The very first Boston Calling, and the only one I've missed: I was away for Memorial Day Weekend!

Boston Calling Music Festival has been a mainstay for a decade. Let’s revisit Boston Calling past lineups leading up to this year’s festival.

Boston Calling launched in May of 2013, so the 2023 edition marked the ten year anniversary of the festival. But, as I’ve noted before, there have been more than ten Boston Calling Music Festivals. Because there were two per year for the first three years.

From 2013 through 2015, there was a festival in the spring and another in the fall. This was also when it all took place in Boston proper at City Hall Plaza. Two stages, right next to each other, with staggered set times. Right in the heart of the city. I loved those early years.

Boston Calling Past Lineups: Moving From Boston to Allston

In 2016, Boston Calling beefed up the lineup and went to the once-a-year model that we’re used to today: a three-day festival taking place on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. 2016 also marked Boston Calling’s final year on City Hall Plaza.

For me, it was bittersweet. I had worked at and attended all but the very first Boston Calling Music Festival and had some amazing musical memories of the festival in that space. All told, we ended up with seven Boston Callings at City Hall Plaza. Quite the run.

Boston Calling Past Lineups: 2013-2023

2017 marked the first festival to take place at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston. Bigger space, bigger lineup, bigger stages (with a third one added, then a fourth in 2022). With the two-year hiatus due to COVID, there have now been five festivals in Allston.

So even though we’re past the ten year anniversary mark, there have been a baker’s dozen of Boston Calling Music Festivals. Next best thing to 12. Let’s take a look back at some of those Boston Calling past lineups.

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