Now in its third year at Harvard Athletic Complex, Boston Calling’s second home is decidedly lived-in, but the festival still has some fresh décor to show off. Here’s your rundown of what’s new this year.
Lots of singing, some dancing: For the first time, Boston Calling is featuring dance as part of its entertainment lineup. On Saturday, Boston Ballet will perform an excerpt from William Forsythe’s “Playlist (EP)” to the tune of Khalid’s “Location.” The company will also perform a piece choreographed by former principal dancer Yury Yanowsky, set to “Final” by Wilsen. Performances Sunday will include a new work choreographed by Boston Ballet’s Sage Humphries set to an original score by her brother, Michael Humphries.“We set it up in a way that’s really accessible,” said Brian Appel, cofounder of Boston Calling. “It’s not like an hourlong performance. It’s 10 or 15 minutes and very digestible.”
Glove life: Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Imogen Heap is slated to give spoken-word performances Saturday and Sunday featuring her Mi.Mu gloves, wearable technology she’s helped pioneer that allows the user to make music with gestures.
Sound bites: General admission ticket holders can look forward to four new food vendors: Sweet Cheeks Q, Café Beatrice (a new pop-up from Puritan & Company’s Will Gilson), Papi’s Stuffed Sopapillas, and Trolley Dogs. Platinum ticket holders have access to evening meals curated by elite chefs Jody Adams, Jamie Bissonnette, and Jeremy Sewall.
#Ad: Once known for hawking fliers and cheap giveaway items, sponsors have become a more substantial part of the festival experience with activations. This year, www.attendee.com is creating a video game lab, and Vans is “bringing an unbelievable activation” that Appel couldn’t provide any details about, but he anticipates their space will have “high traffic all weekend.”
Turn the music up: As each day comes to a close, DJs will be taking over the Arena and giving it a dance party feel. The lineup features Yaeji, Snakehips, and Chromeo.
Ten spot: To celebrate its 10th installment, the festival will feature a design that includes subtle visual nods to the milestone. Jenni Todd