Pro Tips: Here are some things to know for this weekend’s Boston Calling Music Festival

Jenny Lewis

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s you are very likely aware by now, Boston Calling kicks off tonight for a three-day slate of live music at City Hall Plaza. Last year I had the honor of serving as Social Media Director for both the inaugural May and sophomore September fests, a role that’s been since passed along to Vanyaland’s Weekenders correspondent Alison D’Arrigo. Follow her and the Boston Calling team on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates and information.

Meanwhile, tomorrow we’ll launch our own Boston Calling special section, complete with updates, recaps, and a real-time social media cascade. It’s so fucking fancy, Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX should be singing about it.

We’ll also be coming to you live on Vanya Radio all day(s) long, so keep it locked as we survey the scene and deliver a blow-by-blow account of all things Boston Calling, from quips about the weather to band interviews to twitpics of cat fights in the Media Tent.

With all that said, here are a few helpful hints to get you going. Tip #1: Don’t ever call our city “Beantown,” we’ll know you’re not from here. We good? Ok, on the rest of the tips:

Timing Is Everything

For tonight’s opening slate, the box office opens at 5 p.m., the gates open at 6 p.m., and everything will be done — even you, Jack Johnson — by 11 p.m. Come tomorrow and Sunday, the times look like this: Box office opens at 11 a.m.; Gates open at noon; Music ends by 11 p.m.

Here are the schedules for each day. Memorize this or you’ll miss out on everything (just kidding, these should be posted around City Hall).


Repping Boston

This season’s Boston Calling has two locals repping the host city: the dirty Americana of Tigerman WOAH and the silky-smooth synthpop of Magic Man. You can hear their “Old Plank Road” and “Paris” pretty much daily on Vanya Radio, but in case you are unfamiliar, peep the videos below…

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How Do I Get To City Hall Plaza?

Driving into Boston sucks even when it’s Wednesday at 2 a.m. and there’s fuck-all going on in the city. With Boston Calling and 23,000 heads rolling up to one area that was built to accommodate hard knock life in 1912, it’s destined to be a shitshow. So we suggest getting to City Hall Plaza by our famed public transportation, the T — which stands for “Terrific,” and this weekend you’ll find out why.

Boston Calling’s main entrance location is on Congress Street so take the T to Haymarket or State Street station. The fest is easily accessible from multiple MBTA stations: Orange Line: Haymarket or State; Blue Line: State Street; Red Line: Park Street; Green Line: Haymarket.

Yes, the Government Center T stop is closed, and no, it won’t have any negative impact on the festival. Unless the construction vehicles suddenly go evil and turn into Transformer Constructicons intent on killing Modest Mouse. Scollay Square has seen weirder shit. (Don’t worry about what Scollay Square is/was.)

If you insist on driving to City Hall Plaza (like a doofus) the preferred parking is at the Government Center Garage, at 50 New Sudbury St. This will make getting out of the Xfinity Center feel like a Sunday morning drive through Tuukka Rask’s five-hole, but we won’t tell you how to live your life.

What Should You Bring To Boston Calling?

The following items are allowed:

Non-professional film and digital cameras
(1) Factory-sealed bottle of water (non-glass container)
A small clear plastic bag (no backpacks are allowed inside the festival)
Valid Driver’s License for will-call and/or to drink alcohol
Comfortable footwear
A good attitude
Money for Vanyaland (we gotta keep this website running somehow)

What Should You NOT Bring To Boston Calling?

The following items are prohibited, you knucklehead:

Large bags/backpacks (bags can be no larger than 12″ x 12″)
Weapons of any kind
Professional cameras & recording devices (no SLR/DSLR or cameras with detachable lenses)
Illegal substances
Squirt guns, misters, spray bottles, etc
Laser pens and similar focused-light devices
Chairs / Strollers
Cans, canteens, flasks (empty camelbaks and water bottles will be allowed)
Shit Attitudes
Bicycles, scooters, personal motorized vehicles
Musical instruments
Sleeping bags (no overnight camping or sleepovers)
Any container of liquid other than 1 factory sealed bottle of water
Totem poles or flag sticks
Negative Nancys
Walkie Talkies
Fake IDs (they will be confiscated and your wristband will be cut without refund. Slow your roll, McLovin.)

When Is Jenny Lewis Playing?

The one-time Rilo Kiley frontwoman is performing Saturday at 4:55 p.m. on the Blue Stage. Please make plans accordingly.

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“I’m Always Hungry at 2 p.m. — What Can We Eat?”

Glad you asked, hunger child. Re-admission is allowed in and out of the Festival (mmmm, In-N-Out, we wish), so you can easily hit up any of the fast food joints, restaurants and bars in the Government Center / City Hall Plaza / Faneuil Hall area. From Boston Calling themselves:

Delicious food from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Tasty Burger, Roxy’s, Bon Me, The Chicken and Rice Guys, Flatbread Pizza and much more. Sam Adams will be featured in all beer vending areas as well as in the VIP section. All VIP catering will be handled by the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston. Beer and wine will be available to those who are 21+. Please make sure to bring proper ID and grab a wrist band from the ID Check tent by the main entrance.

What about the afterparties?

If 10 hours of rock is not enough for you, there is plenty going on around town to keep raging on. Awesome Day Fest is taking over Allston all-day Saturday and will still be going once Boston Calling ends, and Do617’s Last Call party at Brighton Music Hall opens at 11 p.m., featuring Doom Lover, the Shills, and DJ Leah V. Just take the T to Allston (Green Line B Line, sorry) and pick your poison.

Come Sunday, the Boston Clawing event at Ned Devine’s are where all the cool kids will be going after Boston Calling calls it a day (some even sooner). It’s organized by Tigerman WOAH and a host of great Boston event-planners, musicians, and overall rad people, so get on the RSVP list and we’ll see your drunk ass there for Eddie Japan, the Life Electric, Friendly People and others. There are even two surprise guest bands. Oh, and Parlour Bells are on at the same time as Brand New, so looks like you have some decisions to make.

Oh, and you DO NOT need a Boston Calling ticket to get into the Last Call or Boston Clawing parties, so come hang out.

Note: If you can’t get enough of Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls — and who of us can, really — then head to the Sinclair Saturday + Sunday night for his club-gig afterparties. Shit is sold out though, so you have to still believe really hard and talk your way in.

As for the other events we just mentioned, check out the various flyers (people worked hard on them):

Last Call

Awesome Day Poster