What is San Rafael PorchFest?
PorchFest is an annual event that brings San Rafael and neighboring communities together for a day of fun, music, laughter and community building.
Hosted in one of the oldest and most cherished San Rafael neighborhoods, Gerstle Park, PorchFest draws thousands of attendees to listen to dozens of different musical acts playing on porches throughout the neighborhood. People stroll from porch to porch enjoying each other's company and meeting new neighbors, all while listening 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 teams makes an effort to ensure a diverse set of artists play the event, including folk, Americana, singer-songwriter, soul, virtuosic instrumentalists, gypsy jazz, blues, Latino, funk, family and teen bands.
Inspired by the Napa Valley 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 San Rafael held its inaugural PorchFest in September 2018. The community was buzzing with excitement and pride and decided to make it an annual event. Today, the GPNA take the lead on hosting the event, with a ton of community involvement from people in Gerstle Park and all throughout San Rafael.
Originally conceived in Ithaca, NY, in 2007, PorchFest in 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.