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A new look for Boston Calling

A view of the crowd during the initial Boston Calling music festival.

Mike Diskin

A view of the crowd during the initial Boston Calling music festival.

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Organizers of the rock festival known as Boston Calling are tweaking the two-day extravaganza. Brian Appel of Crash Line Productions, promoters of the concert on City Hall Plaza, say fans who attended the inaugural event last May will notice something different this weekend. Specifically, Appel said, the second stage, which backed up to City Hall last spring, has been relocated in an effort to improve the sound and the sight lines. “It didn’t face the right way and it didn’t sound all that good,” he said. “So we blew it up and started over with a new map.” So this time, when Viva Viva, the first of the weekend’s 20 acts, takes the stage Saturday at 1 p.m., they’ll be performing on a stage set up opposite the main stage. (The capacity of the venue — 19,500 — has stayed the same and, yes, tickets, which range from $75 for single day and $130 for the weekend, are available.) As he did last time, Aaron Dessner, guitarist for the National, helped pick this weekend’s bands, along with booking agents and Crash Line’s ticketing partners, The Bowery Presents. “We don’t want to be pigeon-holed as one particular thing,” says Appel. “We’re not a folk festival and we’re not an EDM festival.” The lineup includes headliners Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit, as well as Flosstradamus, Major Lazer, Bearstronaut, Local Natives, the Gaslight Anthem, the Airborne Toxic Event, Deer Tick, Kendrick Lamar, and Solange. We’ve heard that Live Nation’s Don Law is no fan of the festival, and let Mayor Tom Menino and others at City Hall know last spring that he’d be happy if it didn’t happen. Asked about the prominent promoter’s objections, Appel had no comment. “Anything we’ve heard in the background is just noise,” he said. “We just keep our heads down and stick with the mission.”

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