In 2004, the Disney Channel movie “Stuck in the Suburbs” premiered, in which a famous musician comes to a small suburban town and befriends a group of young teens, thus curing their suburban boredom. Ten years later, the audience of that movie is now a group of progressive, millenial, high school and college students seeking a way out of the suburban towns they grew up in. The Boston Calling Music Festival, a two and a half day concert that ranges in performances from the underground Kurt Vile to your childhood-soundtrack Jack Johnson, is helping this group of kids get unstuck from the suburbs.
Taking place in Boston’s concrete jungle, City Hall Plaza, the location brings the festival down anotch from the higher ranks filled by Coachella and Lollapalooza, but this means nothing to the kids living in the Boston area, because most of us have never been to a music festival before. Having spent Saturday of the festival in the midst of the crowd, I spoke to many of my fellow attendees and can easily say that the majority of the audience is made up of teens and twenty-somethings from towns that, at the furthest, are just a few hours outside of Boston.
On the topic of meeting new people, the term ‘concert friends’ comes into play. Every concert/festival brings close proximity and thus, socializing. Boston Calling brings close proximity that is extremely hard to escape, having a tight crowd spanning from the two stages to the concrete buildings in the back. The socializing will happen whether or not it is wanted, but many times it ends well. Those that I met at the festival this weekend were all great people who were there to have a good time and listen to great music. The audience creates a hyped, ready-to-go atmosphere without any negative side-effects like peer pressure or shaming. And some, like my buddy Ryan, end up spending the day with hot twins from Harvard.
Not only is the festival a chance for us to get away from our preppy towns, but it is an opportunity for us to dress as crazily as we please without a school dress code interfering. Outfits tend to resemble those seen on celebrities like Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens/whoever her boyfriend is, and Kendall & Kylie Jenner at similar music festivals. It’s when girls wear crop tops and flower crowns, boys break from the Vineyard Vines conformity, and everyone wears the coolest outfit they own, so everyone is feelin’ fine. No insecurities here.
The price for the three-day festival is reasonable for the reached demographic to pay. $175 for three days general admission and 22 acts is an amazing deal that can be paid with part-time jobs, birthday money, or just given as Christmas gifts.
The weather forecast for Boston Calling Spring 2014 was a gloomy one decorated with scattered rainstorms, clouds, and 50 degree weather. Still, the festival was able to sell out 22,000 tickets each day. Though the weather held up for most of the time, Friday was windy and cold and Saturday night downpoured. Both of these, however, did not thin out the crowd, which exhibits what bored suburban teens will put up with for a good show. Unlike the movie seen when they were kids, young people today are getting themselves unstuck from the suburbs by going to Boston Calling Music Festival.
By Shae Feather