This weekend, Boston Calling, a music festival right in the heart of the city, returns to Boston’s City Hall Plaza. After another successful festival this past fall, Boston Calling cofounders Brian Appel and Mike Snow have made some distinct changes to the festival in order to expand the excitement.  This spring’s Boston Calling will be held from Friday, May 23 through Sunday, May 25.

The festival will feature an all-star lineup of bands ranging across many genre—including performers like Jack Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, Bastille, The Decemberists and Modest Mouse. Local bands will also be highlighted, as Boston Calling looks to keep some of the acts local and make the festival truly integrated with Boston’s culture.  

Even if local acts aren’t your usual favorite, look forward to seeing Brandeis’ own former student Gabe Goodman  at this spring’s festival, as he recently took over as bassist for local band Magic Man. 

Goodman opened Brandeis’ Springfest 2013 for Kendrick Lamar and since this past semester has been touring full time with Magic Man. Magic Man, who has just announced its first album will be released on July 8, will open the second day of the festival on Saturday, May 24, and are sure to set the day off right with their blend of rock, pop and electronic music.

Headlining Saturday night will be Death Cab for Cutie, while Sunday will be closed off by Modest Mouse.  Death Cab for Cutie, who are best known for their 2005 album Plans and more recently their album Codes and Keys will not only end Saturday with a bang, but leave fans with high expectations for Sunday.  

Luckily, they won’t be disappointed, as Sunday’s lineup easily matches the talent in Saturdays.  Bands to watch for Sunday will be Bastille, whose hit single “Pompeii” has become two-times platinum in the U.S. in a little over a year, and veteran indie rockers Modest Mouse, who will close out the last day.

While this past fall’s Boston Calling featured two days with different themes, with a more electronic dance music and disc jockey based second day, capped by Passion Pit, this weekend’s festival will feature a more mixed lineup. 

Appel described the lineup in an interview with the Justice, saying, “This festival has a much better blend than our September festival. What we found in September was that we really had two different crowds that were there, one on each day.  This time we tried to really blend the days together so they were more cohesive with each other.”

Another change this spring will be the festival’s new three-day span after having previously been only two days. 

The inaugural Friday performance will be headlined by Jack Johnson and will also feature a set by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. 

When the Justice asked about the additional day, Appel stated, “We had a good year in 2013 and felt really comfortable with the execution of the event and running it properly but wanted to expand the festival. 

“We were fortunate that Jack Johnson was available and was interested, because he’s great to work with and can really carry a festival night on his own, but has some great support playing with him.” 

While tickets for this weekend’s festival are nearly sold out, with only Friday passes, weekend and individual day V.I.P passes remaining, tickets are now available for this fall’s Boston Calling, which will be held September 5 through 7. 

The fall installation is already promising to be another exciting weekend. Performers already lined up for the fall include Lorde, Childish Gambino, The 1975, Spoon and Nas with The Roots.

Regardless of which festival you attend, whether it be this weekend, this fall, or both, you can expect a great time featuring some of the best young bands currently touring, as well as some of Boston’s best homegrown music. Boston Calling is a great opportunity to get into Boston while also experiencing one of the best music festivals currently functioning in New England, and this weekend is guaranteed to be full of excitement.