Boston Calling: The Experience


BOSTON Boston Calling held its sixth biannual festival from September 25 to September 27 (See previous article “Boston Calling: Fall 2014” for more on the event). On Sunday night, Blueprint conducted three separate interviews with a few of the people that attended the festival to get a better idea of a well-rounded Boston Calling experience. I spoke with Thomas Quinlan (17), Gabby Amore (18), and Jenna Petrella (22), and here’s what they had to say about Boston Calling:


Question: Have you ever attended Boston Calling before? If so, how many times?


Thomas: Yeah, I’ve gone to Boston Calling since September 2014. I went Saturday and Sunday Fall 2014, Saturday and Sunday Spring 2015 and Saturday Fall 2015.

Gabby: I’ve attended every Boston Calling since they began.

Jenna: I have attended Boston Calling 3 times.


Q: Who did you see this weekend? How were their shows?


T: I saw Grey Season, Doomtree, Sturgill Simpson, Walk the Moon, and Chvrches. Chvrches set was spectacular, I felt like Sturgill Simpson and Doomtree felt out of place with the rest of the acts that day.

G: I saw a lot of different bands, but the ones I really watched were Of Monsters and Men, Daughter, Hozier, Chromeo, and Father John Misty. All the shows I watched ended up being really great, even if I’ve never listened to the band before. A lot of these performers had a very strong stage presence that really grasped my attention.

J: This weekend I saw Daughter, Misterwives, and Hozier. All of their shows were really good, especially Misterwives.


Q: What was your favorite part of the festival? Least favorite?


T: My favorite part of the festival was definitely Chvrches. My least favorite part of the festival was probably how the space between the Red Stage and the barrier was increased and the Red Stage was raised higher than it normally had been, or it seemed like it had been, because when press came out, I often had my view blocked by them sticking their cameras straight into the air and hoping for a good shot because of the stage height.

G: My favorite part of the festival besides seeing my favorite acts is being able to enjoy great live music with close friends. My least favorite part would have to be all the shoving that takes place in the crowd when people are trying to get a better spot than you.

J: My favorite part of the festival is how the stages almost face each other so if you’re waiting at one stage you can see the other artist playing. I don’t have a least favorite part.


Q: Who is your favorite act that you’ve ever seen at Boston Calling? Why?

T: My favorite act I’ve ever seen at the festival would have to be Marina and the Diamonds because I felt her set was very energetic and entertaining and she used the whole stage as well. She made her set fun and made everyone feel like a part of it. A close runner up would either be Halsey or Lorde.

G: My most favorite act that I’ve seen at the festival was definitely the band “fun.” They headlined the very first Boston Calling and at the time, were the favorite band of the friend I went to the concert with, and myself. It was not only a great show to watch and listen to, but was a really nice bonding experience.  

J: Halsey is my favorite artist I’ve seen because she’s one of my favorite artists in general.


Q: If you could change one thing about Boston Calling, what would it be and why?


T: If I could change one thing about Boston Calling, it would be the set up of the Red Stage this year, but also this Saturday at Boston Calling, the line was the most organized and controlled I’ve ever seen it and they did a good job with that.

G: The only thing I’d change about Boston Calling is the audience’s participation in choosing acts. I feel that every year there are bands that people just generally are not too big fans of. If there were some sort of poll that people could vote in to choose acts for the next upcoming event, a lot more people would not only choose to attend the concert, but more people would be getting their money’s worth out of a ticket

J: If I could change one thing about Boston Calling, I wouldn’t. I love this festival and the way it’s run every year.


Q: Who would you like to see at this festival in the future?


T: I would love to see more female fronted acts on the lineup. I feel like Melanie Martinez, FKA Twigs, Grimes, Nicole Dollanganger, HANA, Banks, Broods, and Zella Day could bring interesting energy and dynamic to the festival.

G: I’d really like to see one of my favorite bands, Miniature Tigers perform. They fit the sort of atmosphere the concert provides and would put on a great show.

J: I would love to see Banks play Boston Calling next May or September.


Later on in the week, I was able to get in touch with IT professional and photographer Jessy Gonzalez and interview him about his experience working within the festival:

Question: How long have you been working with Boston Calling?


Jessy: I’ve been attending Boston Calling since September 2013.


Q: Do you work for the festival?


J: I don’t work for the festival but I do help out with it at times.


Q: Can you please describe what you do at the festival?


J: I normally photograph the festival but sometimes I assist with managing the photographers with the media organization.


Q: What are your best and worst experiences at Boston Calling?

J: The best experiences I’ve had with the festival has been with the crowd. I enjoy pumping up the crowd in between bands and just hanging out with them. The worst experiences though are whenever it’s extremely hot or really rainy. It makes it tough to photograph the bands.


Q: Were you interested in any of the bands this fall? If so, which ones and how were their shows?


J: The bands I was interested in were Doomtree, Chvrches, Fidlar, and Misterwives. I’ve seen and photographed Doomtree before so I was excited for them, but I saw the other bands for the first time and they all blew me away.


Q: If there was one thing you could change about the festival, what would it be and why?


J: The only thing I would change about the festival would be the amount of activities. I would just like to see a few more things.


Overall, those who attend Boston Calling seem to be very satisfied with the festival and have very little that they would change. This festival has been a great success and a lot of fun thus far, and will likely only grow and flourish in the years to come. The next Boston Calling is scheduled for May 27-29 and the lineup will be released in early 2016.

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