Madison Square Garden Company Buys Controlling Interest in Boston Calling Events

The company announced the big news on Wednesday.

Boston Calling

Photo by Olga Khvan

More big changes are coming to Boston Calling.

The Madison Square Garden Company announced on Wednesday that it has purchased a controlling interest in Boston Calling Events, LLC, the production company behind the popular music festival.

According to a press release, BCE cofounder and CEO Brian Appel will still be involved in running the company, which also organizes several other events in addition to the three-day festival, including the Boston Calling Block Parties and the Copenhagen Beer Celebration.

In a statement, MSG president and CEO David O’Connor praised Boston Calling for its growth in popularity over the past three and a half years and for welcoming artists from all genres.

“We have been exploring music festivals as a way to further expand and strengthen our position in the ‘live experience’ space and are very pleased to welcome Boston Calling Events to the MSG family,” O’Connor said. “We want to support Boston Calling Event’s efforts to preserve this well-earned reputation as it moves forward with its plans to expand and enrich this great event for a great city.”

The announcement comes after organizers recently revealed that, beginning in 2017, Boston Calling will only take place annually on Memorial Day weekend and will be relocating to Harvard University’s Athletics Complex in Allston. The event will also be adding a film festival curated by actress Natalie Portman.

This isn’t the first time that MSG has partnered with a festival, as the company owns a 50 percent stake in the esteemed Tribeca Film Festival in New York. MSG also has somewhat of a presence in Boston already, thanks to a booking agreement with the Wang Theatre over the last eight years.

Both sides are hoping that the partnership will help further grow BCE’s festival offerings, which may include exploring “new verticals and new geographies,” through cross-promotion, sponsorships, and other opportunities.