Festivals Calling



The first wave of summer festival lineups are dropping just as Boston Calling has announced another blockbuster slate for Memorial Day weekend on City Hall Plaza, headlined by the Pixies, Beck and My Morning Jacket.

Early-bird tickets go on sale at noon (promo code BOSTON) for the May 22-24 downtown music festival, also highlighted by the return of Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Jack Black’s comedic rock duo Tenacious D, space-rockers Tame Impala, St. Vincent, TV on the Radio, Marina & the Diamonds and lauded hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. “Riptide” hit-maker Vance Joy, Jason Isbell, Gerard Way, the Lone Bellow and Sharon Van Etten, as well as local bands Krill and the Ballroom Thieves, help round out Boston Calling’s two stages of 23 artists with non-overlapping sets.

The Boston Calling lineup comes right on the heels of details from traditionally mammoth festivals to the South. Tennessee institution Bonnaroo’s massive June 11-14 spread includes Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine and Robert Plant. And the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will overlap weekends between April 24-May 3 with a sprawling lineup that boasts Elton John, the Who, Jimmy Buffett, Ed Sheeran, No Doubt, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Meters within its seven-day schedule.

On a smaller scale, the Newport Jazz Festival has announced its July 31-Aug. 2 lineup for Fort Adams State Park on the Rhode Island waterfront. Its three-stage mix of artists includes Chris Botti, Cassandra Wilson (celebrating Billie Holiday), Jamie Cullum, Dr. John (making up for his health cancellation last year), Snarky Puppy, the Bill Frisell Trio, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Fred Hersch and Ambrose Akinmusire. Ironically, the Newport Folk Festival, which is yet to announce any artists for its widely anticipated July 24-26 event at Fort Adams, just sold out the bulk of its ticket packages within two days, leaving only Friday and Sunday tickets available for that weekend.

Add the June 26-28 return of Wilco’s wonderful Solid Sound Festival (also yet to name other artists) at MASS MoCA in North Adams after a year off, and a stacked Mountain Jam just over the New York border on June 4-7 with Plant, the Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Gov’t Mule (including a Dark Side of the Moon set) and Lake Street Dive, and it’s shaping up to be another hot summer for outdoor music.

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