“The Front Porch: A Day of Music on Ferndale Porches” is now entering its third year of producing a day-long music festival featuring local musicians performing on residential porches. While the concept of the festival did not originate in Ferndale, founder Michael Benghiat credits a trip to visit his sister in Larchmere, Ohio for planting the seed.
“I went to visit my sister, who was living near there at the time and her knowing that I love music said, ‘Hey, we gotta go check out this event called the Larchmere Porchfest; 30 bands on 30 porches,’” Benghiat said. “So, I went and saw it and said, ‘This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I gotta bring it to Detroit.’”
Originally, Benghiat says, he had planned for The Front Porch to be a TV show that featured up-and-coming, local artists through interviews and performances. From there, he wanted the music festival to be an extension of the show.
“We pitched the concept to Detroit Public Television somewhere around 2015-2016,
Benghiat said. “They loved the idea, but they said, ‘In order for us to give you the approval and greenlight for the airtime, we really need to see a proof of concept.’”
In order to produce that proof of concept, Benghiat decided to produce the festival first. Once he had received approval from the City of Ferndale for the festival, word started to spread that a new music festival was coming to the city. Benghiat said that the response he received from residents offering up their front porches as venues and local bands wanting to play was very positive.
The first edition of The Front Porch brought local music to thousands of attendees on a summer afternoon in Ferndale in 2017. That same year, Benghiat hired a production team to interview one of the bands and record their performance, which turned into a 12-minute proof of concept that was accepted by DPTV.
Since its inaugural event, the show has grown from 37 musical acts across 25 porches in its first year to an expected 60 acts across 30 porches this year. Some of the returning acts include:
The event remains free and open to the public. You can roam the streets of Ferndale on Saturday, June 22 from 12-6 p.m. to hear local music from up and coming artists.