(Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Boston Calling Music Festival ushers in the season nowadays. But let’s look back at some other summer music festivals we loved.


As I’m click-clacking away here in the studio, Boston Calling is on the horizon, and we’re all very excited. I’ve already taken a trip down memory lane and shared some of my favorite Boston Calling moments. I had festival runner Mike Snow do the same. Hell, I even dug up each and every Boston Calling lineup, going all the way back to the very first festival in May of 2013. For the sake of this week’s poll, though, I’m looking back at some other Boston-area summer music festivals that were all the rage way back when.


Old Boston music heads will remember the days where every rock station in the city had their own yearly outdoor music festival. The BCN River Rave. The WFNX Best Music Poll. WAAF’s Locobazooka. Hell, back when ROCK 92.9 was good ol’ WBOS, we’d have an Earth Day celebration each and every year at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. And speaking of the Hatch Shell, each of the other three Boston rock stations that I mentioned used to put on concerts there. Everyone remembers FNX with Green Day in ’94, of course.


Summer Music Festivals: Which One Is Your Favorite?

Those were also the days where festivals like the Warped Tour and Ozzfest would come through Massachusetts each summer. Lollapalooza was a touring festival back in the day, too. I wish it still was, to be honest. They’re all represented below. Now it’s up to you to close your eyes, think back to those magical summers of the ’90s and early ’00s, and choose which festival experience was your fondest. And, as always, you can holler at me on the ROCK 92.9 Facebook or Twitter if I missed something crucial.

  • Boston Calling Music Festival

    But here’s the real question: did you like it better on City Hall Plaza?

    Boston Calling Past Lineups: 2013-2023
  • Hatch Shell Concerts

    It seems like every Boston radio station sponsored at least one Hatch Shell Concert over the years. But this is the one everyone remembers.

    Green Day’s Hatch Shell Riot, 25 Years On
  • Lollapalooza

    Once upon a time, Lollapalooza was a touring festival. Tool, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins were standouts on those early local stops.

    Celebrate 30 Years of Lollapalooza with 20 Years of Tour Posters
  • Ozzfest

    Enduring memories of Ozzy on stage at Great Woods fronting Black Sabbath or his band, depending on the year.

    Ozzfest at 25: Looking Back on the Festival’s Lineups
  • Warped Tour

    The 2004 10th anniversary tour at Gillette is still an all-timer.

    Warped Tour 10th Anniversary Poster

  • EarthFest

    Back in our WBOS days, we used to throw a little party on the Hatch Shell you might remember.

    WBOS EarthFest Logo

  • River Rave

    WBCN started this one on the Esplanade, too (the “River” in River Rave is the Charles, of course), then moved to Mansfield and even Foxboro for a year.

    Here’s yours truly with backstage with Everlast for at the 2004 edition.

    Adam 12 with Everlast

  • Best Music Poll

    The annual WFNX/Boston Phoenix event had many iterations over the years, but the best ones were always when the station took over Lansdowne Street.

    WFNX Best Music Poll 1993 tshirt

  • Locobazooka

    The punny-named WAAF fest put up its tent in Worcester, Manchester, Fitchburg, and Mansfield over its decade-long run.

    Locobazooka DVD

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