Boston Calling Music Festival Underway in City’s Allston Neighborhood

The Boston Calling music festival runs Friday through Sunday at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston

For the second year in a row, the Boston Calling music festival is back at the Harvard Athletic Complex in the city's Allston neighborhood.

The three-day event set up in a 16-acre space boasts five stages, 45 bands and the capacity to host 40,000 fans Friday through Sunday.

With headliners like Eminem, the Killers, and Jack White, this year's organizers are hoping to hear more music than complaints, making up for what did not go smoothly last year.


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From long lines to sold-out vendors, they said they made tweaks that ticket-holders will notice.

"We call it the 50 percent rule," Boston Calling co-founder Brian Appel said. "We just added 50 percent more food vendors, 50 percent more bathrooms, 50 percent more entrance lanes and 50 percent more staff."

There have also brought in a new sound system, one they hope will be a bit quieter for neighbors across the Charles River in Cambridge. Police received roughly 30 noise complaints from them during the event last year.

"The noise was dreadful. People described it as cacophony," Dennis Friedland said, who lives on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.

Organizers said the new sound system should make it so its music to the ears of attendees only.

"We really wanted to make sure the people inside had an incredible auditory experience and the people outside of the venue had minimal to no interaction with the sound," Appel said.

Safety will also be a priority this weekend and is top of mind given recent attacks at outdoor concerts like the one in Las Vegas. Boston Police are working with Cambridge and Massachusetts State Police to protect the crowd.  

"We've thought of every different scenario you can think of," Paul Ivens, a retired police officer and director of public safety for the event, said. "We read up on what went right and what went wrong and try to learn from them."

Backpacks and a long list of other items are banned. Metal detectors will greet fans at the front. A new wristband will allow fans access into certain areas. It will also let them connect a bank account so they can go cashless, tapping the wristband to pay vendors at the festival.

Saturday night's headliner is Jack White. Gates open at noon, and tickets are still available.

Click here for everything you need to know about the festival, from the music lineup to how to purchase tickets.

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