It’s a sad truth: The Northeast does not have many music festivals. I hail from New York, and though this year we were graced with Governors Ball and several EDM festivals, I was unable to attend the former and not interested in the latter. However, Boston Calling seemed like a good opportunity to get my first “festival experience”. But I learned something while there: I do not really enjoy festivals. In fact, I was not a big fan of the festival at all. Despite an impressive lineup (Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, Kendrick), I really couldn’t stand the crowd and the waiting around.
City Hall Plaza is a very small area and, in my opinion, not suitable for a festival. There were two stages with a fair amount of space, but not nearly enough space for the crowds that showed up at some acts. As a Kendrick fan, I stayed at the Red Stage after Wolfgang Gartner’s set while others went to the Blue Stage to watch Major Lazer. We pushed and pushed through what a crowd of not many people, but as it got closer to Kendrick’s set there were too many people to even move.
Despite my proximity to the stage, it was incredibly difficult to see anything. Seeing as how everyone had the same motive of getting closer to the stage and being able to see clearly, no one was very friendly. While I wanted to see as much as everyone else, I also was not pushing people out of my way like a good portion of the audience. And though talking during concerts is not generally something I participate in, it would have been nice to at least be around friends. Instead, the massive amount of people separated us and I sang along by myself…not that there’s anything wrong with that.
My Sunday night ended singing along to Passion Pit’s “Constant Conversations” on the outside of the crowd—I wasn’t even going to attempt to get through. The music was great and the atmosphere okay, but I think I’ll be sticking to regular concerts and venues. Being able to enjoy music with my friends on the third mezzanine is a lot more appealing to me than having to sneak my head through people’s arms just so I can see something. Not to mention there’s usually much less body heat, which is also quite appealing. Though I’ll probably try to make it to another festival just for the experience, for now I think I’ll take a step back from the festival life.