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Boston Calling Music Festival is a Boston-based music festival. The festival debuted in May 2013 and previously took place twice a year, May and September, at City Hall Plaza. The festival reportedly attracted 20-22,000 fans with its earlier editions, eventually drawing roughly 40,000 festival goers in 2017[1][2]. In May 2016, Boston Calling announced it would move to the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston in May 2017 and transition to one festival per year, with the new space allowing the addition of more music stages and the inclusion of stand-up comedy performers.[3] .

Boston Calling Music Festival
May 24–May 26, 2019
Location(s)Boston City Hall Plaza
Years active2013-present

Boston's Calling's line-up is co-curated by Aaron Dessner of The National and is produced by Crash Line Productions, a Boston-based entertainment production company which also produces Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.. Performers of past Boston Callings have included Sia, The National, Beck, My Morning Jacket, Of Monsters and Men, Fun., Kendrick Lamar, Passion Pit, Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse, Airborne Toxic Event, Disclosure, Eminem and Travis Scott.


Mass surveillanceEdit

The city of Boston spent $650,000 to test IBM software that monitored concertgoers from existing security cameras in May and September 2013. Videos from the test were later found online by DigBoston, which reported on it in August 2014.[4] Though the city decided not to buy the software, it was criticized for not notifying concertgoers.[5] Participants in the test were reportedly able to search for people by head color, skin tone, clothing texture, and baldness; and to monitor the number of persons at the event and whether anyone was in a restricted area.[4]


Boston Calling was previously held twice a year in May and September. The festival's first two editions were two-day events. In its second year, Boston Calling expanded to three days.[6]

Spring 2013Edit

The first Boston Calling, held May 25 and 26, 2013 featured: Fun.., The National, The Shins, Of Monsters and Men, Young the Giant, Marina and the Diamonds, Andrew Bird, Matt & Kim, Portugal. The Man, Dirty Projectors, Ra Ra Riot, Cults, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, MS MR, St. Lucia, Caspian, and Bad Rabbits.

Fall 2013Edit

The second Boston Calling, held September 7 and 8, 2013 featured: Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Local Natives, Major Lazer, The Gaslight Anthem, The Airborne Toxic Event, Wolfgang Gartner, Solange, Bat for Lashes, Flosstradamus, Deer Tick, Okkervil River, Flume, Lucius, Big Black Delta, You Won't, and Bearstronaut.

Spring 2014Edit

The third Boston Calling, held May 23, 24 and 25, 2014 featured: Jack Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Brand New, The Head and the Heart, Tegan and Sara, Bastille, Jenny Lewis, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, The Neighbourhood, Phosphorescent, Built to Spill, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Walk Off the Earth, Warpaint, Cass McCombs, Maxïmo Park, The Districts, Tigerman WOAH!, and Magic Man.

Fall 2014Edit

The fourth Boston Calling, held September 5, 6 and 7, 2014 featured: The National, Lorde, The Replacements, Nas x The Roots, Neutral Milk Hotel, Childish Gambino, Spoon, Girl Talk, The 1975, Volcano Choir, Twenty One Pilots, The War on Drugs, The Hold Steady, Lake Street Dive, Bleachers, White Denim, Sky Ferreira, Future Islands, San Fermin, S. Carey, CliffLight, and Gentlemen Hall.

Spring 2015Edit

The fifth Boston Calling, held May 22, 23 and 24, 2015 featured: Beck, Pixies, My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Tenacious D, Tame Impala, St. Vincent, TV on the Radio, Marina and the Diamonds, Jason Isbell, Gerard Way, Tove Lo, Chet Faker, Run the Jewels, The Lone Bellow, Sharon Van Etten, Jungle, , ILoveMakonnen, DMA's, The Ballroom Thieves, and Krill.

Fall 2015Edit

The sixth Boston Calling, held September 25, 26 and 27, 2015 featured: The Avett Brothers, Alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Hozier, Of Monsters and Men, Chvrches, Ben Howard, Chromeo, Walk the Moon, Nate Ruess, Father John Misty, Sturgill Simpson, MisterWives, Daughter, Twin Shadow, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Fidlar, Doomtree, Gregory Alan Isakov, Grizfolk, Bully, Dirty Bangs, and Grey Season.

Spring 2016Edit

The seventh Boston Calling, held May 27, 28 and 29, 2016 featured: Sia, Disclosure, Robyn, ODESZA, Sufjan Stevens, Haim, Miike Snow, Janelle Monáe, City and Colour, Courtney Barnett, Elle King, The Front Bottoms, BØRNS, Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, The Vaccines, Vince Staples, Battles, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Christine and the Queens, Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner, Lizzo, Palehound, and Michael Christmas.


The eighth Boston Calling, held May 26, 27 and 28, 2017, featured: Chance the Rapper, Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, Migos, Mac Demarco, Sylvan Esso, Car Seat Headrest, Francis and the Lights, Deerhoof, Whitney, Lucy Dacus, Vundabar, Xylouris White, Mumford and Sons, The xx, The 1975, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Tegan and Sara, Brandi Carlile, Majid Jordan, Oh Wonder, Danny Brown, Cousin Stizz, Russ, Strand of Oaks, Moses Sumney, Kevin Morby, Tkay Maidza, Alexandra Savior, Tool, Major Lazer, Weezer, Cage the Elephant, Run the Jewels, Flatbush Zombies, Converge, Piebald, Wolf Parade, Frightened Rabbit, Buffalo Tom, PUP, Hiss Golden Messenger, The Hotelier, and Mondo Cozmo.


The ninth Boston Calling was held on May 25, 26 and 27, 2018 at the Harvard Athletic Complex. The headliners were Eminem, The Killers and Jack White.



This will be Boston Calling's tenth edition of the festival. Boston Calling will held on May 24, 25 and 26, 2019 at the Harvard Athletic Complex. The headliners this year are scheduled to be Twenty One Pilots, Travis Scott, and Tame Impala.

Line-up[citation needed]


  1. ^ "So Boston Calling Got A Lot Bigger ... And Other Thoughts". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  2. ^ Buchman, Riana (2019-03-14). "Boston Calling may be losing local roots as it keeps growing". The Huntington News. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
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  6. ^ "Past Lineups". Boston Calling. Crash Line Productions.