Music fans watch as Jill Jack plays on the porch of Francine Hachem’s home on Troy Street during last year’s inaugural Front Porch. This year’s event will take place Saturday, June 23.

Music fans watch as Jill Jack plays on the porch of Francine Hachem’s home on Troy Street during last year’s inaugural Front Porch. This year’s event will take place Saturday, June 23.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Front Porch music festival to include more porches, performances

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 13, 2018

 Attendees enjoy the music of Mia Green from the lawn at a home on Troy Street during the Front Porch last year.

Attendees enjoy the music of Mia Green from the lawn at a home on Troy Street during the Front Porch last year.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Along with Kate Hinote, seen here, the Front Porch will feature more than 50 musical acts performing on the porches of Ferndale homes.

Along with Kate Hinote, seen here, the Front Porch will feature more than 50 musical acts performing on the porches of Ferndale homes.

Photo provided by Kate Hinote

FERNDALE — The one-day concert hosted on the porches of Ferndale houses will return in late June with more musicians and more porches.

The second annual Front Porch will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 23, on porches all across Ferndale. Last year’s inaugural event saw 42 performances on 25 porches in the city, and this year’s edition will have 57 performances on 27 porches, with numerous artists having multiple performances.

“The event this year comes with more opportunities, which when you look at growth with anything, it sometimes does present some challenges, but definitely not challenges that we can’t overcome,” event producer Michael Benghiat said.

One of the opportunities that Benghiat was referencing was expanding the Front Porch to both sides of Woodward Avenue. Last year’s event was located only on the porches of homes on the west side of Woodward.

“We heard some noise from the east side saying, ‘Why not us,’ and we listened and we moved to the east side as well this year,” he said. “The plan is to begin the day on the east side with some music and then move to the west side. Almost as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so does the Front Porch.”

Along with the event’s expansion to the east side of Woodward, Benghiat wanted to broaden the types of music at the festival to various genres. This included booking acts like a hip-hop band, and blues and jazz artists.

“Once you broaden the scope of music, you also are able to cast a much wider net to a potential audience,” he said.

Kate Hinote will be performing an acoustic set with David Johnson during the Front Porch at a location yet to be announced. The set times and porch locations will be found at www.thefrontporchmi.com.

A singer since the age of 3 and a performer in bands for the last 15 years, Hinote originally was asked to do the event last year, but she was unable to do so as she was out of town. She said she reached out to the producers to be a part of this year’s festival because it looked cool.

“I just like the community aspect of it,” she said. “People offering their homes up to host local music — it’s just such a cool concept to me.”

Though she’s an experienced performer, Hinote said she always gets nervous before a performance, no matter what kind of crowd is in front of her.

Hinote feels that performing on this stage is exciting, as this is going to have attentive audiences paying attention to the musicians.

“Sometimes you’re playing in rooms where nobody cares at all that you’re there,” she said. “There’s a lot of situations where we’re playing for rooms of people that just aren’t interested, so it’s nice where situations like this come up where you know you’re going to be playing for people that are actually there to see you.”

As the event has no admission or tickets, there’s no way to know the actual attendance numbers for the Front Porch, but the best estimate given for the first event was north of 5,000 people.

 Benghiat is hoping to surpass that this year.

“We’re hoping with us broadening the types of music and music offerings that we’ll attract even more people and grow our audience as well,” he said.