Festival of the summer: Boston Calling
Boston Calling’s star-studded lineup is sure to draw hordes to its new location, the Harvard Allston Athletic Complex, this Memorial Day weekend. Albeit a newer festival, Boston Calling stands out from Coachella and the like’s overproduced, lately uninspired line-ups and events.
The festival, which is to take place May 26-28, will feature a multitude of varied artists from internationally-known headliners like Chance the Rapper and Mumford & Sons to lesser-known northeastern groups like the psychedelic hip-hop band Flatbush Zombies. In a Justice interview, Marketing Director of Boston Calling Lindsey Couture highlighted that this festival is proud of its Bostonian roots and, despite these big names, will be staying true to Boston and the Boston community.
She discussed that even though Boston Calling is moving out of City Hall to a slightly farther away, much larger location to accommodate crowds, the festival is determined to tend to its audience: Bostonians and their families. The new location is grassy and will have plenty of seating, making the festival a sure weekend destination for all ages, rather than a quick visit for one beloved artist. Couture said this is at the heart of the festival’s mission: “to function as a community with much to see and explore visually with art installations as well as culinary experiences.”
And it is clear that in addition to an enviable line-up, the festival is creating an event sure to please more than just the ear. Specifically, Couture explained that Russ Bennett will be designing the festival, something the well-qualified designer, who previously worked on Bonnaroo, is sure to complete with finesse and expertise. Couture highlighted the curation of the festival and the great care with which food vendors, art installations and musicians have been picked.
In addition to the curated music and food, Boston Calling stands out from other music festivals in its comedy experience. Hosted by Hannibal Buress, this part of the festival will feature sets from 13 standout comedians including Tig Notaro, Pete Holmes and Eugene Mirman. This aspect of the festival was only recently unveiled and will be taking the place of a film experience curated by Natalie Portman, which Boston Calling has assured us will appear in a later edition of the festival.
However, this comedy experience is no let down. Buress’ comedic repertoire, which includes Comedy Central and Netflix specials and roles on TV hits “Broad City” and “The Eric Andre Show,” guarantees this new experience will definitely please.
Boston Calling is moving up in the ranks this year, sure to stand up against the big names of the music festival world like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Warped Tour. However, what keeps Boston Calling fresh and unique is its proud stance about its humble roots and location.
Just as the Boston Terrier icon on Boston Calling’s red posters reminds us, this is a festival for Boston and the people of Boston to enjoy music and art without hopping on a train or plane.