The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The largest free music festival ever in Akron is coming your way on Saturday, June 8 from 12-8 p.m. Don’t miss it.
The Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival is organized by the Highland Square Neighborhood Association, a non-profit organization that means to celebrate the history, arts and self-described "eclectic" vibe of the Highland Square neighborhood in Akron, Ohio.
The event does not conflict with the association's annual Art in the Square, which will be held in August. This is a second neighborhood day, but one that is taking a wonderful turn, allowing for vendors to hawk merchandise without rental fees and performers to have protection from the weather by playing under covered roofs. The venue even more offers for more bands to participate by taking the festival to a much larger geographical area. That’s a ingenious move.
More than 80 bands, ensembles, choirs, solo musicians and the like will appear on porches throughout a 10-block area within the footprint of the Highland Square area.
Bands are scheduled every hour beginning at noon. The variety of music that will be available is seemingly endless – rock and roll, blues, reggae, gypsy, country, blues, psychedelic and still more. A complete list of performers is available online.
The festival also provides all kinds of other good things – a strong sense of neighborhood, a chance for local talent (a lot from within the neighborhood itself) to make its presence known, an opportunity for artists to set out their pieces and hopefully reap some financial reward for their creative efforts, and, maybe more than all else, provide a fun-filled entertaining day at the beginning of summer.
It’s an awesome concept, and it's bound to be successful.
Even neighborhood folks who want to jump in on the activity and make a little money are encouraged to hold a yard sale, since so many people will be walking through the streets to see the constant stream of performers. The association even prompts people who want to make food to sell to do so, but to keep the number of meals to be sold to less than 115 to avoid having to apply and pay for a permit from the city. All they have to is print out a form on the organization’s website saying that they are abiding within the guidelines – and as a notice to customers who may find the food sellers running out of stuff.
Artists, food vendors and shops around the Square will be giving away free stuff all day on June 8, including food, drinks, artwork and more. To get your share of the free stuff, you need your Square Cards. Five Square Cards ($20) are good for a free item of your choice. Buy 10 Square Card coupons and receive a free "vintage" Art in the Square t-shirt (they are also for sale).
Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival will be held from 12-8 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 in the Highland Square area. For information, visit porchrokr.com. Admission is free.