Since we started the Oakhurst Porchfest in 2015, we’ve tried to cultivate a radically generous celebration of music and community self-run by the Oakhurst neighborhood. A day where neighbors, collectively and as individuals, take full ownership of their streets and extend an open invitation to whomever wants to drop by.
By most accounts, it’s been well received. But with success comes growing pains, particularly in terms of crowds. So this year, at the request of our friends at the Decatur Police, we’re instituting an extra layer of oversight: Block Captains.
Think of them as a neighborhood-wide battalion of hyperlocal overlords. Mayors of Good Vibes, helping to make each street’s experience more unique, accessible, and responsive to the inevitable challenges that come with an event of our size.
We’ve carved the neighborhood into 32 zones — streets or parts of streets where neighbors are likely to know each other. Each zone will become eligible to participate in Porchfest once a minimum of two resident Captains have established a local presence.
You can sign-up more than two and split the shifts as you wish but two’s the minimum. And keep in mind, serving as a Block Captain doesn’t preclude being a porch host. Many folks may choose to do both.
The job description is pretty simple, and consistent with a role many folks have already played informally in years past:
- Coordinate in advance with your fellow Block Captain(s); establish shifts;
- Encourage neighbor-initiated efforts like decorating, traffic management, etc;
- Help clear crowd obstructions and/or temporarily direct traffic as necessary during the event;
- Make sure performances don’t occur outside their assigned time or exceed allowable volumes;
- Keep booze access in check;
- Serve as a point person for Decatur Police.
Ready to help take Porchfest to the next level? Then start talking with your neighbors and get a crew together. Sign-ups are now live so find your zone and register today. Any zone that signs up becomes eligible to participate in this year’s event.
Everything you need can be found here.