banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Front Porch Music & Get Out Bike Ride

| June 12, 2017

Get Out Bike will be meeting in back of Affirmations at noon to visit all the musical porches. Join us!

Click here for performer’s lineup!

Free Press Article below

FERNDALE — A new event soon will be making its way to Ferndale, and it could be right on your front porch.

The City Council approved at its Jan. 9 meeting a special event permit for The Front Porch, a one-day outdoor concert scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 24, where music acts will play from the front porches of people’s homes.

Event producer Michael Benghiat said that he and his producing partner, music journalist Gary Graff, are working on contacting music acts to perform and homes in the city to participate in what he referred to as “Michigan music on Michigan porches.”

The area where the event is searching for homes is west of Woodward Avenue and in the neighborhoods just south of Nine Mile Road, beginning from Troy Street to no farther south than Marshall Street, no farther west than Central Street, and north of Nine Mile but no farther than Maplehurst Avenue.

The event is permitted to have as many as 25 acts perform. With about five acts and a handful of porches secured, Benghiat is putting the word out for homeowners and musicians to contact producers to participate in the event, which they can do at

“We’re looking for artists, for bands, all kinds of genres of music,” he said.

Before any event can be held in the city, organizers must first send in an application to be approved by the Special Events Committee before it can be approved by the City Council.

According to city Director of Special Events and Projects Michael Lary, the first meeting they have about an event, especially if it’s one that’s never been held in the city before, focuses on the details of the event and what it is about.

“If they’re a repeat event, it’s a lot easier, because they might do some tweaks but they pretty much use the same floor footprint and things like that, so it’s a lot easier to push that through,” he said. “But for a new event, that first initial meeting, we go through it and kind of dissect it somewhat to better understand exactly what their intent is.”

Lary said The Front Porch is unlike other events, where organizers have to present a floorplan of the event and how it will fit into a space.

“With the footprint of The Front Porch, it’s different because they’re not asking for a street closure or a parking lot closure or using a city park,” he said. “They’re actually asking permission to do an event that includes residential homes that have given the permission to use their front porch to have a band perform.

“Our hope is that it brings neighbors together that might not know each other, but something like this might bring them to their neighbor and have a conversation and get to know each other, so it builds community,” he said.

The idea of the event is not entirely new, as many communities around the U.S. do something similar based around an event called Porchfest, which began in Ithaca, New York, 10 years ago.

Similar events also have been held in Michigan cities such as Ann Arbor and Mount Pleasant, according to Lary, and while vetting the event, he said the committee reached out to police departments in those communities to see if they had any trouble.

“Not one of them had any reports of any issues,” he said. “No public safety issues or any disorderly conduct. It’s a non-alcohol event. It’s focused to be more for family, and it’s also how we looked at it.”

Benghiat attended one of the concerts in a city outside Cleveland and loved the experience. Recently, he decided to pitch a TV show, also called “The Front Porch,” to local markets in Michigan based around the idea of featuring local musicians in the state playing on porches in their hometowns.

The Southfield resident said that one station wanted to see a prototype of what the show would look like, leading him and Graff to start a one-day concert as a brand extension of their idea.

This led the two to Ferndale to ask the city to host the event, which Benghiat said was a great fit.

“First of all, the personality and the DNA of this event and the type of audience that it attracts fits and aligns quite well with the personality of the city of Ferndale,” he said. “Ferndale’s all about, it’s a term called ‘placemaking,’ and it’s about creating amenities and assets and offerings to enhance the health, wellness and overall lifestyle for its residents, businesses and visitors. So we thought it was a very good marriage between the event brand and the city of Ferndale.”

About the author

Staff Writer Mike Koury covers Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge along with the Berkely Schools and Ferndale Schools districts for the Woodward Talk. He has worked at C & G Newspapers since October 2015 and attended Michigan State University. He has been described as “a wonderful angel” by his mother and “sleepy” by his editor.


Category: Events and other stuff

Comments are closed.

banner ad
banner ad