Akron Updates Special Edition: PorchRokr 2020 Preview
Greetings Akronites! Welcome to the very first special edition of Akron Updates. Subscribers may see these emails pop into their inbox from time to time whenever there's a big event in Akron, but rest assured it's separate from the normal weekly Akron Updates newsletter. You'll be receiving that one tomorrow.
And what a big event PorchRokr 2020 is gearing up to be!
For those who don't know, Akron's yearly, porch-based music festival is the largest outdoor music event in the city, inviting Highland Square residents to lend their front stoops to more than 130 local bands and artists for a day of pleasant sounds, tasty food and community celebration.
This year's PorchRokr 2020 is scheduled to kick off on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with event managers scheduling acts to play Highland Square residences and businesses between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. This year's event returns with all the trappings of a standard PorchRokr, including food trucks and pop-up vendors on the Square.
Food and Vendors
The Rubber City is home to a surprisingly high density of food trucks, and PorchRokr tends to serve as a decent cross-section of the mobile eateries that Akron has to offer. Per the PorchRokr site, the following seven restaurants can be found vending around the square on Saturday, with their gear shifts set to park and windows open for guests:
- A Movable Feast
- Ohio’s Best Lemonade
- The Pierogi Lady
- Bake at 350 Bakery
- Park Patisserie
- Akron Coffee Roasters
- Billy’s Gourmet Concessions
Readers can also peruse the event's list of vendors to learn more about the different craftspeople who will be selling wares around Highland Square on Saturday.
Live Music Returns
As the title of the festival suggests, this will be the first PorchRokr since 2019, as the event was replaced by the stay-at-home livestream festival CouchRokr 2020 during the pandemic last year. Guests can expect high-energy, impassioned performances from artists who have had months to practice their instruments.
Also because of the wait, Highland Square Neighborhood Association member and PorchRokr organizer Katie Reed told Akron.com that she expects a higher turnout than most years. Water bottle refill stations and a mist tent will be available around the Square to help those extra attendees stay cool.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, 15,000 or more people are expected to attend this year's festivities.
"I think it’s going to be like the busiest PorchRokr we’ve ever had because of COVID and people being super thirsty to get out of the house,” PorchRokr coordinator and CouchRokr organizer Kenny Averiett said in an interview with WKSU. “To my surprise, Akron’s ready to party.”
Spotify users can get a taste for more than 80 of the bands playing by putting on this PorchRokr playlist assembled by WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz.
Below we have assembled a full schedule for each band playing during the event, with addresses and times listed for each artist performing. We've also included links to their personal website or places where you can stream their songs ahead of Saturday's fest. Rock on, Akron.
- Bewarewolves — Stage #17, 62 N. Highland Ave. Post-punk rock
- COOP and a Guitar — Stage #9, 147 Casterton Ave. Folk/Americana, Jazz, Rock
- Jo Rodriguez — Stage #7, 82 Casterton Ave. Folk/Americana, Singer Songwriter
- Lea Marra & The Dream Catchers — Stage #31, 112 Conger Ave. Country, Folk/Americana, Indie, Pop
- Madison Cummins — Stage #33, 75 Edgerton Ave. Singer Songwriter
- Matt Kurtz — Stage #19, 125 N. Highland Ave. Indie
- Morning Star Bluegrass — Stage #25, 909 Hereford Dr. Folk/Americana
- Olivia Bell — Stage #21, 144 N. Highland Ave. Alternative, Pop, Singer Songwriter
- Pneu City Jazz — Stage #27, 949 Hereford Dr. Jazz, Progressive
- Sean Benjamin — Stage #11, 187 Casterton Ave. Alternative, Funk, Singer Songwriter
- Skeleton Drive — Stage #15, 40 N. Highland Ave. Alternative, Folk/Americana, Indie, Punk, Singer Songwriter
- The Buffalo Ryders — PorchRokr Beer Garden Stage #11, 941 Dopler St. Rock
- The EffanGee Band — Stage #29, 162 Portage Dr. Alternative, Folk/Americana, Rock, Singer Songwriter
- The Skoolies — Stage #30, 170 Portage Dr. Alternative, Rock
- Wake Magnolia — Stage #5, 30 Casterton Ave. Alternative, Rock
- Who Saved Who — Stage #3, 801 W. Market St. Who saved who? According to this alternative and indie rock band's Facebook page, they saved each other.
- A Band Named Ashes — Stage #24, 923 Hereford Dr. The colorful progressive folk act is looking to give crowds a good show at this year's PorchRokr.
- A Band Called Applesauce — Stage #12, 83 Casterton Ave. Folk/Americana act.
- Ben Gage Band — Stage #20, 58 N. Highland Ave. The singer-songwriter looks to bring a sense of refined realism to the festival, writing on his website that "songs are my anchors to the now."
- Commotion Corner Reunion — Stage #44, 150 Edgerton Rd. Their music is described as "progressive" on the official ProchRokr site.
- Cool Blue Planet! — Stage #26, 968 Hereford Dr. Akron resident Chris Platis's band has five different albums dating back to 1994 to draw material from for this show.
- Empty Coats — Stage #22, 140 N. Highland Ave. Alt-rock quintuplet out of Akron.
- Guy Randall — Stage #16, 160 Casterton Ave. The Green, Ohio native has been playing guitar and singing live since 2017.
- Jamaican Snake — Stage #4, 804 W. Market St. Funk, Soul
- Katy Robinson — Stage #8, 783 W. Market St. Folk/Americana, Pop, Singer-Songwriter
- Cast of Weathervane Playhouse's Kinky Boots — Stage #2, Corner of Conger Ave. and Edgerton Rd. The cast of local theatre Weathervane Playhouse's upcoming performance of "Kinky Boots" will preview songs from the show.
- Mirth and Moonbows — Stage #28, 943 Wye Dr. The Akron-based due play acoustic and electric and sing in tandem as they perform a mixture of country, rock, pop and folk tunes.
- Pitch Blend Quartet — Stage #18, 229 Casterton Ave. Four seniors sing a capella hits.
- The Lycan Bite — Stage #10, 38 Casterton Ave. Heave, Columbus-based, werewolf-inspired rock.
- Akronauts — PorchRokr Beer Garden Stage #23, 941 Dopler St. These rockers hail from (where else?) Akron.
- Anya Van Rose — Stage #7, 82 Casterton Ave. The solo singer-songwriter crosses genre boundaries into alternative, indie and rock.
- Funeral Proposals — Stage #5, 30 Casterton Ave. Akron-based indie rock.
- Glue Drops — Stage #29, 162 Portage Dr. Indie
- Massive Hotdog Recall — Stage #3, 801 W. Market St. (Ray's Pub) The charmingly named four-piece refers to itself on Facebook as both "hair rock" and a "marching band."
- One Fine Day — Stage #25, 909 Hereford Dr. This nine-member group performs covers of girl group hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s with a trio of female vocalists.
- RailShakers — Stage #21, 144 N. Highland Ave. The Americana and alt-country group promises tunes that will "leave you shakin'."
- Redd Up Rhonda — Stage #11, 187 Casterton Ave. The name combines midwestern slang and a classic Beach Boys track, while the music combines deep vocals and fast, eclectic rhythms.
- Rubix Groove — Stage #31, 112 Conger Ave. Eight-piece "nu blue" funk band with roots in Cleveland.
- Scott & Hallie — Stage #1, 867 W. Market St. (Mustard Seed Market & Cafe) The husband-wife duo is set to perform a range of covers.
- Shelby Olive — Stage #27, 949 Hereford Dr. Indie pop soloist
- Team Nepali — Stage #19, 125 N. Highland Ave. The world music due brings the sounds of India to Akron.
- Terry Ellis — Stage #33, 75 Edgerton Rd. Passionate vocals over jazz and R&B tracks.
- The Diamond-Phillips Band — Stage #13, 236 Casterton Ave. Rock
- The Mickeys — Stage #17, 62 N. Highland Ave. Akron's premier Celtic band
- The Wolfe Creeque Band — Stage #9, 147 Casterton Ave. The band sees folk, rock and Blues as the tenants upholding their music.
- Worm Mother — Stage #15, 40 N. Highland Ave. Akron folk rock/punk
- Asava — Stage #12, 83 Casterton Ave. Progressive rock and metal group whose debut album launched in spring 2020.
- Brian Lisik — Stage #24, 923 Hereford Dr. Cleveland Scene magazine has referred to Lisik's rock as "Wilco on steroids" according to his website.
- Davey Squires — Stage #26, 968 Hereford Dr. Squires performs alternative and jazz compositions with his band.
- Griphook — Stage #6, 784 W. Market St. (Annabell's) The Akron punk band refers to itself as a group of "equal opportunity destroyers" on their Bandcamp.
- I Hate It Too — Main Stage, Corner of Conger Ave. and Edgerton Rd. The singer's powerful voice propers the band through indie and alternative tracks.
- Indigo Lake — Stage #16, 160 Casterton Dr. Experimental rock from Akron
- Jeff Klemm — Stage #20, 58 N. Highland Ave. The solo artist also works as a music teacher and has played in other bands like Diamond Kites and Maid Myriad.
- Mick Rogers — Stage #18, 229 Casterton Ave. The singer-songwriter runs the gamut of blues, country and Americana.
- Rubber City Ukes — Stage #28, 943 Wye Dr. The large-scale ensemble regularly puts bands of 10 or more members on stage to bring out the best in their instruments.
- Any Road — Stage #8, 783 W. Market St. Five-person folk/rock band with a rotating lineup.
- Terrycloth Mother — Stage #30, 170 Portage Dr. Rock music that drifts into dark and dreamy soundscapes.
- The Baker's Basement — Stage #14, 150 Edgerton Rd. Group from Cleveland that fashions small songs and big songs.
- The Lowlies — Stagge #10, 38 Casterton Ave. Alternative, indie, punk, rock
- The Modernes — Stage #22, 140 N. Highland Ave. Three-person surf rock group
- The Tenants — Stage #4, 804 W. Market St. The Akron band plays gritty blues, rock and folk.
- Actual Form — Stage #17, 62 N. Highland Ave. Their world music combines many influences.
- Cory Grinder and the Playboy Scouts — PorchRokr Beer Garden Stage #23, 941 Dopler St. This Honky Tonk band describes themselves on Facebook as a honky-tonk act "doing their duty to serve two-step dancers everywhere."
- Dynamo Love — Stage #19, 125 N. Highland Ave. A modern take on blues mixed with a classic appreciation of funk.
- Ella — Stage #9, 147 N. Highland Ave. This singer-songwriter performs alternative, country and pop.
- F5 — Stage #25, 909 Hereford Dr.
- Grav — Stage #13, 236 Casterton Ave. The North Ridgeville group likes to write their own music and perform classic covers.
- Harmony Star — Stage #15, 40 N. Highland Ave. The group's Bandcamp describes them as "little birds making music on little machines."
- Hydrazine — Stage #7, 82 Casterton Ave. This all-transgender grindcore band explores themes of sexuality through searing riffs. Their latest album dropped in February.
- Michael McFarland — Stage #1, 867 W. Market St. The singer-songwriter's website states he recently dropped a new EP.
- Nicky North and the Cardinal Directions — Stage #21, 144 N. Highland Ave. Energetic rock produced by a group of cousins and a friend.
- Northcoast Shakedown — Stage #3, 801 W. Market St. Self-described "Rebel Rousin' Rubber City Punkadelic Rock N Roll."
- Roxxymoron — Stage #31, 112 Conger Ave. Pop and rock act voted "Best Local Band" by Akron Life Magazine.
- Samantha Grace — Stage #33, 75 Edgerton Rd. Grace puts down dreamy vocals over her own acoustic riffs and keyboard playing.
- Supercop — Stage #11, 187 Casterton Ave. Funk, heavy metal, jazz, progressive.
- The Cabin Sound — Stage #27, 949 Hereford Dr. Diverse mix of folk, indie, rock and surf.
- The Southside Choir Boys — Stage #5, 30 Casterton Ave. The Akron outfit plays punk rock.
- The Super Babes — Stage #29, 162 Portage Dr. This pop rock girl duo consists of a drummer and guitarist from Youngstown.
- BC Hudson — Stage #10, 38 Casterton Ave. The blues band put out their most recent album on July 19.
- DreamStates — Stage #26, 968 Hereford Dr. This band has been around since 2017 and currently consists of six trans performers who have toured throughout Ohio.
- Glass — Stage #22, 140 N. Highland Ave. Alternative.
- Indré — Stage #24, 923 Hereford Dr. A group of Northeast Ohio friends who started performing music together.
- Lady Lyre — Stage #4, 804 W. Market St. Three-piece rock group
- LuvAbstract — Main Stage, Corner of Conger Ave. and Edgerton Rd. Pop rock
- Mo Turk — Stage #20, 58 N. Highland Ave. A rare hip-hop performance makes its way to the PorchRokr lineup.
- My Buddy Josh's Band — Stage #8, 783 W. Market St. Blues, folk, funk
- One Piece Puzzle — Stage #16, 160 Casterton Ave. Rock
- So Nectar — Stage #12, 83 Casterton Ave. Alternative pop and punk rockers from Akron.
- Taylor Carano & the Brown Liquor Band — Stage #30, 170 Portage Dr. Alternative, blues, funk, indie, R&B
- Taylor Lamborn — Stage #18, 229 Casterton Ave. Blues
- The Fiddle Revolt — Stage #14, 150 Edgerton Rd. Alternative, blues and indie rock
- Tommy Lehman & The Squadtet — Stage #28, 943 Wye Dr. Smooth, groovy jaz
- Xtra Crispy — Stage #6, 784 W. Market St. (Annabell's) Blues and rock
- Adin Merritt — Stage #1, 867 W. Market St. (Mustard Seed Market) Solo Akron indie rocker
- Bonnie Clydeman — PorchRokr Beer Garden Stage #23, 941 Dopler St. Cleveland-based hard rock trio.
- Chrissy Strong — Stage #33, 75 Edgerton Rd. Alt. rock singer-songwriter
- Christopher Soulsby — Stage #9, 147 Casterton Ave. Akron-based solo acoustic artist.
- Curtail — Stage #17, 62 N. Highland Ave. Akron alt rockers.
- Curtains — Stage #7, 82 Casterton Ave. The Akron band plays homage to the city's "primordial sludge" and "work-hard, play-hard" atmosphere, according to their Bandcamp bio.
- Detention — Stage #19, 125 N. Highland Ave. This Akron rock quartet takes inspiration from '70s and '80s punk.
- Ghost Slime — Stage #21, 144 N. Highland Ave. The band will be hosting Nickelodeon trivia with prizes between each song during their set.
- Grim Republic — Stage #13, 236 Casterton Ave. An homage to mid-2000s pop-punk.
- Language — Stage #15, 40 N. Highland Ave. Risen from the ashes of Kent-based surf rock group Swell Tides, Language is set to play one of their first shows at this year's fest.
- Pablo Speaks — Stage #5, 30 Casterton Ave. Hip-hop, indie, pop
- Peanut Butter Troll — Stage #27, 949 Hereford Dr. Smooth indie rock with catchy vocals.
- Red Rose Panic — Stage #3, 801 W. Market St. (Ray's Pub) This hip hop group translates from high to low energy seamlessly.
- Simple Simon — Stage #25, 909 Hereford Dr. Alternative and indie
- SoulShine — Stage #11, 187 Casterton Ave. Blues, jazz and rock
- The Got It Got It Need It — Stage #29, 162 Portage Dr. Rock
- The You Suck Flying Circus — Stage #31, 112 Conger Ave. Indie rock group with dozens of live shows under their belt.
- Big Pop — Main Stage, Corner of Conger Ave. and Edgerton Rd. Classic rock cover band.
- Daniel Drouhard — Stage #18, 229 Casterton Ave. Alternative and pop-rock soloist from Akron.
- Dr. Riffs — Stage #30, 170 Portage Dr. Spontaneous and powerful, well, riffs from this humorous ensemble.
- Duo Decibel System — Stage #12, 83 Casterton Ave. Indie, contemplative, fun.
- Kiss Me Deadly — Stage #24, 923 Hereford Dr. Alt rockers out of Cleveland.
- Mild Animals — Stage #10, 38 Casterton Ave. Cleveland-based three-piece rock band.
- Moon Cactus — Stage #16, 160 Casterton Ave. An eclectic mix of genres
- Proper Faces — Stage #26, 968 Hereford Dr. Synth rock from Akron.
- Stems — Stage #28, 943 Wye Dr. Rock of the alternative, indie and pop varieties
- Summer School — Stage #20, 58 N. Highland Ave. Funk, indie, pop, soul
- The Bon Scotts — Stage #14, 150 Edgerton Rd. Alternative, indie, punk
- The Full Flavor, Stage #6, 784 W. Market St. (Annabell's) Blues, R&B and rock
- The Twanglers — Stage #22, 140 N. Highland Ave. Folk and Americana
- The Woov's — Stage #8, 783 W. Market St. Rock and soul
- Vinyl Wings — Stage #4, 804 W. Market St. (Barmacy) Indie and prog. rock
- Craig Rich — Stage #9, 147 Casterton Ave. Alternative and indei rock
- Glass Bones — Stage #11, 187 Casterton Ave. Alternative and punk rock
- Librarians with Hickeys — Stage #33, 75 Edgerton Rd. Alternative and indie
- Outdated View — Stage #21, 144. N. Highland Ave. Alternative rock and blues
- Perfect Girl — Stage #17, 62 N. Highland Ave. This instrumental trio plays songs that take listeners on an odyssey.
- Rent for Cheryl — Stage #29, 162 Portage Dr. Alternative and blues
- Robbing Mary — Stage #31, 112 Conger Ave. Folk and Americana
- Roid Rage — Stage #7, 82 Casterton Ave. Bombastic rock befitting the group's name.
- Sunflurry — Stage #5, 30 Casterton Ave. Alternative and indie rock
- The Beyonderers — Stage #3, 801 W. Market St. Surf metal.
- The Kahuna Kings — PorchRokr Beer Garden Stage #23, 941 Dopler St. Surf rock
- Twin Atomic — Stage #19, 125 N. Highland Ave. Rock
Anyone who has trouble finding their way around on Saturday can feel free to use this interactive Google map to find their way around. It lists each address and business where performers will be present and can serve as a handy cross-reference to the information posted above.
While music is always the primary focus of PorchRokr, this year's event also includes a 5K race taking place at 8 a.m. with the starting line at the corner of Portage Path and Highland Avenue, towards the south end of the square. Akron's Yoga Squared will then host a free yoga session at 209 Merriman Road between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Those looking to keep the party going into the night can head to Mustard Seed Market & Cafe in the Square for a silent disco after the music ends.