Events

What It’s Like to Be at Boston Calling 2018

What's your most embarrassing concert moment? Who would you like to see at future Boston Callings? Who would you most like to hang out with from this weekend? What's your go-to festival look?


Jessica Beyer, 31, of Cambridge says the most important thing to bring to a festival is "Chapstick."

Jessica Beyer, 31, of Cambridge / Photo by Alene Bouranova

What’s it like to be at Boston Calling 2018? We’ll be asking a different set of questions to attendees each day of the festival to find out. 

Day 3

What’s your most embarrassing concert moment?Who would you like to see at future Boston Callings? Who would you most like to hang out with from this weekend? What’s your go-to festival look? 

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Aram Al, 23, and Angela Ho, 27, are here from Worcester, staying with Sarmat Sharib, 25, and Sie Zhou, 25, in Cambridge. They’re still hyped from yesterday’s acts (“The Killers did their job,” Sharib says) and if they could, would love to hang with Eminem or Khalid. As for future Boston Callings? Zhou wants Sia to come back, while Ho and Al are more about Drake and Beyoncé. Their go-to look is “colorful” (Zhou) and no one has an embarrassing moment to share.

Taylor and Julie are into sparkles for concerts

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Burlington residents Taylor Robbins and Julie Champagne, both 25, cake on the sparkles for concerts. They just watched Taylor Bennett’s set and would want to kick it with him—preferably at the “giant party” that’s the Ikea Music Lab, Robbins says. Their least-ideal festival moment? The time they ended up coated in dirt at Made in America: “Not cute,” Champagne says. Both say their perfect Boston Calling would include Drake, Migos, and Rihanna.

Danielle, Mike, and Jeffrey are all about Pond and St. Vincent

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Jeffrey Lesan and Mike Hernandez, both 28, are visiting from L.A. They’re here with their friend Danielle, 36, who’s originally from New York. They’d want to hang out with St. Vincent or the Killers, and are waiting for Lana Del Rey to headline Boston Calling. “I need to see her braving the rain with her Miller Lite and flower crown,” Hernandez says. Lesan’s worst concert moment was the time he got clocked with a can of 7Up in a rowdy crowd—”it wasn’t great”—and Danielle’s go-to festival look is “as many layers as it takes.”

Day 2

What’s the best food you’ve had so far? What’s your festival drink of choice? Podcasts: Thumbs up or down? What’s the biggest outdoor festival no-no? 

Matthew Williams, 22, came up from Long Island for the weekend

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Over in the Truly Spiked Seltzer lounge—”Tinder Pics 2018 Backdrop HERE”—is Matthew Williams, 22, up from Long Island. He’s been eating cookie dough and Roxy’s so far, but mostly drinking all of the Sam Adams: “Summer Ale, Sam ’76, and the New England IPA.” He’s for podcasts but still working on getting into them, and is very much interested in catching the Liverpool vs. Real Madrid game if he can. “My family’s from Liverpool, so I’m a big soccer fan.” The biggest party foul, in his eyes, is not staying hydrated: “People drink too much and go too hard, and they can get hurt.”

Madison Colantanio, Natalie Jacobs, and Pheobe Wessell, all 19, outside of the Boston Calling arch

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Holliston’s Madison Colantanio, 19, was here yesterday (“Paramore was awesome,” he says) but Natalie Jacobs and Pheobe Wessell, both 19 and from Acton, were not. All three are excited to see Brockhampton today, and say that they’re thumbs-up on podcasts. They’re even more thumbs-up, however, on Fomu’s ice cream (“It’s so delicious—and cold,” Wessel says), and enthusiastic about water in general. Not cool, though? “Cultural appropriation.”

Panda Flaherty, 26, from the South Shore, thinks he "looks like a minion"

Photo by Alene Bouranova

South Shore resident Panda Flaherty, 26, thinks he looks like a Minion. “I almost wore shorts, but I wanted to do the overalls today,” he says. His favorite food is his current snack—a vegan orange-mango donut from Union Square Donuts—but he wants to go to Roxy’s later. If he’s not drinking water at a festival, he’ll probably reach for a Red Bull, and he’s “thumbs way up” on podcasts (the favorite being Pop Culture Happy Hour.) His biggest festival no-no? “Sacrificing fashion over function. You can have both.”

Food vendors Bataan Vo, 27, and Wilson Hui, 29, take a break by the Blue Stage

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Food vendors Bataan Vo, 27, and Wilson Hui, 29, are from Everett and Quincy, respectively. They’re taking a break by the Blue Stage—Vo from Chicken & Rice Guys and Hui from Love Art Sushi—and have brought each other lunch. They’re indifferent to podcasts (Vo: “N/A,”), are fans of Red Bull (Hui: “Red Bull slushies are so good,”), and think onesies equate to insanity (Vo: “Looking at these people, I’m like, ‘How the hell do you not die?'”).

Day 1

What act are you most excited to see at Boston Calling? What’s the essential item you wouldn’t dream of leaving home without? And is a fanny pack acceptable festival-wear? We asked. You answered.

This is the first time Jessica Beyer, a 31-year-old Cambridge resident, has attended Boston Calling. She’s looking forward to seeing Paramore—a throwback to her college days—and always makes sure to stash a Chapstick in her festival bag. As for fanny packs, Beyer says it’s an individual choice: “Live your life,” she says. “Do whatever you want.”

Jessica and Greg loved watching Mac DeMarco crowd surf last year

Photo by Alene Bouranova

After watching Mac DeMarco crowd surf last year, Jessica Lin, 23, and Greg, 24, can’t wait to see Brockhampton this year. But fanny packs? They’re a little uncertain; they pause, and then decide, “Yes.”

Katie, Mia, and Katelyn blowing bubbles

Photo by Alene Bouranova

Outside of the Green Stage, where Noname has just admitted that she’s a “little drunk,” are friends Katie Bogen, 24, and Mia Berube, 26, of Providence. While bubble-blowing, they’re joined by another friend, Katelyn Boudreau, 26, a Roxbury resident enjoying her inaugural Boston Calling before she joins the Peace Corps. Bogen’s very much here for Lovett or Leave It—“I’m a Friend of the Pod”—while Berube is most excited about seeing Paramore. Boudreau, meanwhile, just wants to make it clear that fanny packs are NOT okay: “I would rather get a sunburn than wear a fanny pack.”

Sabrina, Mike, and Kristen are basically just here for Eminem

Photo by Alene Bouranova

At their first Boston Calling, Weymouth residents Mike, 27, and Kristen, 25, are basically just here for Eminem. “I bought the early tickets just for him,” Mike says. “He hasn’t toured in like 10 years!” Their friend Sabrina, 25, is excited about Daniel Caesar, too, but the overall consensus is that Eminem is the weekend’s hottest commodity. They cite water bottles as their festival staple and draw a hard line on fanny packs: “NO.”