Boston Calling Rocks City Hall Plaza


Vampire Weekend performs Saturday night.

Emily Massarelli

Vampire Weekend performs Saturday night.
Vampire Weekend performs Saturday night.

Lingering bass echoed through the streets of Boston last weekend, as City Hall Plaza transformed into a hub of Indie music. Starting at noon on Saturday September 7th and ending late Sunday night, hipsters far and wide assembled to attend the second annual Boston Calling Music Festival. The energy-filled day consisted of performances by bands ranging from obscure to world famous such as: Passion Pit, Vampire Weekend, Local Natives, The Gaslight Anthem, The Airborne Toxic Event, Bat For Lashes, Flume, and Kendrick Lamar.

    City Hall Plaza was fenced off to contain two main stages—blue and red—where bands alternated their performances throughout the weekend, a merchandise booth, an abundance of not so luxurious port-a-potties, and many overpriced concessions stands. The weather began to look up as the festival progressed; however this led to many sunburns and parched fans. With water starting at four dollars a bottle, it was hard to stay sane and hydrated in the intense and uncalled for September heat. As the night went on, the lineup built up to the more well-known bands. Dedicated fans soon began to camp out for hours on end in front of the stages that their favorite bands would perform at. This dedication paired with heat exhaustion and insatiable hunger led to the unavoidable hostile altercations between fans as crowds grew more dense. Although the music was well worth the trouble, most of the tension between fellow festival attendees could have been eliminated if the prices of food and drink—a basic human need for survival—were lowered to a price that didn’t leave wallets empty at the night’s end.

    Although this June’s lineup didn’t exactly live up the lineup of past May—The Shins, fun., Matt & Kim, Portugal. The Man, Of Monsters and Men, Ra Ra Riot, St. Lucia, etc.—it was more than worth the $75 a day or $130 for the weekend. Concerts with free-for-all standing room have their pros and cons, but in the end provide a freedom and atmosphere that for instance Taylor Swift’s concerts lack. Boston Calling gave ticket holders the privilege of deciding which bands they wanted to listen to and when. There was no pressure to remain glued in one spot for fear of losing a good view of the stage—although this did inevitably happen by choice—and fans could roam as they pleased.

    A third festival has already been announced for May 24th and 25th of 2014, but a lineup has yet to be released leaving fans in suspense. On September 12th, only a few days after the latest festival, an early bird ticket sale of $75 per day pass was held for the upcoming and anticipated festival. Boston Calling’s notability continues to grow, ensuring the approaching festival in May will be too good to miss.