Adelaide’s annual Porchland festival – a spin-off of backyard music series The Porch Sessions – has been a much-loved platform for local and interstate artists since 2015. This year founder Sharni Honor has looked further afield.
For its fourth innings, Porchland will feature US acts Kevin Morby (former bassist of folk-rock band Woods and ex-frontman of The Babies) and Waxahatchee (the solo project of singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield). They’ll headline a largely local line-up comprising Queensland’s Greta Stanley and Adelaide’s Delia Obst (more acts to be announced soon). It’s a big move for the local festival, which has a staunchly loyal following.
“It's grown to be this bloody beautiful beast, now with a capacity of 2000,” says Honor. “We have eight bands, 25 to 30 market stalls, and dogs can come too. We really wanted to grab this project by the horns and establish Porchland as a place for like-minded humans to experience something like nothing else that's happening right now in this lovely state.”
The festival is a collaboration between Honor and Sian Walden, a local music manager and live-music coordinator at Music SA. “She manages incredible bands, I put on shows, we like to eat tacos – it is a natural fit,” says Honor.
The festival will again be held at The Range, just outside of Kuitpo Forest. Honor moved the event from the Hills to the Fleurieu last year. A 10-minute drive from Willunga, the scenic location has the feeling of a remote countryside festival without the flight or eight-hour drive. “When I first [visited] … I pulled my van up on the grassy, pine-lined, ocean-view field at sundown … and had a moment of, ‘Heck, there needs to be a festival here’.”
For Honor and Walden it’s all about promoting musical discovery, something they aim for in all of their gigs. “We want to bring over incredible international and national acts, some that have never yet set foot [here], and introduce them to the most beautiful crowds … as well as showcase our own homegrown South Australian music.
“We see Porchland as a beautiful, hand-curated platform to bring together people that are really good at things. Musicians; makers; the foodie crew; the wine, beer and cider crew; amazing creatives that handcraft anything, from clay coffee mugs to cactus pots to their own surf labels or vintage vinyl. We are big believers in what people do here and see Porchland as a home for that.”
Honor hopes to see more independent festivals like Porchland popping up. “I believe there's been a huge shift in the live-music climate in the last five years. Our big music festivals are fading out and there's this surge of gorgeous tiny festivals on the rise. It's making people fall in love with music all over again, and I couldn't be happier about it.”
Porchland will be held at The Range on Saturday November 24 from 1pm. Tickets are $55 for the day and available online through Moshtix.