From a Donna Summer party to Suffolk Downs to the Sumner Tunnel, here's a primer to this weekend in Boston

A coyote statue used to keep geese off the lawn at Suffolk Downs overlooks the open area where the Re:SET Boston concert series will be held. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A coyote statue used to keep geese off the lawn at Suffolk Downs overlooks the open area where the Re:SET Boston concert series will be held. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

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Boston Calling may get all the hype, but local music lovers have a lot to look forward to in this final weekend of spring. Let’s get to it:

The weekend begins on a groovy note: Strap on your roller skates for the return of the Donna Summer Disco Party at Boston City Hall Plaza. The 9th annual celebration of the late Dorchester-born, Mission Hill-raised disco legend features Summer’s greatest hits, glow sticks, bubbles, colorful lights and — of course — a disco ball. And it’s free!

  • John Borders IV, the city’s director of tourism, sports and entertainment, says the event pays tribute to a Bostonian who was often overlooked in her own time. (Summer died in 2012.) “If we, as the city of Boston, can continue to recognize and champion our own, then it will continue to inspire that next generation of Bostonians to go out into the world and be great,” Borders told WBUR’s Jacob Garcia. The fun begins tonight at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, The Stage is set — or should we say Re:SET — at Suffolk Downs. The new 8,500-person seasonal outdoor music venue on the old East Boston race track’s infield grass is opening this weekend with a three-day series of concerts including headliners Steve Lacy, LCD Soundsystem and boygenius (the indie rock “supergroup” formed by Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus). It’s part of a roving, multi-city mini-festival dubbed “Re: SET.”

  • Big picture: WBUR’s Andrea Shea got a sneak peak at the unique new venue, which popped up as construction crews begin work on the first phase of the massive Suffolk Downs mixed-used development that officials say will eventually be home to 15,000 people. Adding a hip, cultural venue is partly strategic, according to Tom O’Brien, CEO of the development firm HYM. “What we’re trying to do is introduce this site to people so that they’ll come here and think about this place in a different way,” he said.
  • Flashback: While a seasonal concert site is new to Suffolk Downs, live concerts are not. As Shea notes, the historic racetrack has hosted Björk, Radiohead, the Jackson Five and — perhaps most famously — the Beatles.

And now we negotiate: As expected, the Massachusetts Senate passed its scaled-down tax relief proposal yesterday. There are a few significant differences between the House and Senate bills (read more about that here) meaning the two sides will select negotiators to work on a compromise bill behind closed doors in a conference committee.

  • Holding ground: Senate President Karen Spilka defended the move not to include cuts to the short-term capital gains tax in the Senate bill during a meeting yesterday with top business leaders. Spilka said her members wanted “loud and clear” to focus on individuals and working families, per State House News Service.
  • Save the date: The Senate also scheduled a Nov. 7 special election to replace former state senator Anne Gobi, who was appointed to be Gov. Maura Healey’s director of rural affairs.

A negotiations success: Teachers in Worcester are officially getting pay raises and new benefits. The city’s school committee unanimously ratified a new contract with the Worcester’s teachers unions last night. (A tentative deal was first reached in May.)

  • The Telegram & Gazette reports that teachers also overwhelmingly approved the new contract, which runs through August 2026.

For your weekend planning purposes: Shuttle buses are replacing all trolley service on the Green Line Extension again this weekend. That means B and C branch trolleys will terminate at Park Street, and D and E branch trolleys will terminate at Government Center. (Also, Haymarket station will only be served by inbound shuttle buses.)

P.S.— MassWildlife officials want help counting a particular animal this summer. Think you know what it is? Then take our Boston News Quiz and test your knowledge of the stories we covered his week.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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