BELMAR — The First Annual Belmar Porch Fest band event is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, with more than three dozen performances by local musicians on front porches throughout the borough.
The event, which will have a rain date of May 15, was the brainchild of Lake Como resident Jonny Kumfert, and Councilman Thomas Brennan, both of whom are musicians.
“He’s a musician also, and his porch is one of the porches on the route, so he’ll be up there with me, with his band,” said Mr. Kumfert of Mr. Brennan. Mr. Kumfert is part of the E. Boro Bandits, who will be opening for musician Pat Roddy.
“We have people who volunteer their porches, thirteen volunteers, and each porch is going to have three different acts. People who like music, they can bike around to all the different porches, walk around to all the different porches, and catch different acts,” explained Mr. Kumfert to The Coast Star, who said that he was inspired by the neighboring town of Asbury Park’s annual porchfest.
[Porchfests] have been done before; Asbury Park does it, Cranford does it, a few places do it, and it was about time that Belmar started doing it. We have so many people in town. It’s a big music town, and there’s so many great porches. I’m excited to get started here.”
“It was me and another guy who thought of it, Thomas Brennan. We had been floating around the idea, until we finally decided, ‘hey, let’s do this’. During COVID, during lockdown, we were biking around, playing for people on their front porch because there was nowhere else to play.
“I had a trailer attached to my bicycle, me and my friends would all bike around, and set things up in people’s porches and their yards, but now this is going to be a little more formal. The bands will be staying at their porches, and everyone else will be going around.” said Mr. Kumfert.
According to Mr. Kumfert, the acts will be performing in ‘waves’, of 13 acts, each on one porch. From 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the 1st Wave will feature E Boro Bandits on 529 8th Ave [the E. Boro Bandits will be opening for musician Pat Roddy], Frank Lombardi on 206 5th, Billy Simmons 511 5th, Nickel on 516 10th, Sandi Joy on 404 11th Ave, Jay and Amy at 407 12th, Maletich/paskin 202 13th, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Jack and Carly 322 16th Mike Boniello 1304 B Street, Right On 307 3rd Ave, Bourbon ‘N Wine 115 8th, Bobby Bryson 208 7th, Pam McCoy 1902 Surf.
Mr. Kumfert explained that a lot of the talent that will be playing on the porches come from the local population, including from his time hosting open mic nights.
“I own a booking agency called Branded Music Group, and some of the acts are from that. A lot of them are friends of mine, people that I know, and a few of them have reached out to me, from Asbury Porch Fest.”
A lot of them I know because I run the open mic night and Salty’s, and I run the country music night, as well as the booking agency. I’m also a musician. Some [of the acts] did come from the open Mic, some did work for Branded, some are local, some do Asbury, so it’s a mix of a few different things.”
A few of the acts will be coming from the owners of the houses who volunteered to lend their porch for a few hours.
According to Mr. Kumfert, there will be a few different types of musical acts as part of the festival, including “solo singers/songwriters, full bands, Reggae, Blues, Jazz and Acoustic”.
“We also have a guy that’s a big solo performer in the area, a happy hour type guy. It’s all different genres of music. But mostly I would say duos, trios, and a couple full bands” he said.
Mr. Kumfert will have a full band, including a fiddle player.
Although the Porch Fest itself will be free, tips towards musicians are encouraged.
“That would be great, since everyone is playing for free. People who have the porches, the houses are really making out, because they’re getting a show for free!”
“People are very excited. I had to cut it off basically, because more and more houses keep contacting me, wanting to get involved. Same with musicians, and I had to cap it off somewhere, just to make the schedule and do everything.”
Mr. Kumfert said he was expecting a “great turnout” for the event.
“I’m extremely pleased with the interest in the First Belmar Porch Fest,” he said on the event’s Facebook group page, which now boasts a whopping 400 members, “we are currently at full capacity for porches and musicians. It’s going to be a wonderful day.”
According to Mr. Kumfert, the acts will be performing in ‘waves’, of 13 acts, each on one porch.
THE PORCHFEST SCHEDULE
From 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the 1st Wave will feature E Boro Bandits on 529 8th Ave [the E. Boro Bandits will be opening for musician Pat Roddy], Frank Lombardi on 206 5th, Billy Simmons 511 5th, Nickel on 516 10th, Sandi Joy on 404 11th Ave, Jay and Amy at 407 12th, Maletich/paskin 202 13th, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Jack and Carly 322 16th Mike Boniello 1304 B Street, Right On 307 3rd Ave, Bourbon ‘N Wine 115 8th, Bobby Bryson 208 7th, Pam McCoy 1902 Surf.
2nd Wave; 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Josh and Toni 206 5th, Mike Carlo 511 7th, Norman Taylor 516 10th, Michael Caruso 407 12th, Gary Reed 202 13th, Dave Vargo 404 11th Ave, Pat Roddy 529 8th
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.: Gregg Jordan 322 16th, Kid Moe 307 3rd, Cranston Dean 115 8th, Gene Clapsis 1304 B Street, Anthony Lee Loops 1902 Surf, and Joe Wilson 208 7th Avenue.
The Final Wave: From 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tommy Allen 206 5th, Thomas Brennan 404 11th, Stu Hooten 529 8th, Michael Cappetto 202 13th, Kiersten Blue 511 7th, Erez Lirov 516 10th, Outfox 407 12th
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Gabby Cinque 115 8th, Tom Pimpinelli 1304 B Street, Green Dream 322 16th, Desert Jellies 307 3rd, Kenny K and the Way 208 7th, Rebecca Schaffer 1902 Surf.