Seven Can’t-Miss Events in Boston, June 2019

From the Boston Art & Music Soul Festival to the MFA's summer party.

Photo by Eric Estep Photography

Boston Art & Music Soul Festival

Come put the “soul” into solstice this month: On June 22, the Boston Art & Music Soul Festival returns for its second celebration of community work and culture, with creative people of color in the spotlight. “[The festival] was created to acknowledge the impact and influence of black artistry in the city, nation, and world,” says founder, curator, and executive director Catherine Morris.

This year’s acts include headliner Eric Roberson, Ashley-Rose, and the Tee-Tones. Organizers also promise activities for the whole family: While adults take in a live graffiti-art exhibition, kids are welcome at dance lessons taught by members of the Racines Black Dance Festival. “By attending,” Morris explains, “you join a movement that supports creative talent in Boston and brings us closer to being seen as a cultural destination.” A worthy mission, indeed.  —Jacob Schick

June 22, Franklin Park Playstead,

Art Party
MFA Summer Party

For one night only, the MFA’s Shapiro Family Courtyard transforms into the spot for Bostonians to cut loose (artfully, of course). It has everything: music, artwork, black-tie looks, cocktails, a silent auction, museum director Matthew Teitelbaum…need we go on? Some friendly advice, though: Tickets go fast, so grab ’em now to avoid begging your Facebook friends for a pair.

June 8, Museum of Fine Arts, 617-267-9300,

Courtesy photo


Ever wonder what would happen if the squads from Heathers and The Craft A) joined forces, B) got accepted into a creative-writing MFA program at an Ivy League college, and C) were left wildly unsupervised? Then Mona Awad’s Bunny was written just for you. We won’t give anything away, but we can confirm that things get, um, very.

Out June 11, $26, Penguin Random House.

Billie Eilish

The artist behind that music video (tarantulas—just ask your teenagers), Billie Eilish is coming to Boston in support of her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? If you miss the chance to see her this month, don’t worry—she’ll be back in July for Mad Decent Block Party.

June 14, Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, 617-728-1600,

Celebration of Summer VI: Donna Summer Roller Disco Party

For the sixth year in a row, City Hall Plaza is feting Boston native and queen of disco Donna Summer. How? With an all-out roller disco, baby! Strap on those skates and party like it’s 1979 as you shimmy through Ms. Summer’s repertoire. We can hear the bass grooves already.

June 21, City Hall Plaza,

Installation view, Virgil Marti, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, 2010. © Virgil Marti / Photo by Tom Powel, courtesy of Virgil Marti

Fine Arts
“Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design”

Minimalism can go take a long walk off a short pier, as far as these artists are concerned. The latest from the ICA, “Less Is a Bore” epically subverts the basic design aesthetic with color- and print-happy pieces from Polly Apfelbaum, Virgil Marti, Ellen Lesperance, and others.

June 26–September 22, ICA, 617-478-3100,

Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival

Every two years, Mass MoCA’s grounds play host to a cool-dad utopia courtesy of Wilco, who founded this one-of-a-kind music-and-arts fest. Take in sets from Courtney Barnett and Cate Le Bon, then unwind at an ax-throwing station, a screen-printing workshop, or an author discussion. No matter your itinerary, it’s safe to assume it’ll be chill.

June 28–30, Mass MoCA,