By Lana Guineay
Vibe. It may be vague but it’s unmistakable when you encounter it, and Porchland Festival has got it to spare.
The SA-team behind the wildly popular Porch Sessions are bringing their boutique backyard feel to the annual festival, set to delight crowds on December 2nd in the stunning surrounds of McLaren Vale.
Founder Sharni Honor describes it as a “festival of nice things” – and it’s easy to see why.
Whether it’s the tunes (the line-up features Thelma Plum, 30/70 and Stu Larsen), the local food and wine, the Persian rugs or the wilderness; the Porch Sessions renowned intimate atmosphere is tangible – even when it’s a festival with 1,500 attendees.
For the third year, Porchland will feature a market bazaar on site, stocked with food, wine and wares from local makers, with over 25 stalls.
Sharni says she had wanted to feature local makers from the very beginning – but the backyard space of Porch Sessions was too small.
Described as “Porch Sessions on steroids”, the Porchland Festival was the perfect opportunity to bring more locals on board for the bazaar.
“The main reason for the Festival is that it’s an almighty hand-picked selection of creative crew,” she says.
“There are beautiful markets across Adelaide but many of our stallies don’t normally do markets.
“We’ve chosen incredible local makers who people haven’t heard of, tiny little shops or hole in the wall creatives who are doing something special.”
The markets will feature a strong surf focus, in harmony with the sundown screening of local filmographer Andy Manners’ new SA surf film, Belong Nowhere.
“We have a lot of Fleurieu based makers,” says Sharni.
“From surf boards, Mexican tiles, cactus pots, tassel earrings, festive head wraps…all delicious bohemian picks.”
The travelling festival has a new home every year, and the Range Hall (45 minutes out of the city and 10 from McLaren Vale), Porchland will be surrounded by tall pine trees and sweeping views from the Adelaide Hills to the coast.
“We literally just stumbled over the location,” says Sharni.
“There’s an old scout hall on the property, I went to park my car and it was sunset, I looked over this pine-tree lined clearing and the rolling hills – it’s just a carpark for them, but I was thinking: ‘we need to do something here!’.”
The annual festival is an amplified spin-off from the Porch Session concept Sharni started 5 years ago. It began on her parent’s front porch in Brighton, playing music with a friend. Neighbours heard the music and dragged a bench over to listen too, wine in hand.
“It started as a personal scenario with my friends, a porch session is how I would like to go to a gig and eat and drink,” she says.
“Now, having grown all over SA and beyond, with over 30 events a year, to have plethora of sold out shows, it continues to blow my mind that so many people are into the same thing.”
It’s this sense of community that holds it all together, whether backyard gig or festival. As soon as you enter the gates to a Porch event, you have something in common with everyone else, Sharni says.
“You’ve got great mates from the get go.”
“Now Porchland brings people together for one big party… it’s a platform to bring these great creative South Aussies all together,” Sharni says.
“The coolest thing about the state is the amazing support of the community, the open arms that embrace when you take a bit of a risk and give it a go…it’s a bloody cool place.”
Sharni’s top tips for Porchland punters?
“Pack a cushion, wear your party pants,” she laughs.
“I’d encourage any Porch-goers to dip their toes into much as possible. Try every beverage, go through the markets 12 times at least, eat 8 meals … then have an afternoon nap on the Persian rugs.”
Porchland Market Bazaar will feature:
Food & Beverage Vendors:
Hither & Yon
Barossa Valley Cider Co
Staazi & Co
Forage Supply Co
Littlest Vintage – stall of vintage delights
Sabaii – hand-crafted leather bags and beautiful clothing
Knotley Crew – Mexican tiled goodness
The Lost Tribe – hair wraps and kimonos
The Nomad Collective – tribal and bohemian jewels
Georgia Walker designs – possibly the greatest tassel earrings you’ve ever seen
Yeohaus – threads from the South Coast
Glitter Gang – making everybody sparkly
Twig & stick – nature play for tiny humans and big ones too. Workshops all day
The Velvet Sailor – handwoven macramé goodness
Frances Jewels – hand-crafted jewels and dainty earrings
Surf Club Vintage – surf wear
Solomon Street – gloriously printed, sustainable clothing
Earth Art – hand-etched wooden artwork and wares
Bohemian Silver – handmade silver
Wildflower Bell Tents – a tiny tent village of delights
Bare Threads – vintage apparel and forgotten oddities.
We’re giving away 3 double passes to Porchland Festival with return bus tickets from Adelaide, valued at $186 each. Enter now, ends Tuesday 28 November!
Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.
Top image: Jack Fenby