Boston Calling cements six upcoming dates at City Hall Plaza

Concertgoers of Boston’s well-known Boston Calling Music Festival can look forward to several more shows, after the City of Boston announced its decision to continue to hold the festival at City Hall Plaza through 2017.

The festival, hosted by Crashline Productions, has been held at City Hall Plaza since its founding in May 2013 and takes place in May and September each year. The City recently announced its decision to keep the concert at the same venue for at least six more festivals through 2017, said Gabrielle Farrell, a spokeswoman for the City of Boston.

“This was a mutual decision made between the City of Boston and Crashline Productions,” she said in an email. “Boston Calling has been a great addition to the art scene in Boston. We have the resources, infrastructure and tourism amenities to host this lively event, and look forward to next year.”

There was a question of whether or not the concert would be held in City Hall Plaza after infrastructure damage was found in a small portion of the venue, Farrell said.

“Prior to Boston Calling in May [2014], work was done on a small portion of City Hall Plaza to stabilize a platform that was installed several years ago,” she said. “The plaza is safe and open to the public and has hosted numerous events this past summer.”

Mike Snow, co-founder of the concert series, said he and co-founder Brian Appel are looking forward to keeping the festival in “the heart of the city” and that he could not imagine holding the music festival anywhere else.

“We have worked together with both the last administration [former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino] and this one [Boston Mayor Martin Walsh] to improve the festival and keep it on the plaza,” Snow said in an email. “The inspiration behind it [Boston Calling] was one part our love of the city and the other a take on the Clash’s ‘London Calling’ album title.”

The rain or shine event was most recently held from Sept. 5 through Sept. 7 and featured more than 20 bands and artists, including Lorde, Nas and The Roots and The National.

Several residents and students said City Hall Plaza is a suitable venue for Boston Calling, but other locations would work just as well.

Melvin McGregor, 23, of Roxbury, said given the festival’s success, changing the location of Boston Calling would be irrational.

“The concert is easy to get to from all areas and from all subway lines. It’s the one place you can get to from anywhere,” he said. “If it’s somewhere grassy, then there are more factors to worry about, like the
weather. Downtown is a lot safer. No one is stupid enough to do anything there.”

Miryana Tamaya, a third-year student in Boston University’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs, said she would be more likely to attend the concert if it was held in an area densely populated by students.

“Downtown is nice, and students can make it there easily, but it’s a little far. I would like to see the concert near Harvard [University] campus, which is much nicer for concertgoers,” she said.

Natasha Patel, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the most important factor in choosing Boston Calling’s location is if the artists are content with the venue, more than concertgoers.

“It’s more effective if the artist is happy. If the artist is happy, he or she is going to enjoy playing, and the concert is going to be even better,” she said. “Boston Common would be a great place for a music festival, and it seems like that location makes more sense. I think more people would go, too, and it’s more people-friendly.”


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