For three days this September, thousands will rally inside Boston’s City Hall Plaza, instilling over 200,000 square feet of concrete with enough exuberance to brighten the bricks. Produced by Crash Line Productions and co-curated by Aaron Dessner of The National, the Boston Calling music festival made its original debut in Downtown Boston with a series of shows in May of 2013. Although from the moment it had arrived on the busy concert circuit, it was nationally recognized as a young festival in full bloom, instantly attracting the biggest names in music as fans from all over descended upon the city, intent on experiencing something they couldn’t anywhere else. Because to go to Boston Calling isn’t just a chance to see the best live acts in the country, it’s a chance to attend a music festival where the city itself is another name on the bill.
Highly innovative in its structure and design, Boston Calling has continually won praise for the shrewd, farsighted vision of its founders. Situated in the very heart of the city, its close proximity to the historic Faneuil Hall and its marketplace of restaurants and shops has made the busy metropolis an essential backdrop to the three-day event. And while a bronze statue of Samuel Adams can be seen just behind Faneuil Hall on Congress Street, on the last week of September his face will be just as visible inside the Plaza. Providing ice cold beer to compliment the festival’s pavilion of local and national food vendors, the locally based Samuel Adams Brewery will be available alongside meals from beloved neighborhood haunts like Tasty Burger, a local favorite that is a staple of both Boston Calling and Fenway Park.
In addition to its unique location and small-town feel, Boston Calling’s line-ups routinely feature a vast assortment of musicians and artists without feeling like a completely random assortment of musicians and artists. And while each event moves across genres, previously making room for the likes of Vampire Weekend, the Dirty Projectors, the Pixies, Tenacious D, My Morning Jacket, Matt and Kim, Fun, the Districts, Gaslight Anthem, Lucius, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Brand New, Deer Tick, You Won’t, War on Drugs, Nas and the Roots, Spoon, Jason Isbell, Run the Jewels, Lake Street Drive, Kurt Vile and the Violaters and Childish Gambino, amongst a slew of others, Boston Calling tends to resemble less of a virtual jukebox of college and indie rock radio and instead unfolds as a three-day equivalent of a live-action mix tape, painstakingly created by a steady, meticulous hand. And by featuring only two stages with no over-lapping sets, Boston Calling is the ultimate artist showcase, inspiring a more heightened level of excitement and build-up precisely because you can’t adjust the dial. Savoring high-energy sets from all their favorite bands, thousands experience every second of the show as a community, bobbing their heads along in unison as the daytime fades and the city’s glowing skyline surfaces.
On September 25th, 26th and 27th, the city will welcome music’s top performers to the Plaza stage for Boston Calling’s sixth edition. Featuring the Avett Brothers, Alt-J, the Alabama Shakes, Hozier, Ben Howard, Chromeo, Nate Ruess, Father John Misty, Sturgill Simpson, Dirty Bangs, Grey Season, Twin Shadow, Gregory Alan Isakov and many more, Boston Calling’s second and final show of 2015 has emerged as one of their most diverse line-ups yet, pulling music fans of every genre towards One City Hall Square.
Visit Boston Calling online for tickets and check back with Pancakes and Whiskey for show coverage
Article: Caitlin Phillips