BOSTON — Boston Calling is about to kick off its 10th event, though it's been just six years since the first. The now-once-a-year festival at Harvard's Athletic Complex has blossomed from a twice-a-year event at City Hall into a massive celebration of music, arts and culture.
The three-day festival from May 24-26 will host scores of concert-goers, lots of major bands and a handful of comedians.
This will mark the third year of Calling's foray into the Allston/Brighton part of the city, splashing Harvard's athletic complex with stages, lounges and sponsored tents for a weekend of partying to kick off many college students' summers.
After ironing out a few wrinkles from the first year at Harvard, the map for 2019 looks mostly the same as last year and hopefully, the festival organizers have worked out exactly how to put on this event in its still-newish-home.
What can we say, Boston is home to some excellent chefs and wonderful food concepts. If nothing else, Boston Calling has proven itself an excellent curator of concert cuisine. You can find a full, interactive menu here.
This year's lineup plays heavily to a younger crowd, which probably goes hand-in-hand with Calling's move to student territory a few years ago. But don't worry, any music fan will find a few acts worth checking out.
Friday - The last-minute addition of Chvrches is going to garner a lot of interest, whether you're just showing up early for Twenty One Pilots or you've been hanging around since Fred Armisen's set. But if you can get out of work a little early, don't miss Lord Huron. The sometimes-melancholy sound perks up in the group's few hits, but it's a band that gets bigger and better when on the stage.
Saturday - Okay, stay with me on this one. I'm biased as we come from the same town, but if you can show up early enough to catch White Reaper at 2:00 p.m., you won't be disappointed. They bring their frenetic energy to the stage in a big way. They're a hard rocking band for generation Z and they know how to put on a show. But definitely hang around for Hozier. That voice doesn't disappoint in person.
Sunday - The one and only Brandi Carlile will be headlining the Delta Stage at 8 p.m. and you won't want to miss it. She pairs beautiful vocal harmonies with extremely human songwriting to make for a pure Americana music experience. In 2017, she donned a Boston Red Sox hat for her set and sang The Mother directly to her daughter, for whom it was written, just off stage. This could be the set of the weekend.
Harvard's Athletic Complex isn't a far walk from the Harvard Square T Stop on the Red Line -- and that's probably the best way to get there. You can also access the fields from the 66 and 86 bus lines.
There will also be bicycle parking on site, but there won't be any car parking. So the best way is really to take the T or the bus. Lyft, Boston Calling's official ride-share partner, will have a designated drop-off zone on North Harvard Street.
Knowing Allston is decidedly less convenient for most people than City Hall Plaza, organizers put together a short video to help you out with getting to the festival.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
- Non-professional film and digital cameras
- 1 Factory-sealed bottle of water (non-glass container)
- A small clear plastic bag (no backpacks are allowed inside the festival)
- Valid Driver's License for will-call and/or to purchase alcohol
- Comfortable footwear
You can find even more information, transportation guides and frequently asked questions here.
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