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Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
The show must go on
October 10, 2018

T
wenty-five performers. Eleven venues, stages, and porches. The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival happened despite coming three weeks after Hurricane Florence.

“The feeling of the board was unanimous that the show must go on,” said Dottie Osmun, co-founder of the festival and chair of its board of directors. “Music lifts the spirit, and we need that now more than ever.”

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Doug Sligh, a board member for the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, with headliners Chatham County Line.

Staying true to it’s roots, the festival featured music listeners might hear coming from porch jam sessions: stripped down, acoustic instrumentals and vocals. Though amplified, many of the acts stayed true to that sound.

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The quartet The River Ratz entertained the crowds with upbeat covers and engaging stage presence.

Listen to the River Ratz cover a Queen classic.

In the week leading up to the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, volunteers worked to clear debris from downtown. Beginning with the venues, volunteers cleared away fallen trees and stray limbs piled in the right of way. After clearing the streets and the Methodist parsonage lot where the main stage would be set, the took to clearing the streets and adjoining properties. They pulled it off.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
The crowd watches Chatham County Line perform Saturday evening.
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Hooverville played the New Village Brewery Friday night.

Some debris remained, neatly piled on the road sides. Lou Mac Park and parts of South Ave were closed due to damages, but vendors and crowds worked around it. Members of the Pamlico High School JROTC Navy unit helped keep vehicle traffic off roads designate for pedestrian use.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
There were a lot of pets at Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival; this was the only four-legged one seen riding a shoulder.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Tellico bassist Stig Stiglets.

The festival ran Friday through Saturday, with music on Sunday morning during a community worship service. Funds raised during the festival will be donated to the Pamlico County Disaster Relief Coalition, in partnership with the Pamlico Partnership for Children, to provide help to families affected by the storm.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Golf carts taxied crowds around the grounds.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
The Red Rooster stage waits for the next act.

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The music began Friday with acts playing in downtown Oriental, at the New Village Brewery, and at the Red Rooster behind the Silos restaurant. On Saturday, Oriental hosted twenty performances throughout town, ending with headliners Chatham County Line. Sunday morning services were performed on the riverfront stage across from Lou Mac park.

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Local band Brant Island Strings on the Riverfront Stage Friday.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Heather, an Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival volunteer, gets ready to introduce the next act.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Chris Daniels does a roving sound check.
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The Hall Sisters on the Red Rooster stage Friday night. The group began their set playing their own instruments and transitioned to familiar tunes like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.
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The band Tellico.
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Melissa Plett, a Canadian singer song-writer, played outside the Provision Co Saturday morning.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Vendors line South Ave, ready for the crowds.
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Local band Moore’s Creek Bluegrass played a Neuse St. porch on Saturday.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
New for the gospel band this year: a percussionist. The drum kit was too big for the porch, but fit nicely on the lawn.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
The Gospel Ensemble on a Freemason St porch.
Listen to the Gospel Ensemble perform at the 2018 OFPMF:


Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
One of the best ways to see the show: on a bike, in a basket, or both.

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Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
A little girl near the riverfront stage finds more interest in a bubble machine than in the music on stage.
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Mitch Hayes plays on a Mildred St porch.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Salty Paws was not on the original schedule (they travel by boat) but despite the storm they were able to make it to town in time to play. The duo (Bentley Smith and Jim Austin) found an accommodating porch to play on South Ave.
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Honey Magpie return to Oriental, playing at the New Village Brewery.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Brittany Jean, attending for her second year, plays to crowds on Mildred St.
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The Strung Together Band is a family band plus two. They are local to New Bern and both families suffered losses due to Florence. Despite this, they drove down to play the festival on Saturday.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Laurel Creek on the Roe front Porch. (Photo Mark DeCain)
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Taking in the tunes from the grass.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Frying up on South Ave.
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The Pinkerton Raid were the first band to play the riverfront stage on Saturday.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Chris Daniels ran the sound board for bands at the Red Rooster on Friday night, and at the riverfront stage on Saturday. Between power & sound, there were a lot of cords.

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Cane Mill Road, a bluegrass band from Western NC, played the riverfront stage on Saturday. The group ranges in age from 16 – 21.
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Local group Harbor Sounds characterizes the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival sound.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
A tired pup listens to the evening jam session by the riverfront stage.
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Flat Mountain Dulcimers
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Barry Bey sings his original song ‘Pamlico Flood’ on the porch at Nautical Wheelers.
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Mahalo Jazz, an improvisational jazz band, played the main stage this year.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Festival volunteers in yellow shirts were everywhere, listening to music and helping the crowds.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Chatham County Line connected with the audience.
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Headliners Chatham County Line played to a full lawn, receiving two standing ovations at the end of their performance.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Chatham County Line. (Photo Ty Rhudy)
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Sunday Morning Community Worship Services were held at the Riverfront stage.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018
Saturday night after the bands packed up and the festival cleared, a young man played harmonica at the riverside.

Posted Wednesday October 10, 2018 by Allison DeWeese


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