As the first bands took the stages at PorchFest OBKY, the skies opened and rain poured down. However, for those that had come to see specific bands playing at the music festival, many swayed along to the music, seemingly unaware.
PorchFest co-founder Tamarra Miller said that loyal followers of the chosen bands were there — and are there — rain or shine.
“They are used to festival weather — like Bonnaroo, Forecastle, ROMP,” Miller said.
Tim and Kara Allen hosted the Wendell Foster stage, dedicated to the PorchFest 2019 designated nonprofit, and Kara said that all three bands that played on their porch did “a phenomenal job.” She said that even though the weather did not cooperate for the first band, that their followers stayed and listened while getting soaked.
Rain boots were a popular choice of footwear and many carried closed umbrellas in case the weather took a turn for the worse.
By early evening, the rain had stopped and the crowd quadrupled, according to Miller, who, along with local law enforcement working the event, estimated to have more than doubled the crowd from last year — to around 5,000.
Homeowner Lori Scholl, who hosted bands both years, agreed that the listeners that came during the rain were there for the duration. She said that during the heaviest rain, she listened from inside her home, but she later came out and visited other homes to hear the various genres playing for the evening.
The food trucks had a steady flow of customers, but none of the lines were frustratingly long, something organizers planned when doubling the number of trucks for the 2019 event.
Kara Allen said that all listeners were extremely respectful of their property, something that PorchFest organizers Andy Brasher and Tamarra Miller asked attendees on their social media sites to consider with the muddy conditions.
“What an incredible event,” said Wendell Foster’s Vice President of Development and Community Education. “What started with a thunderstorm, ended with a thunder of music, laughter, strolling families and the feeling that you were part of something really special right here in Owensboro. Wendell Foster is so grateful to partner with PorchFest and everyone that worked so hard to make it happen.”
As the music continued at the Independence Bank stage, and the crowds remained after the 10 p.m. end time, Miller said that next year, more volunteers will be needed to help with band transportation and stage take-down.
“The community’s support of local bands and live music is amazing,” Miller said. “I am overwhelmed with the generosity of people and how well they kept the areas clean. It’s been awesome.”