Boston Calling Announces New Location for 2017 Festival

The event is also adding a film festival curated by Natalie Portman.
Harvard Athletics Complex

Harvard Athletics Complex Photo by Greg M. Cooper / Harvard University

Boston Calling will be saying goodbye to City Hall Plaza in 2017.

Organizers announced on Friday that the festival will be moving to Harvard University’s Athletics Complex in Allston for its May 2017 event.

This weekend’s spring edition of the festival will be the last Boston Calling held at City Hall Plaza as organizers also revealed that there will be no September installment this year.

“Since 2013, we have enjoyed three successful years and six festivals at City Hall Plaza,” Boston Calling cofounder Brian Appel said in a statement. “We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to call City Hall the festival’s home. This change of location will allow us to expand and enrich Boston Calling while still keeping it proudly located in Boston.”

In addition to the change of venue, Boston Calling organizers announced that Academy Award-winning actress and Harvard alum Natalie Portman will be curating a new film festival component for future installments of the event.

“I’m excited for Boston Calling to take place at Harvard for the first time,” Portman said in a statement. “I’m proud to be curating a new film section for the festival, and feel lucky to celebrate the art form I love in a place that means so much to me.”

Aaron Dessner is set to return as the festival’s music curator and organizers plan to add more stages “featuring a combination of music, film, comedy, and visual art.”

The big announcement follows the recent arrest of Kenneth Brissette, Mayor Marty Walsh’s director of tourism, sports, and entertainment, for “union-related extortion.” Brissette was indicted by federal authorities on a charge that he would not hand out city permits to Boston Calling unless they hired union workers as stagehands.

Walsh said in a press release that he’s happy to see that the festival is staying in Boston.

“The festival has been a pioneer in live music in New England and has truly contributed to the identity of our city,” he said. “To see it grow and remain in the city is a win for everyone.”

Update, June 1: Boston Calling is releasing 1,000 three-day tickets for a special “superfan” pre-sale starting on Thursday, June 2 at 10 a.m. General admission three-day tickets are $129 and VIP three-day tickets are $229. For more information check out bostoncalling.com.


Matt Juul Matt Juul, Digital A&E Writer at Boston Magazine mjuul@bostonmagazine.com