Everything You Need To Know About This Weekend's Boston Calling Music Festival

(Mike Diskin/Boston Calling)
(Mike Diskin/Boston Calling)

The Boston Calling music festival is back for its third installment this weekend at City Hall Plaza. For those of you who were lucky to get your tickets early (only Friday evening passes and pricey VIP tickets remain) here's what you need to know to get through the weekend.

(Also check out our live social feed of #BostonCalling pictures here.)


The festival happens rain or shine. The good news is WBUR meteorologist David Epstein predicts this weekend's weather will cooperate. Here's his forecast:

If we see any showers during the festival they will be brief. The most likely time of any rainfall would be Friday early in the evening and again Saturday afternoon. There’s a good chance the rain bypasses the area the entire weekend. I would put the odds of staying dry at 70 percent and of seeing a shower at 30 percent. Let’s hope the music gods are listening!

Temperatures will be cool on Friday night staying in the 50s all evening. For the rest of the weekend, expect temperatures mostly in the 60s.

Getting there

Gates open at 6 p.m. on Friday, and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. The main entrance is via Congress Street.

The Government Center MBTA stop is closed for renovations, but there are plenty of other nearby options:

  • Haymarket — Green and Orange lines
  • State Street — Orange and Blue lines
  • Park Street — Red and Green lines

If you plan to drive, festival organizers suggest you park at the Government Center Garage located at 50 New Sudbury St. You can pay ahead of time here for $15/day.

Lineup schedule

(Note: Friday's night schedule was updated Friday afternoon)

What to bring and what to leave at home

There's not much shade on City Hall Plaza, so don't forget some sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. If you plan on getting an adult beverage, you'll need to remember your ID and get a wristband near the main entrance.

If it does rain, don't bother bringing an umbrella — they are not allowed. Large bags — bigger than 12 inches by 12 inches are also prohibited, along with:

  • strollers
  • professional cameras (no SLR/DSLR or cameras with detachable lenses)
  • illegal substances
  • weapons
  • squirt guns
  • laser pens
  • flasks
  • pets
  • bikes
  • musical instruments
  • sleeping bags
  • flag sticks
  • walkie talkies

You can bring in food, but not candy. You're also allowed a single factory-sealed or empty water bottle, but no other liquids will be permitted.

Food and drink

A good number of local vendors will be on hand selling food, including Tasty Burger, Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Bon Me, The Chicken and Rice Guys and Flatbread Pizza. Chipotle will also be there, and Hard Rock Cafe is catering the VIP section.

Beer and wine will be available, but you will need a wristband from the entrance area.

There's no reentry Friday evening, but on Saturday and Sunday festival goers can come and go as they like, so you won't be tied down to the these options.

Prepare yourself 

Chances are there's a few artists you've never heard of. Check out Allston Pudding's comprehensive, artist-by-artist previews for each day's lineup for a taste of what to expect.

You can also check out this Spotify playlist. It features a few of each artist's most popular songs on Spotify — arguably not the best each has to offer, but you'll get the idea.

More music 

Now would be a good time to get tickets for the fall festival. The ARTery's Amelia Mason — who says this weekend's lineup "confirmed all my worst fears about what a high-profile popular music festival was destined to become: too white, too male, too straight, and altogether too safe" — thinks the fall lineup is better anyways and offers "a tantalizing glimpse of Boston Calling’s exciting potential." (Read her full preview here.)

If you can't wait that long, check out the weekly Boston Calling block parties this summer, where each Thursday in Dewey Square you can catch some local acts and enjoy a beer outside (yep). The events, though, are 21 plus. The group announces the lineup weekly on their event Facebook page.


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