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Fall Fairs & Festivals: Boston Calling


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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

With temperatures hovering around the high 70s and mid 80s, summer is still very much in the air, and this weekend, there’ll be music to match it in Boston.

From September 5 through September 7, Boston Calling makes its return, bringing along some of the biggest acts in music, including The National, Lorde, Childish Gambino, Nas and the The Roots.

While VIP packages were snapped up a couple months ago, there are still several different passes available, including ones for single days and the whole festival.

What can you expect when you buy one? Here’s the rundown.

Live at Boston Calling

Photo: Live at Boston Calling via Facebook

The Show

Over the course of three days, more than 20 artists will fill up two stages on City Hall Plaza, which is accessible through public transportation on the Orange Line, Green Line, Blue Line and Red Line. On site, the box office opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, with the gates welcoming guests an hour later and the music coming to a stop around 11 p.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, the ticket office opens at 11 a.m. and the gates open at noon, with the shows lasting until 11 p.m. Of the marquee names, The National will headline Friday night, coming on at 9:30, with Lorde, as well as Childish Gambino, Nas and The Roots, playing at similar times on Saturday and Sunday.

Along with the household names, there will also be some bands that are plenty well established in their own right and playing earlier on in the day. Lake Street Dive, a funky, indy group that came together in Boston, will make an appearance on Sunday, as will Spoon, the Austin-formed rock quintet. Girl Talk will be in the house on Saturday, playing around 7 p.m. For a full look at the lineup, click here or take a spin through the graphic:

Boston Calling Schedule

Eats & Drinks

There are a couple different options when it comes to food and beverages inside Boston Calling. One is to bring your own, as food and factory-sealed bottles of water are welcome (coolers and backpacks are not). The other route is to buy when you’re there, which is the easier of the two. There will be food tents and a beer garden, with a variety of offerings, including some for vegetarians. Festivalgoers can also get a little preview of fall with Sam Adams Octoberfest, which will feature seasonal brews, traditional German fare and all other kinds of good things, making an excellent complement to the shows on stage.

Tegan and Sara

Photo: Tegan and Sara at Boston Calling in May 2014 via Facebook

How to Get There & Where to Stay

As mentioned above, there are several ways to arrive at City Hall Plaza using the subway. On the Orange Line, take the T to Haymarket or State Street; the Blue Line also goes to State Street and the Green Line runs through State Street. On the Red Line, it’s best to stop off at Park Street and then take a quick walk to the grounds. Parking is also available at various garages throughout the city, with the Government Center Garage being the nearest.

In between days at Boston Calling, or after a long night, there are lots of places to kick back and rest up, including the Onyx Hotel and Langham Hotel nearby. For a look at another convenient spot that’s even more budget-friendly, check out the Friend Street Hostel. You can also find a comprehensive listing of Boston lodgings here.

What’s one memorable show that you’ve seen in Massachusetts? Tell us in the comments!

Photo at the top courtesy of Boston Calling on Facebook


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