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Exclusive: ‘Boston Calling’ Coming Back Bigger and Better

In what has been a transitional and eventful year for Boston, the Boston Calling Music Festival in May brought a sold out crowd of thousands to their feet in City Hall Plaza. Organizers brought in musical acts ranging from FUN, The Shins, The National, to the local Bad Rabbits.

Boston Calling

Photo credit: Mike Diskin

The original Boston Calling, held in late May, brought the city together by hosting a weekend filled with music, food, and an environment that could have only been possible in one Boston’s legendary plazas.

With the city skyline backdrop, the nationally recognized performing acts, and thousands of people singing along, it is easy to understand why people paid and dedicated an entire weekend to the festival.

It was so successful that soon after the first festival, organizers announced the second Boston Calling to go ahead the very same year. Once again in City Hall Plaza, organizers also announced that the second festival would be held September 7th and 8th. Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit were both listed as the festival headliners with a supporting bill that includes Kendrick Lamar, Local Natives, Major Lazer and many more.

“We’re so appreciative of and motivated by all of the support we have received from fans, artists and the city. It’s an honor to bring Boston Calling back to our city,” festival Co-Founder Brian Appel said in a press release.

With Vampire Weekend releasing their third full-length album, Modern Vampires of the City, earlier this year, and with Passion Pit’s local roots, organizers are hoping to achieve the same level of success as they did during the first festival.

The choice to host the festival in City Hall Plaza was no accident. Appel, in an interview with The Voice, explained that he hoped hosting the festival in such a central part of Boston would create a community atmosphere for festival goers. “I want people to step outside the festival and explore Boston.”

While it is unusual to organize such a large music festival twice within only a few months in the same location, organizers explained their choice by guaranteeing that after the first festival they were able to better understand the Plaza’s layout and better prepare for safety emergencies. “Our Key driver was having a safe event.”

The main reason for hosting another event in September, as Appel explained, was due to the unique influx of people that come in and out of Boston during the summer and college move in days. “The people that are here in May aren’t the same people that are here in September.” Appel also said that he hoped to keep the festival going twice a year in the future.

After selling out the first festival, and being on course to repeat another successful weekend, Appel said he didn’t expect this much success early on and felt humbled by the experience. “The city really showed that it really wanted something like this.”

Tickets are available at and through Goers can also purchase tickets without a service fee at The Sinclair in Cambridge or at the Royale Box on Tremont Street.

A portion of the proceeds made at the festival will make its way to the Music Therapy Program at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

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