Boston Calling Returns To City Hall Plaza For Memorial Day Weekend

Posted May 26, 2016 by Brian Keaney in Theater & Arts
Boston Calling 2015

Boston Calling, the Hub’s twice a year urban music festival, returns to City Hall Plaza this weekend with more diverse acts, more to see, and more to eat and drink thank ever before. The seventh iteration of the spring-fall festival features 24 musical acts that range from pop to electronic, rhythm and blues to rock ‘n roll.  Included in that lineup are four 2016 Grammy award nominees and four local bands fans are sure to love. And, no doubt, concert goers will be attired in costumes that are as impractical and eccentric as those seen on stage.

Kicking off after work lets out on Friday evening at 6:00, the pair of primary performance stages will feature artists putting on non-overlapping sets. A third, more intimate stage across the plaza will feature local acts and, for the first time, comedians. The acts on the third stage will overlap with the main stages, so be sure to check out the lineup and plan accordingly.

The lineup is deliberately diverse. Of the 24 acts, a total of 10 are fronted by women, and in the eclectic mix are some of the most forward-thinking musicians of the day. As has become tradition, both weekend days will begin with local artists. At 12:55 on Saturday, folky guitar-rock trio Palehound will open, and Michael Christmas will delight hip hop fans at the same time on Sunday. Sia closes on Friday, with a set that begins at 9:45 pm. Robyn headlines Saturday, and Disclosure will see the festival out for another season on Sunday night. Both take the stage at 9:20 pm.

A new addition this season is the comedy and local act stage, hosted by Comedy Central “Comedian to Watch” and Boston native Lamont Price.

“It’s no secret that Boston Calling has quickly become one of the premiere live music festivals,” Price said in a statement. “When the festival called and asked me to help curate a brand new Comedy stage I immediately said, ‘yes – as long as I get to be Janelle Monáe’s hype man and best friend/husband!’” Price joked.

Tickets are currently for sale on the Boston Calling website. Options include two day general admission, a two day VIP experience, single day general admission or VIP tickets for either Saturday or Sunday,  and a limited number of both VIP and general admission three day passes.

Organizers recommend wearing comfortable shoes–the bricks of City Hall Plaza can be difficult to stand on–and sunscreen. They also suggest bringing plenty of water, but for those who prefer beverages of a harder variety, selections will abound.  Samuel Adams will be back again, but will be competing with a new kid on the block (no, not those New Kids On The Block).

A special Boston Calling beer brewed by Danish brewer Mikkeller will be available for nine dollars. Known as BC Dream, it has 4.6% ABV, with low bitterness and floral aromas. Mikkeller does not have a single official brewery. Instead, they brew one-off beers for music festivals and other events. For Boston Calling, they have mixed Galaxy, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops that have given the pilsner a fruity expression. The California blood oranges thrown in the mix gave the beer both a subtle orange color and sweetness.  If the fruit of the vine is more your flavor, a selection of wines curated by Wine Riot will also be for sale.