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Boston Calling canceled amid coronavirus concerns

The Foo Fighters were to have been one of this year's headliners.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Boston Calling, the three-day Allston music festival to have been held May 22-24, has been canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak, festival organizers announced Tuesday.

The cancellation is the first in the festival’s eight-year history.

“After several weeks of consultation with local and state authorities, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Boston Calling 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic,” a statement said. "We are heartbroken; however, the health and safety of our audience, artists, partners, vendors, first responders, and staff are of the utmost importance to us, and we felt that this was the only acceptable way forward.

“To our audience, whom we value dearly, we are so sad that we will not be together with you in May. We know information regarding your tickets is extremely important to you. As such, we will be reaching out to all ticket holders in the coming weeks with a detailed outline of options available. This includes obtaining a full refund or rolling tickets to next year’s event — about which we hope to have exciting news to share soon. We thank you for your patience; please stay tuned and we will be in touch with more information in the near future.”

This year’s Boston Calling was expected to bring a strong rock n’ roll vibe. Headliners included The Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, while other artists like the Struts, Phoebe Bridgers, the 1975, and Liam Gallagher also populated the lineup.


The announcement follows a slew of closures, postponements, and cancellations made in the last few weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19. As early as March 13, Governor Charlie Baker indefinitely banned large public gatherings.

Other popular spring and summertime festivals across the country including Coachella and Bonnaroo were postponed to the fall over virus concerns. New York’s Governors Ball, scheduled for June, was canceled last week.


Boston Calling was to have overtaken the Harvard Athletic Complex during Memorial Day weekend. Before the move to Allston in 2018, the festival was held at City Hall Plaza twice a year.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @ditikohli_.