Boston Calling

Boston Calling Guide: Who's Playing, Getting There, What to Eat and More

As of Friday morning, tickets were still available to see Foo Fighters, The Lumineers, Paramore and many more at Boston Calling 2023

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Boston's biggest music festival is back and the sun is expected to shine down on it all weekend.

For three days Memorial Day weekend, major music acts and local artists alike will descend on the Harvard Athletic Complex for Boston Calling, along with thousands of fans.



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From the Foo Fighters to Paramore, this year has quite the lineup. And between acts, there will be a smorgasbord of food options.

The Boston Calling Music Festival is coming up later this month, and while music is the main attraction, good eats have become a major draw.

Here's what to know:

What's the latest music lineup?

Taylor Swift may have left the Boston area, but other big stars are here — though one big act had to pull out at the last minute.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs dropped out of the lineup for Friday, citing an illness, but local legends the Dropkick Murphys stepped up to replace them — presumably, they don't need to go too far to ship up to Boston Calling.

Here's the full lineup, with headliners in bold (which you can also see in interactive form on the Boston Calling website and apps):

1:45 p.m.: Alisa Amador / Happy Valley Red Stage
2:15 p.m.: Zolita / Blue Stage
2:20 p.m.: Razor Braids / Green Stage
2:50 p.m.: Brandie Blaze / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
3 p.m.: Celisse / Happy Valley Red Stage
3:20 p.m.: GA-20 / Blue Stage
3:55 p.m.: The Beaches / Green Stage
4:05 p.m.: Summer Cult / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
4:35 p.m.: TALK / Blue Stage
4:45 p.m.: Chelsea Cutler / Happy Valley Red Stage
5:20 p.m.: Blue Light Bandits / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
5:50 p.m.: Teddy Swims / Blue Stage
5:55 p.m.: Dropkick Murphys / Green Stage
6:55 p.m.: Little Fuss / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
7:05 p.m.: The National / Happy Valley Red Stage
7:40 p.m.: Niall Horan / Blue Stage
8:40 p.m.: Foo Fighters / Green Stage

1:45 p.m.: Neemz / Happy Valley Red Stage
2:20 p.m.: Loveless / Green Stage
2:20 p.m.: The Q-Tip Bandits / Blue Stage
2:55 p.m.: chrysalis / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
3 p.m.: The Aces / Happy Valley Red Stage
3:25 p.m.: Welshly Arms / Blue Stage
3:55 p.m.: Joy Oladokun / Green Stage
4:05 p.m.: Coral Moons / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
4:35 p.m.: Declan McKenna / Blue Stage
4:55 p.m.: Mt. Joy / Happy Valley Red Stage
5:20 p.m.: Actor Observer / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
5:50 p.m.: Fletcher / Blue Stage
6:05 p.m.: Noah Kahan / Green Stage
6:55 p.m.: Najee Janey / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
7:15 p.m.: Alanis Morissette / Happy Valley Red Stage
7:35 p.m.: The Flaming Lips performing ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ / Blue Stage
9 p.m.: The Lumineers / Green Stage

1:45 p.m.: Juice / Happy Valley Red Stage
2:20 p.m.: Mint Green / Blue Stage
2:25 p.m.: Wunderhorse / Green Stage
3 p.m.: The Linda Lindas / Happy Valley Red Stage
3:05 p.m.: Workman Song / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
3:45 p.m.: Brutus / Blue Stage
4 p.m.: 070 Shake / Green Stage
4:30 p.m.: Sorry Mom / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
5:05 p.m.: Bleachers / Happy Valley Red Stage
5:05 p.m.: Genesis Owusu / Blue Stage
5:55 p.m.: Ali McGuirk / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
6:15 p.m.: Maren Morris / Green Stage
6:40 p.m.: The Walkmen / Blue Stage
7:25 p.m.: Queens of the Stone Age / Happy Valley Red Stage
7:40 p.m.: Couch / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
8:30 p.m.: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard / Blue Stage
9 p.m.: Paramore / Green Stage

An aerial view of two of the Boston Calling stages before the music festival begins on Friday, May 26, 2023.
NBC10 Boston
An aerial view of two of the Boston Calling stages before the music festival begins on Friday, May 26, 2023. See the full map at the Boston Calling website.

Meet some of the local acts who will be opening the shows (and below, find info on tickets, the weather, food and more):

The Blue Light Bandits will be performing at Boston Calling this year along with major names like Paramore and The Foo Fighters.
Singer and rapper Neemz hails from the Boston area- but her musical influence has roots in the Middle East. Her culture is something she wears proudly and her music and art is a manifestation of that. Monica Madeja has this conversation with Neemz, who will be performing at Boston Calling Music Festival this weekend.
The band, playing the Orange Stage at Boston Calling, is forging its own path after releasing its first EP.
Our series on the local bands you'll see at this weekend's Boston Calling Music Festival continues with the band Couch. They're excited to perform at the festival alongside some of their favorite bands. Monica Madeja caught up with them to talk about their sound and how they hope to make new friends at every show.
Kwani Lunis talks to Roxbury-native Najee Janey about what fans can expect from the singer/songwriter at Boston Calling

Are tickets still available?

As of Friday morning, there were still tickets available for each day, as well as three-day passes.

The general admission-level tickets were sold out for Saturday and for all three-day, and general admission-plus tickets were sold out for Saturday as well. Higher tier tickets, the gold and platinum levels, were still available.

Buy tickets here.

What will the weather be like Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

The Memorial Day weekend forecast is shaping up to be excellent, with sunny skies and highs in the 70s and 80s all weekend.

The entire weekend remains dry with low humidity – even with the 80s on Sunday.

Today: Fair, pleasant. Highs around 70, 60s coast. Saturday: Sunny. Highs in the 70s.

What's the best way to get to Boston Calling?

The music festival's organizers strongly recommend taking public transportation to the festival, which is nestled between the Charles River and the neighborhood of Allston. The main entrance is at 65 N. Harvard Street.

"The MBTA will have plenty of service running," organizers write on Boston Calling's transportation page. The public transit options are:

  • Subway: Red Line to Harvard Square, then a half-mile walk across the Charles River (about 15 minutes) to the festival.
  • Commuter Rail: The Worcester Line to Boston Landing Station, then walk just over a mile (about 25 minutes) through Allston.
  • Bus: MBTA routes 66 and 86 stop at Harvard Stadium

For those who want to get to the shows by bicycle, there's bike parking, organizers say. And anyone taking Lyft, Uber, taxi or another rideshare can point their driver to Harvard Stadium — though waits for rideshares when leaving the festival may be very long.

Driving to the concert, on the other hand, is being highly discouraged.

"Do not drive in and plan to park at the show. There is no parking available on site and there is no street parking in the surrounding communities. City officials will be very strict with ticketing and towing," the festival organizers write.

The city of Boston hasn't issued a traffic advisory about this year's concert, but streets in the area are usually closed. Across the river in Cambridge, the city said to expect "street closures in Harvard Square between 9 p.m. and midnight each night" from Friday to Sunday.

On top of that, and adding to the usual Boston traffic gridlock, is the influx of families for local colleges' graduations.

What food and drink will be available?

Good eats have become a major draw at Boston Calling, with the food vendor lineup turning into a sort of tasting menu, where attendees can sample some of the best dishes from around the city and nosh while they mosh.

Among the local restaurants joining the festival this year are Flour Bakery, Blackbird Doughnuts, Dumpling Daughter and El Jefe's Taqueria. Attendees with with platinum-level tickets can get food cooked by top Boston chefs including Molly Dwyer of Fox & the Knife and Carl Dooley of Mooncusser. Sam Adams has brewed a special beer for the festival called Stage Lights Lager.

See the full food lineup here.

NBC10 Boston spoke with locals in the restaurant business about what to expect. Chefs say the event will be a powerhouse of flavor showing off some of the best Boston has to offer.

Vanessa and Casey White of Jaju Pierogi, which serves pierogis in both creative and traditional flavors, say music festivals are a great way to reach a wider audience. They do a lot of festivals, events and popups to get word out about their food.

“(Food) is a way people express love, express affection, express nostalgia, express emotion. I think that's what music and food share,” they said.

"It's more of an overall experience, not just about the music. They take so much time and attention to detail and what you're going to be eating,” Chef Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana, which sells specializes in coastal Italian cuisine, added.

Stefanos Oungrinis and Demetri Tsolakis of Greco, who say at their place you can find homemade sauces, sandwiches salads and everything in between, agree that Boston Calling is a place people who love to eat are going to want to be: "One of the best food lineups that I've ever seen in music events. And I like music events a lot. To be honest."

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