JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2015) – The Ritz Theatre and Museum and SMG have partnered with Jacksonville PorchFest to provide the headline act for the popular music festival’s second-annual event this November. New Orleans American funk rock band “Flow Tribe” will headline PorchFest, to be held November 7.
Organized by the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council, Inc. (SPAR), this is the second year for the free festival where local musicians perform on the porches of historic Springfield homes. The inaugural event in 2014 was a huge success, with more than 4,000 attendees filling the streets of historic Springfield in the first-of-its-kind event for Jacksonville.
“This partnership is a natural fit, as both SPAR and the Ritz share a mission of preserving arts and culture in historic districts,” said Liz McDonald, director of the Ritz Theatre and Museum. “Like Springfield, LaVilla, home of the Ritz Theatre and Museum, is one of Jacksonville’s most historic neighborhoods. It was long known as ‘The Harlem of the South’ because of the amazing entertainers who regularly performed there.”
Founded in 2004 and known for its high-energy show, Flow Tribe was featured in 2010 on MTV’s The Real World: New Orleans. The band has played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival five years running, including the Acura Main Stage in 2014 and 2015. The band brings a traveling street parade with them to every concert. Its six seasoned performers have shared the stage with performers such as Trombone Shorty, Juvenile and Bill Summers.
“We are beyond excited and thankful for the Ritz and SMG’s generosity and support in bringing such well-known regional talent to PorchFest this year,” said Christina Parrish, executive director of SPAR and a founder of PorchFest. “In addition to Flow Tribe’s performance on the evening of November 7, we’ll also have 20 local bands playing on Springfield’s beautiful porches throughout the afternoon. It’s going to be another amazing festival.”
To learn more about Jacksonville PorchFest 2015, visit: www.jacksonvilleporchfest.org.
To learn more about Flow Tribe, visit: www.flowtribe.com.
For more information, call the Ritz at 904-807-2010 or visit: www.ritzjacksonville.com and www.jaxevents.com to see upcoming shows. The Ritz Theatre and Museum is located in downtown Jacksonville at 829 North Davis Street.
About the Ritz Theatre and Museum
The Ritz Theatre and Museum, located in Jacksonville’s historic African American community of La Villa, celebrating the artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora with museum exhibits, concerts, films, lectures, dance and dramatic arts
Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council, Inc. (“SPAR”) has facilitated positive change in Jacksonville’s Springfield Historic District since 1974. SPAR is organized around five important themes: preservation; quality of life; commercial revitalization; civic advocacy; and connecting. Learn more about SPAR at www.sparcouncil.org
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Solider Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com
Music festival to be held on front porches of Jacksonville’s oldest neighborhood, historic Springfield
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville will soon be home to one of the most popular events sweeping the country. Porchfest, a music festival held on front porches, will take place November 8, 2014, in Jacksonville’s oldest neighborhood, historic Springfield.
“Porchfest isn’t simply a music festival,” said organizer Elizabeth Augustus. “It’s a celebration of front-porch living and all that the lifestyle embodies.”
The family-friendly free event will feature musicians from a wide variety of genres. Organizers are aiming for 20 performers to play on 20 porches throughout the historic district. Attendees will stroll from porch to porch and “camp out” on front lawns as they enjoy live, local talent.
“In their heyday, front porches were where the community gathered—they were the epicenter of neighborhood life,” said Christina Parrish, an event organizer and Springfield resident and business owner. “People would sit on the front porch instead of the backyard because they could see friends coming and going and say hello to their neighbors. The bonds of community were formed through that interaction.”
Organizers are seeking corporate sponsors and are busy lining up bands. In addition to heightened brand awareness, sponsors will associate their companies with the front porch lifestyle—friendly neighbors who know one another, whose kids play and grow up together, and who support each other in both good and bad times.
Front-porch nostalgia fuels a movement
Porchfests started in Ithaca, N.Y., and have spread from Florida to California. They are typically held in historic urban neighborhoods where front porches are common. The movement is part of the resurgence of traditionally styled neighborhoods, which are pedestrian friendly, feature a mix of commercial and residential buildings, and have closely situated houses with prominent front porches and back alleys for parking. A number of new neighborhoods—such as Seaside, Fla., Haile Plantation in Gainesville, Fla., I’On in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and Disney’s Celebration, outside Orlando—were modeled after historic neighborhoods like Springfield.
“Americans are tired of suburban sprawl and the lifestyle it’s created,” Augustus said. “They want to return to a time where they knew their neighbors and were surrounded by a true community.”
In addition to numerous beautiful front porches, Springfield has the strong community bonds and interaction that many Americans long for today. “Springfield provides a quintessential American small-town life, ironically situated next to downtown Jacksonville,” Parrish said.
Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR), a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated since 1974 to improving the quality of life in the Springfield historic district, will act as the sponsoring non-profit for the festival. Proceeds will benefit arts programming in the neighborhood.
Sponsors and volunteers should contact Elizabeth Augustus. Interested bands should contact Christina Parrish. For updates on the festival, like its Facebook page at facebook.com/jacksonvilleporchfest.