In Arts + Entertainment

Porch Sessions Brings A Mini Music Festival To Your Own Backyard

It's live music, minus all the bad bits.

Porch Sessions, the travelling backyard boutique festival, is the antithesis of a noisy pub gig, plagued by rowdy crowds, lock-out laws and general bad behaviour.

Adelaide local Sharni Honor conceived the concept on Sunday afternoon five years ago, jamming with friends on her porch. Her neighbours, enjoying the same idea with a bottle of wine across the road, dragged their bench over to Honor’s front lawn to join in.

Porch Sessions was born. Adelaide’s modern folk project, Timberwolf, was one of the acts to play in the first event, on Honor’s parent’s porch with 150 of their closest friends.

It’s bands such as Timberwolf that Honor believes shouldn’t be listened to, “squashed in a smelly room at the back of a pub.”

The travelling backyard boutique festival that connects not only music lovers but unites communities, soon gained momentum. The lure of the original concept was that it didn’t matter who was playing, as long as the event delivered a unique experience. Last year, the festival travelled across the country with three musicans – Tim Moore, Stu Larsen and Luke Thompson – and has expanded further.

“We first started with backyard shows but, of course, you can’t do this year-round because of the weather. So, we expanded into other experiences all over town and beyond – in forests, sheds and wineries. Tram Sessions, which I love, are small, between 20 to 50 people,” says Honor.

Porch Sessions has grown to include Porchland, Good Winter, On Tour, the Cellar Door Sessions, and the Road Trip Sessions, and the team recently won SA’s Best Event and Festival at the SA Music Awards. Hailey Calvert, All Our Exs Live In Texas, Julia Jackson and plenty of other artists have been involved, too.

The 2018 tour, on now, includes Stu Larsen with Natsuki Kurai, Tim Hart and Ryan Martin John.

“Every session was in a new setting. This became the magic of Porch Sessions, that every show had its own personality. Exclusivity and intimacy also were the secret recipe,” says Honor.

“The Porch crew bring everything. The bands, the bar, the wine, and the food. We string up bunting, drape fairy lights from the trees, sprawl Persian rugs and crochet blankets across the lawn.”

The Porch team fell in love with creating nice times and embrace any excuse to bring music to any venue that’s outside of the norm.

“Porch Sessions exposes artists in such an intimate environment that it leaves crowds silent and captivated by every note, truly appreciating the experience. We handpick and curate local, interstate and international talent, and we’re pretty strict with this.”

While the Porch concept is growing beyond the border, Adelaide will always be home for Honor.

“People are so quick to rag on Adelaide but given the opportunity, it’s the most loyal city. You’ve just got to give it a chance.”

We’re keen to continue flying to flag to make Adelaide better than it already is. There’s just too many beautiful porches and amazing locations in Adelaide.”

Porch Sessions brings a whole new way of experiencing music in South Australia. It brings people together and helps people share one of the simplest, yet most powerful things in life. Music.

There’s this sense of playfulness behind the Porch brand. It celebrates simplicity and reminds us that it’s the little things in life that matter – great friends, beautiful music, fresh air and good conversations. And these things are best when shared.

Sitting cross-legged on miss-matched rugs, there’s groups of friends chatting, couples kissing and parents smiling, holding the hands of their kids bopping to the music. With guests all sprawled out on the ground, there’s an undeniable sense of community and intimacy.

Published 08 January, 2018