Adam 12

11am - 4pm

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 marks the ten year anniversary of the festival. But, as I’ve noted before, there have been more than ten Boston Calling Music Festivals. For the first three years, from 2013 through 2015, there were two Boston Callings each year: one in the spring, and one in the fall. This was also when the festival 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.


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 thrown in for good measure, and even fourth as of 2022). With the two-year hiatus due to COVID, and counting this year’s iteration, there have now been five festivals in Allston. So even though we’re at the ten year anniversary mark, there have been an even dozen Boston Calling Music Festivals. I love that number. Let’s take a look back at some of those past lineups.