In its debut last May, Boston Calling achieved the impossible: The music festival made the barren City Hall Plaza seem inviting. Having now shown that music events make people rethink familiar but underused urban spaces, organizers are now turning their attention to Dewey Square, near South Station. CrashLine Productions, which puts on the twice-yearly festival, recently announced a series of free weekly Boston Calling block parties to Dewey Square starting Thursday.
There’s a growing appetite for live outdoor events in Boston. In recent years, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District supported a series of block parties in Downtown Crossing. The Dewey Square block parties are the latest incarnation of that series; the business district is a partner, as is the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. (Disclosure: RadioBDC, a Globe-affiliated Internet music station, is also among the sponsors of the series.) Brian Appel, CEO of CrashLine Productions, says the block parties are partly a response to a desire for more performances featuring local talent.
But the series also reflects how a new generation of urban amenities all complement each other. Appel notes that the parties will bring pop-up live music events together with food trucks and a farmers’ market. Together, they represent a lively addition to downtown life at a time when more people, especially younger Bostonians and recent arrivals, want to be there.