Boston Calling lineup sets up huge festival season

Twenty One Pilots, Travis Scott and Tame Impala head May music festival.


Alt-mashup duo Twenty One Pilots (pictured) and hip-hop sensation Travis Scott – who each packed TD Garden in recent months — join Aussie psych-rockers Tame Impala as headliners of the three-day Boston Calling festival, celebrating its 10th edition this Memorial Day weekend at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston.

In its third year at that site, the May 24-26 event delivers pop, rock, hip-hop and comedy that stretches from the mainstream to the underground. It includes such critical darlings as R&B-pop dynamo Janelle Monae, Mitski, Christine and the Queens, and Tank and the Bangas, as well as the Led Zeppelin reflective Greta Van Fleet. Folk-rooted powerhouses Hozier and the Grammy-nominated Brandi Carlile will perform, as will electronic act Odesza, hip-hop/soul artist Anderson .Paak, and indie upstarts Snail Mail and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. And Boston-bred talent will hold court in the popular Guster, pulverizing Pile, Northeastern indie prodigy Sidney Gish and Carlisle phenom Clairo, who’s making the festival rounds. Big Red Machine will feature Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner, while Black Star will team rappers Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Talib Kweli.

In addition to three music stages, Boston Calling has also developed an indoor comedy stage, and this year’s lineup leans to “Saturday Night Live” past and present with Michael Che, Jenny Slate, Fred Armisen and Melissa Villasenor. Other featured entertainment comes from Imogen Heap, who’ll offer a spoken word performance with interactive hi-tech gloves, and the Boston Ballet. Ticket sales start today at

Boston Calling kicks off an impressive festival season that includes another big announcement in the first five acts for the Green River Festival at Greenfield Community College on July 12-14: First Aid Kit, the Wood Brothers, the Devil Makes Three, Rhiannon Giddens and Tyler Childers. That echoes the level of talent one might see at the Newport Folk Festival, which is already sold out for July 26-28 and has started a rolling announcement that so far includes the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mountain Man and Jeff Tweedy, whose band Wilco will also host its fabulous Solid Sound Festival at North Adams’ MASSMoCA on June 28-30.

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