The Boston Calling Music Festival will celebrate its 10th edition May 24-26. WGBH News' Henry Santoro interviewed the festival's co-founder, Mike Snow, and Jennifer Weissman, chief marketing officer for Boston Ballet, which will be a new addition to the festival this year. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.
Henry Santoro: Mike, congrats on pulling 10 of these festivals together. Does it get any easier?
Mike Snow: No, we were just talking out in your lobby, it does not get easier. It gets more interesting and more taxing and more enjoyable when you finish. So, it's been a wild ride.
Santoro: Well, because, when the first installment of Boston Calling happened, it was bare bones, it was just a music festival with some comedy thrown in, and there were some fun and games to be played on the plaza. But now there are so many different levels that you've added.
Snow: Yeah. We keep going to the next level and expanding, so between our three outdoor stages, which has over 50 performances, then we go inside into the arena, with comedy, spoken word, the Boston Ballet has performances indoors and outside this year. And then we finish it with some DJ sets from Chromeo, and party the night away in the arena this year.
Santoro: And if festival goers want to watch this thing from 100 feet above, they can just jump on the ferris wheel?
Snow: Yeah, if you want to see backstage, great views of your office — you can see you can pretty much see the New Hampshire on that thing. I think it's 100 feet of way too speedy joy.
Santoro: And Jennifer, Boston Ballet plays to new audiences all the time. What's the approach to performing at a festival like this? Is this out of the ordinary for the ballet?
Jennifer Weissman: This is definitely out of the ordinary. And we are so excited to be part of this festival. Ballet is a living breathing art form; it literally lives in the bodies of our dancers. And for this particular festival, we're doing pieces that are recently created and set to contemporary music.
Santoro: And it's not one and done. The Boston Ballet is scheduled to perform four times over the weekend?
Weissman: Yes, we are. Twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. And with three different pieces, which we're excited about.
Santoro: And there are pieces that are geared towards this type of audience, correct?
Weissman: Absolutely. So, the pieces — the first one is one that we just recently did, an excerpt from Playlist E.P. which was a new ballet that William Forsyth created for us. And he's a world-renowned choreographer and an artist. And when we performed this ballet in March on the stage in the Opera House, it broke all our attendance records. So, we're super excited about that. This particular piece is set to music by Khalid, and it's a really fun one. I'm excited to see it again.
Santoro: The musical highlights this year are some biggies, as always. And you never fail to hit that one up-and-comer just right. One year it was [a band called] Fun. And this year it is...?
Snow: Our newest up-and-comer this year is beautiful, the one and only, Lil NAS X.
Santoro: Yes, topping the charts, the rap charts, the hip hop charts, the urban charts and on the country charts.
Snow: Yea, it's amazing we kind of fell face first into it, luckily.
Santoro: It is the Boston Calling Music Festival, happening Memorial Day Weekend, and tickets are selling very fast.