Boston Calling splits with Bowery, names MusicFestNW’s Trevor Solomon new booking agent

Credit: Oregon Live

Just as Boston Calling Music Festival secures three more years of bi-annual music festivals at City Hall Plaza, there are some major changes in-house at Crash Line Productions.

The event management company and founders of Boston Calling have parted ways with Bowery Boston, the local chapter of New York-based Bowery Presents and the booking agency that helped shape the artist lineup and managed the box office. As a result, Crash Line has hired its own booking agent, naming MusicFestNW executive director Trevor Solomon as its new in-house talent buyer.

Solomon, a Montreal native, has booked MusicFestNW for the past nine years, turning it into not only Portland, Oregon’s largest music festival, but one of the biggest events in the Pacific Northwest.

“We were very happy with Bowery,” Crash Line co-founder Brian Appel tells Vanyaland. “We just believe that for our long-term vision, it is very important that we have booking done in-house. Trevor comes to us from Portland, Oregon, where he was the producer of MusicFestNW. We are honored to have him join the Crash Line team.”

In addition to fronting a very well-regarded Jesus Lizard cover band called Monkey Trick, no doubt a welcome addition to Boston’s oncoming wave of Halloween cover shows, Solomon also comes with a sterling reputation after overseeing the yearly lineups at MusicFestNW since 2006.

Josh Bhatti, head of Bowery Boston, says the split was amicable and not entirely unexpected. “We had a great experience working with Boston Calling from its infancy to seeing it become one of the top festivals in the country,” he tells Vanyaland. “We’re proud of what we’ve done and look forward to supporting Crash Line in other facets.”

Bowery currently operates the Sinclair in Cambridge and books Boston’s Royale and Allston’s Great Scott. “We look forward to building more what we already have here in town,” Bhatti adds.

Right now, it’s unclear how the booking change will affect Boston Calling, which drew 45,000 spectators to City Hall earlier this month. Last month’s MusicFestNW had a very similar musical makeup to our festival: MusicFestNW booked 18 bands over one weekend, its first as a two-day event with a scaled-down lineup. This month’s Boston Calling, for example, featured 23 acts over three days. Girl Talk, Spoon, and Future Islands played both events, while Haim and Phantogram were among the headliners out west.

Last year’s MusicFestNW, and the one’s before it, were more along the lines of SXSW than Coachella. Featuring nearly 170 bands and artists, the 2013 MusicFestNW was headlined by Young The Giant, Animal Collective, and Neko Case, and showcased countless others, including Ty Segall, the Joy Formidable, CHVRCHES and Icona Pop, over six days at multiple venues.

Speaking to Portland publication willamette Week, the paper that puts on MusicFestNW, Solomon said he expects added pressure working in Boston.

“Higher stakes a little bit, just because it’s a bigger city,” Solomon says. “I think the eyeballs of the industry might be on me a little bit more.