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20 bands come out to play at free walkable venues.

‘Bring it to Souderton’: BucksMont Bonzeroo music festival takes Perkasie Porchfest to a new level

Blue Wave Theory performs at the Brass Collar Brewing Company during the BucksMont Bonzeroo music festival in Souderton. Photo by John Worthington | The Reporter.

  • Community

Live music filled the air of downtown Souderton Saturday afternoon as part of the BucksMont Bonzeroo music festival, an event created out of a last-minute cooperative effort to save the Perkasie Porchfest.

Stationed at the Souderton Community Park stage and the decks of local businesses, more than 20 local bands performed music from a variety of genres, including rock ‘n roll, jazz, bluegrass, folk and more.

    Rock U performs at the Souderton Community Park stage.
 By John Worthington | The Reporter 
    Logan and the Reckless Abandon performs at Highly Mystical Creations.
 By John Worthington | The Reporter 

The Souderton event came together after Souderton Mayor Dan Yocum contacted the Perkasie Porchfest organizers when he heard news that the neighboring town’s event was in jeopardy.

Originally dubbed the “Perkasie Porchfest,” the event began in 2022 as an annual walkable music festival in downtown Perkasie wherein neighbors offered up their front porches as DIY concert venues. After being renewed for 2024, the festival was abruptly cancelled by Perkasie borough in April due to “safety concerns.”

Following the festival’s cancellation, Porchfest promoters Corey and Heather Armideo were considering postponing the event when they were contacted by Yocum.

“We didn’t quite see eye to eye with the borough, and we were gonna postpone it, but then Dan from Souderton stepped up and said, ‘Bring it to Souderton,’” said Armideo.

Yocum said that he jumped at the opportunity to host the festival, noting the number of new businesses that could provide venues for the bands.

“Souderton finally has the infrastructure to do something like this,” said Yocum. “They had the bands booked, they needed a home and here we are.”

    EDGE HILL BOYS performs at Northbound.
 By John Worthington | The Reporter 
    Penny Lane Combo performs at Love Obsessed.
 By John Worthington | The Reporter 

How can we make this happen?

While seemingly a daunting task, the last-minute relocation of the event went fairly smoothly, said Yocum, citing the close collaboration of the borough and business owners.

“I had everyone’s cell phone number, and I could make those connections. And they all jumped on board and started talking to each other,” said Yocum. “The whole town in a matter of a couple weeks made this a reality. Instead of coming from a position of ‘No,’ we came from a position of, ‘How can we make this happen?’”

“All these places came together, anyone that really felt they could accommodate a band,” added Jessica Cimini of Souderton Connects. “And what it does is could bring people here to follow the bands and hopefully bring business to these establishments.”

One of the venues was the newly-opened Brass Collar Brewing Company. Owner Benjamin Israel said he was “happy” to participate in the festival.

“We met with them about two weeks ago. They stopped in, gave us all the information. We were excited to be one of the hosts,” said Israel.

    Blue Wave Theory performs at the Brass Collar Brewing Company.
 By John Worthington | The Reporter 
    Frank Porter performs at the Exhibit B Art Gallery.
 By John Worthington | The Reporter 

Expanding to other towns

While Souderton served as the festival’s hub, several other towns across Montgomery and Bucks counties also hosted performances, including Lansdale, Quakertown, Sellersville, Dublin, Doylestown and Buckingham. The festival was renamed the “BucksMont Bonzeroo” to encompass all the participating municipalities.

Moving forward, Armideo said the festival will likely remain a regional event, noting that Telford recently expressed interest in participating. He hopes that Perkasie can be reincorporated into the festival next year.

“We’d love for Perkasie to be part of it again next year,” said Armideo. “We just need to go back to the table and sit down and talk a little more.”

Armideo concluded by expressing gratitude to Souderton and the community for saving the festival.

“We appreciate everyone coming together and helping out to keep this alive,” he said. “We thank everyone for their support in coming out to listen to the music and enjoy the bands.”

This article appears courtesy of a content share agreement between North Penn Now and The Reporter. To read more stories like this, visit www.thereporteronline.com.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


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