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Musical Talent takes over East Hill

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By Matthew Blair

A walk through Belleville’s historic East Hill neighbourhood will be a musical one this weekend, as the city celebrates its 5th annual “Porchfest” festival.

This year’s event, which encourages pedestrians stroll from house to house to hear musical artists play a variety of music, will host 26 acts on 21 porches, said co-organizer Lucinda Pritchard.

“We have a great mix of performers,” said Pritchard, who, with her husband, Ken Hudson, brought the concept of the event to the city in 2009.

Andy Forgie is among the myriad professionals and amateurs who will be playing  this weekend. He said Porchfest is a great way for musicians to get their work noticed.

“This is a great opportunity to spread your wings and perform before a lot of people over the afternoon,” said Forgie, a notable local children’s entertainer who has played at Porchfest for the last several years.

“Not only is it fun, you also get to showcase your talents. You never know who may be watching.”

Because the event relies on the cooperation of people in East Hill, Pritchard said extra precaution is taken to ensure Porchfest runs as smoothly as possible.

“We have taken steps to alleviate any issues,” she said. “We contact the police so they are aware of the events and ask all porch-hosts to let neighbors know of their involvement.

“As well, all participants are required to sign a Code of Conduct which includes a point about noise.  We expect all bands to maintain an unplugged feel, which means low sound levels during the event.”

Pritchard and Hudson said they believe Belleville Porchfest is one of the only events of its kind in Canada. Although more people come out to see the excitement, but there are no plans to expand the events area, said Pritchard.

“We want to maintain the walkability of the event,” she added.

Some performers this weekend include Tore Down Blues Band, The Whystle Dawgs, Meaghan Lattanzio and more. Performances will begin at 1 P.M and end at 4 PM. For more information and a full line-up, visit the official Belleville Porchfest website. [2]