Ferndale Music Festival Aims for TV Show

One-day event to feature more than two dozen acts


Published:

PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM PARR, COURTESY OF THE WHISKEY CHARMERS

Last year, Laith Al-Saadi, a rock and blues artist from Ann Arbor, made his mark on national television when he reached the final four in NBC singing competition The Voice. Now, Michael Benghiat — founder, executive producer, and organizer of The Front Porch, a one-day neighborhood music festival coming to Ferndale this month — says the inaugural, family-friendly event will help local music listeners find “the Laith Al-Saadis of Michigan before they become the Laith Al-Saadis of The Voice.”

Inspired by Porchfest in Ithaca, New York, the festival — which will serve as a launch pad for a new music TV show of the same name — will take place on 25 porches within walking distance of downtown Ferndale and feature more than two dozen folk, blues, jazz, and country acts. Porch space is donated by homeowners, and artists in the festival’s lineup are volunteering their time and talents with the goal of reaching a new audience.

“It’s our hope that maybe you’ll see the next rising star to come out of either southeastern Michigan or the state of Michigan,” Benghiat says.

The Whiskey Charmers, a Walled Lake-based gothic country band; Anthony Retka, a singer-songwriter from Mount Clemens; and Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club, a Ferndale-based traditional New Orleans jazz band, are expected to perform. Each act will have a half-hour to play.

Throughout the day, Benghiat and his business partner, music journalist Gary Graff, will be working with a film crew to create a pilot episode spotlighting the performances and artists. The duo’s TV show, which they hope to debut on a local station, will feature interviews with up-and-coming Michigan bands and musicians as they perform on porches in their hometowns.

“We want to show there is strong interest in this concept,” Benghiat says. “It can certainly make for a viable TV program.”


The Front Porch will take place June 24 and is open to the public at no cost. For more information, visit facebook.com/frontporchmi.
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Detroit’s Ford Fireworks Celebrate 60 Years

The annual show will light up the riverfront on June 25

Meet the Makers: Signifier Signs

Neon artist, George Vidas, steps into the spotlight

The Way It Was

Crowley’s Mezzanine Tea Room, 1941

Father’s Day Activities for Every Type of Dad

Celebrate your pop with experiences perfectly fit for him

How Custom Bikes Are Changing Lives

Beaumont’s Bike Day program helps special needs children
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of Detroit 2018
    Our reader's picks for the Best of Detroit winners in food, drink, leisure, people, and services
  2. Father’s Day Activities for Every Type of Dad
    Celebrate your pop with experiences perfectly fit for him
  3. Detroit’s Ford Fireworks Celebrate 60 Years
    The annual show will light up the riverfront on June 25
  4. How Custom Bikes Are Changing Lives
    Beaumont’s Bike Day program helps special needs children
  5. A Family of ‘Foodies’ Share Their Ramadan Traditions
    What Iftar looks like for the social media savvy Sareinis
  6. An Hour With... Tim Zajaros
    Co-founder, Armory Films
  7. Getting Ready with a Drag Queen
    Emma Sapphire gives a behind-the-scenes look at a pre show beauty routine
  8. The Vegan 'Ice Cream' Even Non-Vegans Will Love
    Allergy conscious and delicious, The Ice Cream Plant is quickly growing fans in metro Detroit
  9. Cocktail Recipe: Strip and Go Naked
    A refreshing tiki classic from Lost River in Detroit
  10. Blown Summer Style Challenge: Be Brave With This Season's Sheer Fabrics
    Billowy silhouettes and scintillating jewelry create an ethereal appeal