The hottest music venue in central Indiana this weekend is not a rockin’ amphitheater or an intimate club.

Instead, some of the best music in the area will be coming from front porches around downtown Franklin.

The Creative Council of Franklin, an organization emphasizing and encouraging creativity throughout the city, has planned a bigger and better version of its door-to-door music festival — Porchtober. Eight singer-songwriters and bands are scheduled to perform around the downtown area throughout the afternoon and evening, most of them on front porches volunteered by local residents. A larger main stage will also be set up downtown.

Organizers hope the unique and casual format helps support area musicians while bringing people together through the arts.

“It’s half music festival, half get out and meet your neighbors,” said Patrick Tisdale, board president of the Creative Council of Franklin. “Our mission is to encourage creative people to do their work, to educate the public about the value of that work and bring those groups together. So this event does that.”

The idea for Porchtober first bubbled up at the end of 2019 among members of the Creative Council of Franklin. The organization is a nonprofit that encourages creative people from all disciplines to educate the public about the value that art brings, to make art and to connect people to creative work.

In its discussions, the council wanted to plan an event after its popular Art to Finish celebration held during the summer. In a normal year, the organization would host an artist showcase around November. While the artist showcase is skewed toward visual artists, the council was hoping to plan an event to cater to musicians, particularly after the pandemic made many performances impossible, Tisdale said.

“We wanted to do something that combined a couple of things that we had planned on,” he said. “It went well for us, and was successful by all accounts. But one of the things we like to do after events is find out what worked and get feedback from people who came to the event.”

Last year’s event was a success, as people were able to enjoy the shows in a socially distant, safe way. But as members of the Creative Council started thinking about this year’s event, they wanted to make some tweaks.

“It’s almosts as if we recreated the event this year,” Tisdale said. “Where the original concept was more go around town and see porches and neighbors, we wanted to extend it.”

Hours of the festival have been extended, to allow people to see more of the performances. Porch performances are arranged in blocks of three, so people can walk around and sample different music. A final performance will be held at the main stage.

People will get a map prior to the event starting and can plan their viewing route from there, Tisdale said.

“That’s where it’s kind of like a music festival, with different stages and schedule, so you can bounce from place to place. So we’ve taken that approach,” he said.

Saturday’s lineup includes performances by Straight Up Chumps, Nick Dittmeier &the Sawdusters, the Baldones, Nick Haggard & the O.P.S., Shack 9, Kit Haymond, Rockandy and Scott Parkhurst.

New this year is a beer and wine garden, which will be set up in the city hall parking lot on Monroe Street. The garden is an added attraction for concert-goers, and hopefully will help offset some of the costs of the event, such as paying the performers, Tisdale said.

“Last year we weren’t able to do that, and had tip jars out for them, but this year we committed to that,” he said.

If You Go


What: A music festival organized by the Creative Council of Franklin featuring eight bands on porches and stages set up in secret

When: 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Downtown Franklin; maps of the exact locations of the performances will be available at 3 p.m. Saturday


4 to 6 p.m.: Kit Haymond, Rockandy and Scott Parkhurst

6 to 8 p.m.: Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters, the Bald Ones, Hank Haggard & the O.P.S., Shack 9

8 to 10 p.m.: Straight Up Chumps

Tickets: $15