I was going to write a review, but my kid already took care of that. So instead: Boston Calling behind the scenes. And a few funny stories.


This was all inspired by Michael Marotta. He’s the Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of Vanyaland, the digital magazine based here in Boston. Like me, he’s been a fixture at Boston Calling over the years, organizing coverage of the festival for his outlet. We even worked side-by-side for a couple of years handling Boston Calling business for indie617. I always make it a point to say hello to Michael when I make my way to my work station (he’s always there, already at work). I asked him how he was doing on Saturday and he replied:


“The Media Tent is my happy place.”


His words threw me. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but I guess it’s mine, too. As I’ve mentioned many times over the past few weeks, I’ve been on hand for all but the very first Boston Calling Music Festival. And there were quite a few of those festival days where I never saw a full set from a band. Working Media means working. Broadcasting live, interviewing artists, editing audio, and the like. Is it fun? Hell yes! But it is actual work. And it takes time. So you have less time to, you know, enjoy the festival.


Boston Calling Behind the Scenes: a Look Under the Tent


But here’s the thing Michael got right: doing the work is enjoying the festival. Each and every year, I’m surrounded by some of the area’s best photographers, journalists, broadcasters, and digital folks. Some of them I only see but once a year. So it’s like a mini-reunion, but with people who you love and respect and genuinely enjoy the company of. I’ll introduce you to some of them, then share a few funny stories from this year’s festival.

  • Media Crew

    That’s Michael Marotta from Vanyaland, Pelvis Costello from indie617, and yours truly. I never think to take more pics with my media pals backstage. I’m always just too busy playing catchup.

    Boston Calling Media members at the 2023 festival

  • The Man, The Myth, The Legend

    Last year, I didn’t run into festival organizer Mike Snow once. This year, I ran into him twice. Which is a minor miracle, given the fact that the man is working from dawn until past midnight not only during the festival, but in the weeks leading up to the festival and after it’s over. He’s a great guy and a great friend and I’m proud of what he’s been able to build Boston Calling into. Praise this man!

    Adam 12 and Mike Snow at Boston Calling 2023

  • Foo Fighters

    I had to dedicate an entire piece solely to the instant-classic Foo Fighters Friday night headlining set. You can read that here.

    Sunset Before Foo Fighters, Boston Calling 2023

  • The Kid, Kade

    Kade’s first Boston Calling–first live rock show ever, actually–was Boston Calling back in fall of 2015. It’s been a trip having him along this year and last year, making memories. And doing work! I was able to cop a media bracelet for him this year. Media means you’re working, so I told him I needed 300 words minimum & a small photo gallery by Monday night. He dropped 650 words & 20 pics on me. On Monday afternoon. Good kid.

    Adam 12 and Kade, Boston Calling 2023

  • The Locals

    Boston Calling has been booking more and more Boston bands in recent years and I’m loving it. Actor Observer, Little Fuss, Chrysalis, and Sorry Mom were stand-outs this year.

  • The Kids Are Alright

    Young punk upstarts The Linda Linda’s first-ever Boston gig and it’s on the damn Red Stage at Boston Calling. You love to see it.

  • Brutus

    Every year, one Boston Calling act absolutely, positively blows me away. This year it was Belgian rockers Brutus.


    My buddy Graham started his media journey as an intern at WBCN when I was the midday host there in the mid 2000s. He’s a big Queens of the Stone Age fan and he’s responsible for turning me on to the band. He’s in Chicago now, and wasn’t able to be on hand for Boston Calling, so I sent a clip of my favorite song of theirs to him. Cheers, Graham.

  • Accidental Jam Band

    Sometimes, the Big Music Festival throws you a curveball. Mad respect to the talents of KGLW and their rabid fans. It’s just not for me.

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