled together a crew of like-minded individuals, including the Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA), and in partnership with the City of San Rafael the inaugural San Rafael PorchFest was launched in September 2018. The community was buzzing with excitement and pride and decided to make it an annual event. Today, the GPNA takes the lead on organizing the official City of San Rafael-sponsored event, with a ton of community involvement from people in Gerstle Park and throughout San Rafael. 


Originally conceived in Ithaca, NY, in 2007, PorchFest is a nationwide phenomenon. An all-volunteer, family-friendly, free event brings communities together to celebrate music and creativity. There are more than 60 other PorchFests in the U.S. and Canada.

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San Rafael PorchFest Founder Tom Obletz, right and Mayor Gary Phillips, left
Mayor Kate Colin, right and
GPNA President Gina Silvestri, left
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