This weekend, music aficionados from the Bay State and beyond will descend upon City Hall Plaza for two days of dancing, food, and general good vibes. The occasion? It’s Boston Calling — Beantown’s first ever two-day music festival. On Saturday and Sunday, 19,500 fans will shake what their mother gave them to the sounds of The Shins, Of Monsters and Men, Matt & Kim, The Walkmen, Fun., The National, and many more.
If this is the first time you’re hearing of the festival, and you want to attend, well…you’re pretty much out of luck. There are a few VIP tickets still for sale, but thanks to an impressive lineup and early buzz, Boston Calling has sold out general admission — a pleasant surprise for festival co-founder Brian Appel, of Crashline Productions.
“I don’t think you can ever start something and build a model where you expect to sell out,” he said. “It’s just exciting to see the reaction from the city and the people involved in this as it all comes together.”
If you don’t consider yourself VIP material, mark your calendar for next year’s festival. Or you could always try setting up a lawn chair by Faneuil Hall — you might be able to hear the whole thing.
For those of you who did snag a ticket and are eagerly awaiting the weekend’s first act (Bad Rabbits), here’s what you can expect. On Saturday and Sunday, the first band will take the stage at 1:30 pm, with the day's headlining act scheduled to go on at 9.
In a somewhat unprecedented move that super-fans are sure to appreciate, Boston Calling has no overlapping sets. Acts will alternate between two stages, but no two bands will ever play at the same time. So stop worrying — you don’t have to miss a single guitar strum, downbeat, or howl of the weekend’s 18 performances.
Which act is Appel most looking forward to?
“I’m very partial to The National,” he admits. “I think those guys have been great to us from the day we launched this event.”
When you’re packing your festival-going bag (straw fedora for looking cool, iPhone for Instagramming everything, hand sanitizer…because…germs), you might want to throw in a sweatshirt and a poncho. The weekend’s weather forecast is cool and decidedly wet. But Appel doesn’t expect the rain to, ahem, dampen the festival fun.
“I think that we have a lot of people coming that are looking to have a good time,” Appel said. “I don’t think the weather is going to be much of a deterrent for that.”
At least you can drown the sorrows of your drowned clothes at two beer gardens, which will pour offerings from Harpoon Brewery and Woodchuck Hard Cider. It won’t make you drier, but it might make you happier.
Of course, now that you’re fully informed about the weekend’s proceedings, you’re going to need a little music to tide you over until Boston Calling begins. I’m happy to help — here are a few of the songs I’m hoping to hear this weekend.
St. Lucia — All Eyes on You
The Walkmen — Angela Surf City
Of Monsters and Men — Dirty Paws
The National — Fake Empire
Portugal. The Man — The Sun