Akron's PorchRokr Goes Virtual: Plan Your CouchRokr from the Comfort of Home

Aug 13, 2020

The popular Highland Square PorchRokr Music and Art Festival, celebrated annually during August in Akron, has been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The large, in-person festival was reimagined this year as a virtual event called CouchRokr. The concert will be available to view on Facebook Saturday, Aug. 15 starting at 1 p.m.

The festival traditionally features vendors, a beer garden, activities and more than 100 performers playing music on house porches across Highland Square. The virtual event will still spotlight the West Akron neighborhood, with 12 Northeast Ohio musicians performing filmed sets across six Highland Square locations.

Akron hip-hop artist Floco Torres performs as part of the duo Free Black!
Credit Alternative Attic

The local businesses that opened their doors to provide performers a place to play include Oakdale House, Square Records, Annabell’s Bar & Lounge, Yoga Squared, Mustard Seed Market & Cafe and Zen Space by Yoga Squared.

Each set was filmed in advance by Alternative Attic, a film crew that works to provide a platform for musicians in the Akron area with an online music video series and recurring events.

Viewers can kick off the event by participating in online Zoom yoga with Yoga Squared at 11 a.m. Saturday. After the performances, there will be a virtual Zoom dance party, with DJ Vinny G and Precious, from 8-10 p.m.

WKSU Shuffle Producer Brittany Nader helps you plan your viewing of the concert from the comfort of home with these picks—and an accompanying Spotify playlist of standout tracks from each CouchRokr performer:

 

Acid Cats
Genre: Original, acidic jazz funk
Members: Cameron Bickley, Tommy Lehman, Justin Tibbs, SmokeFace, Andru Dennis

Alomar
Genre: Acoustic emo
Members: Eddie Gancos
Hear WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz’s Shuffle interview with Gancos

Benny Lava & The Guavas
Genre: Retro, garage-rock supergroup
Members: Benjamin Patrick, Jeri Sapronetti, Samantha Grace, Justin Tibbs, Robert Keith, Nate Bucher

The Beyonderers
Genre: Instrumental surf thrash-rock
Members: Dave Rich, Andrew Rich, Anne Lillis
Hear WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz’s Shuffle interview with Rich

The Bizarros
Genre: Punk, the original “Akron sound”
Members: Nick Nicholis, Don Parkins, Jerry Parkins, Martyn Flunoy

Detention
Genre: Youthful rock ‘n’ roll
Members: Luke Konopka, Elliott Carter, Evan Cox, Fritz Dannemiller

Free Black!
Genre: Hip-hop
Members: HR3, Floco Torres

Hayden Gilbert and The Ruckus
Genre: Soulful blues-rock
Members: Hayden Gilbert, Ben Gravatt, John BonTempo

Red Rose Panic
Genre: Dynamic hip-hop
Members: Luminari, Styxx, Reo Dinero, SMOKEFACE, Lou
Hear WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz Shuffle interview with Luminari and Styxx

Stems
Genre: “Future-past” indie rock
Members: Justin Seeker, Joel McAdams, Michael Voris, Joshua Weiss
Hear WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz Shuffle interview with Seeker and Weiss

Time Cat
Genre: Rock ‘n’ roll
Members: Jeri Sapronetti, Jammin Sam, Colten Huffman

Zach & The Bright Lights
Genre: Soulful pop-rock
Members: Zach Friedhof, Neil Keating, Charlie Trenta, Michael Marotta, Drew Thornberry
Hear WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia’s Shuffle interview with Friedhof