‘Boston Calling’ gets set to take over City Hall Plaza

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/05/26/boston-calling-gets-set-to-take-over-city-hall-plaza/

BOSTON – Flower crowns, plaid shirts and full animal costumes are about to dot downtown Boston as City Hall Plaza becomes a staging area Friday to host an urban music festival.

“Just to see the transformation of the place and the impractical decisions by the clothing people go with” makes him look forward to the weekend, said Mike Snow, one of the co-founders of the “Boston Calling” event.

“One time a guy dressed in a full rabbit suit,” Snow said. “The people-watching is a very good time.”

For its seventh edition, the spring-fall fest returns to the sprawling red-brick expanse with a diverse, 23-act lineup. The styles will range from pop to electronic, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n roll, including four 2016 Grammy award nominees. Since its debut in May 2013, the semi-annual, three-day event has entertained more than 250,000 music fans.

Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, the festival features two primary performance stages presenting non-overlapping sets, while this year a third, more intimate stage will feature comedy and performances by local acts. The organizers have also added more food and beverage offerings. Tickets are still available, with three-day passes for $325 and single-day tickets for $85.

“We have tried to make each successive edition of Boston Calling more exciting and diverse, and this May’s festival is no different,” Aaron Dessner, the event’s curator, said in a statement.  “To have artists as adventurous and distinct as Sufjan, Sia, Charles Bradley, Haim, Robyn, Lizzo and Battles, to name just a few, is incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to take it all in.”

This year, the lineup will feature many female artists as well.

“We have a really strong female representation,” Snow said, adding that it wasn’t by design. “We are really lucky to have such an equal display of sexes who are controlling the microphone.”

As far as changes from previous shows, the layout will be a little different, partly because the new Government Center MBTA subway station recently opened on the corner of the plaza near Tremont and Court Street, a new wine pavilion provided by Wine Riot, and the third stage.

“It’s no secret that Boston Calling has quickly become one of the premiere live music festivals,” said Lamont Price, a Boston-based comedian, in a prepared statement.

“When the festival called and asked me to help curate a brand new Comedy stage I immediately said, ‘yes – as long as I get to be Janelle Monáe’s hype man and best friend/husband!’” Price quipped.

Snow said he hopes the comic acts will draw the attention of festival goers as they gather to hear their favorite bands.

For those planning to go, Snow advises wearing comfortable shoes and bringing along plenty of water and sunscreen.

“It get’s really hot being on brick,” he said. “It’s a very difficult place to stand.”

Snow has his own favorites among those in the lineup.

“Michael Christmas – I recently had the pleasure of meeting him and look forward to seeing his performance,” Snow said. “But later on Elle King and Janelle Moáne, who has an amazing stage presence, or BØRNS.”

But he has a greater concern than catching a favorite act.

“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that we have good weather,” he said.