Boasting one of the best lineups of 2017 — which includes real-life superhero Chance The Rapper, progressive metal legends Tool, and indie rock stalwarts Bon Iver — Boston Calling’s fifth year will take place for the first time in at Harvard’s Athletic Complex, doubling its size both in terms of landscape and artists.
“We took a really big step from our last site and the 22 bands that we could have over the three days, to the 45 bands we have now,” festival co-founder Mike Snow told me over the phone of the festival’s growth. “This will be the first time that we’re into a 16 acres and 45 bands and 3 stages type of thing.” In just five years, Boston Calling has grown exponentially, quickly becoming a massive contester in the festival circuit. After venturing to festivals around the country, Snow realized that part of what makes festivals so special is the notion that “somebody built a little oasis or city for you over three days.”
The move to the Harvard Athletic Complex from their previous location at Boston’s City Hall stemmed from a desire to build a sense of a communal experience that can only really be captured in the festival setting. “Attendees are giving their money, knowing the experience is going to be great, and knowing that the people there are going share this common music festival bond,” Snow said fondly. “Not music, per say, not going to concerts. But this music festival bond. It’s this personality of openness and a happy style. It’s a type of person that loves this environment as a whole. So, in five festivals, I’d want to have 40%-60% of our audience think that way about our brand, and be willing to be out there no matter who gets on the stage, because the community is so great.”