Local music promoter Jason Trefts is shaking things up.
Last year at the inaugural Boston En Masse music festival, the Illegally Blind Presents promoter and Middle East booking agent separated each night by genre, stacking four bills to reflect the best in the area’s indie rock, hip-hop, electronic and experimental scenes. For this year’s Boston En Masse, which kicks off tonight at the Middle East in Cambridge and continues tomorrow at Allston’s Great Scott before wrapping up its three-night, river-jumping swing back at the Middle East, the 22 participating bands and artists are jumbled together.
That’s not to say Trefts didn’t have a plan, of course.
“I guess the goal is just to try to put together something good from start to finish,” he tells Vanyaland. “And make sure that, for the most part, the bands don’t sound the same. I definitely made it a point to book a few acts that I’ve never had on an Illegally Blind show before.”
And eliminating the nights based on genres was by design. Though the entire run touches on various scenes and circles and sounds coming out of the Boston area, one stretch that really flexes the diverse muscle of Boston En Masse arrives Friday night, when Gracie (guitar rock from the former Fat Creeps co-frontwoman), Radclyffe Hall (dark electronic pop), Abadabad (whipsmart indie rock) and STL GLD (the latest hip-hop success from Moe Pope and company) all perform back-to-back-to-back.
“I think that is a step in the right direction,” Trefts adds. “Hopefully over the next year I’ll be able to learn more about other areas of local music, and make the lineup even more musically diverse. My main goals are to put together something fun and hopefully help to build a stronger sense of community. I make sure to not over complicate things in order to stay energized.”
Check out each night’s lineup below, and click here to buy a three-night pass priced at $30. Tickets are also for sale at the Middle East box office
Night 1: Wednesday, November 18 at the Middle East Upstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
6 p.m., $12, all ages, advance tickets