I am so incredibly excited about this year’s Boston Calling Music Festival which will be happening May 24th-26th in, you guessed it, BOSTON (it’s actually Allston, MA). If you do a quick Google search, you find out that Boston Calling is in its 6th year and that it’s been named one of the top 10 festivals in the country. Good stuff, yes, but I think that one of the many things that makes this festival noteworthy is that it’s not just about music! It’s also about comedy, about food, and art, which honestly, is there ANYTHING better? Probably not. But just in case you need some convincing… let’s talk about what separates this festival from others.
The Arena & Three TOP Reasons to Be Exited:
- Let’s talk about this one for a second and understand it. There are already THREE stages at this venue hosting 50 bands, and now, for the first time, they are tossing in the arena - where performances will be running all day and all night. We will see performances by rappers Princess Nokia and Dessa as well DJ performances from Yaeji, Frank White, Naeem, and Chromeo. However, in a sea of festivals all generally doing the same thing, Boston Calling is doing it differently, and here’s what to be excited for...
Check out an official recap of Boston Calling’s 2018 edition.
- I think one of the things that makes this festival really special, is that it has comedy. The comedy was introduced to the festival in 2016. By 2017, they let it take center stage with Hannibal Burress hosting. People to look forward to seeing in this year’s lineup include Fred Armisen, an actor, and musician, who was an SNL cast member for 11 years, co-star/writer/creator on Portlandia. And the lineup doesn’t stop there.
Comedy stage will also feature: Jenny Slate who was Jean Ralphio’s hilarious twin sister on Parks and Rec, and also voices probably no less than a dozen characters (my personal favorite: Tammy on Bob’s Burgers), Michael Che who is co-head writer for SNL which is where you’ve probably seen him as co-anchor on SNL’s Weekend Update, Marina Franklin is not only a comedian, actor, and comedy writer who has made appearances on the Chappelle Show, Conan, Steph Colbert’s Late Show, and Louie.
Need more? Good! How about Mellissa Villasenor, whose voice-over work includes Adventure Time and Family Guy. She’s also an SNL cast member known for her impressions which helped land her a semi-finalist spot on America’s Got Talent. The stage will also feature Boston native, Lamont Price who has performed all over the country and was named the “Best of Boston” comedian for 2018.
Photos of bands performing at Boston Calling 2018 shot by Patrick Moran over the weekend.
- Probably one of my most favorite things tucked away on performance list, is Imogen Heap. She is a singer/songwriter/producer from England, and you probably know her work from either the song “Let Go” from the Garden State soundtrack when she was part of Frou Frou, OR Jason Derulo’s, “Watchayasay” song (that’s actually Imogen Heap’s song, Hide and Seek hidden in that track/chorus).
What you probably don’t know, though, is that she has also become a tech innovator in the last handful of years. Imogen has created wireless controller gloves, called “Mi.Mu,” that allow interaction with computer programs and can be worn by a musician so that the performance can be more fluid. She is currently on tour for the first time in eight years, demoing these gloves. For all of us nerds out there, get excited, because she will be giving a keynote address as well as a “Mi.Mu” demonstration Saturday and Sunday at Boston Calling.
Imogen Heap’s Mi.Mu gloves will “change the way we make music.”
- The Boston Ballet is exactly what it sounds like, a Boston-based classical ballet company and William Forsythe is the choreographer behind those performances you will see. He is an international powerhouse in the ballet world. Forsythe is an installation artist, innovator, and educator. Getting to see the Boston Ballet perform is really a unique experience, and even the Boston Ballet’s site points this out by saying, “This unique collaboration aims to expand the parameters of what a music festival offers.” The Boston Ballet will be performing the Playlist (EP), which you can listen to now on Spotify and features Khalid and Natalie Cole.
You can check out www.bostoncalling.com, where the full line-up has already been announced for all three days of the festival taking place at the Harvard Athletic Complex. Tickets are also available for purchase on the site. Pricing for the 3-day festival starts at $279 for General Admission and goes up from there for VIP & Platinum.
TLDR: 3-day Music Festival in Boston (Allston, MA), music (50 bands on two stages), comedians, the best food in Boston brought to you (you don’t even need to hunt it down), art, a giant Ferris wheel, plus many other activities.