Boston Calling Music Festival 2024 delivers another fantastic weekend of live music


Boston Calling Music Festival 2024 returned with an extraordinary Memorial day weekend at the Harvard Athletic Complex. This years fest, like previous years was jam packed with music and fun for everyone. The stellar talent this year was jaw dropping and featured headliners like Ed Sheeran, Tyler Childers, and The Killers. Just with the headliners alone we were already in for a treat. The rest of the lineup was just as insane with standout stellar performances from Chappell Roan, Renee Rapp, Maris, Leon Bridges, and so many more including local acts likes Zola Simone, Cakeswagg, and Paper Lady. We were so excited to be there amidst all the action and have all the scoop on all the excitement and our standout acts from all three days at Boston Calling.

Day 1 

Maris is quickly taking the world by storm with her captivating music and overall bubbly personality and stage presence. Maris released her debut EP Gravity in 2023 to immense praise and has since released “Julia Roberts” as her latest single with new songs on the way soon. Boston Calling got off to a fantastic start thanks to Maris absolutely slaying the blue stage early on in the day. Backed by a band full of Berklee College of Music students and even backup dancers, Maris’ set was definitely our favorite of the day. She commanded the stage like no other and it was such a treat getting to watch her play her first ever festival.

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We also got the amazing opportunity to take a few portraits with Maris who is such a wonderful person.

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Renee Rapp

Fans were out in numbers for Renee Rapp on day 1 and you could feel the excitement in the air. Renee did not disappoint and put on one hell of a show for a midday set. Contrary to her popular song “I Hate Boston” Renee doesn’t actually hate Boston and that was evident on Friday. She showed nothing but love to the enormous crowd and performed hit after hit including “Pretty Girls” and “Not My Fault” from the Mean Girls movie.

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Leon Bridges 

Over on the blue stage, Leon Bridges performed a spectacular set to a crowd eager to see him. His soulful voice and blues inspired tunes really captivated the crowd and had them dancing and grooving along. He had a magnificent backing band that really brought the energy to his set and made it that much more special. He played a great catalog of songs from his discography including “Twistin’ & Groovin'”, and “Sweeter”. It was another standout set from the day and one you definitely couldn’t miss.

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Ed Sheeran

As a magnificent day one came to a close it was finally time for the headliner to take the stage, and out came Ed Sheeran to the roar of some of his most dedicated fans. He first played “Castle on The Hill” to the crowds delight. Ed is such a unique performer, he never has a backing band and the only thing that accompanies him is his set of looping pedals that he fine tunes to be his backing tracks. Simply no one is doing it like Ed. Ed put on spectacular show and told heartfelt stories behind songs he sang and what they meant to him. He also mentioned how much he appreciates Boston and their very Irish culture as he is also Irish, even singing a song in Irish. It was a stellar way to end such a jam packed day one and Ed surely was the highlight of the night.

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Day 2


Day two got off to an amazing start thanks to ToriTori absolutely killing it on the blue stage. ToriTori is actually local to Boston so this fest was extra special for her. Tori Tori is a multi-genre vocalist, songwriter, and music producer. She has a unique and eclectic musical style, as well as her storytelling prowess and mesmerizing melodies. She was a student at Boston Arts Academy and Berklee College of Music. She drew a great crowd even playing early on in the day. And everyone was jamming along to her soulful tunes and stellar stage presence, even bringing her brother out for a song. We loved every minute of her set.

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Boston Calling does a fantastic job at showcasing local Boston talent and that was evident in Cakeswagg’s performance on the orange stage. She came to work that stage and brought a personal hype crew alongside her crew of dancers. She drew quite the crowd full of family and friends and new fans alike. Everyone was hype for the entire set it seemed and she brought the high energy from the first song. She knew how to command a stage and had everyone off their feet and chanting her name. What a fantastic set from cakeswagg, if you don’t know her by now then you should!

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Khruangbin, who may have the toughest name to pronounce of anyone on the festival line up, brought the heat to the green stage at golden hour. They have a unique stage setup and design with risers and big archways that really added a unique touch to their set. Their performance is mostly instrumental, with bassist Laura Lee Ochoa and guitarist Mark Speer occasionally whispering into the microphone. The band even had a very unique look with Laura wearing a bright orange outfit and Mark with his bangs and suit combo, made them stand out for sure. The crowd was loving every minute of their set and was truly vibing out to their groovy tunes.

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Paper Lady

Another amazing local act to hit the orange stage on day 2 was Paper Lady who hail from Boston. Paper Lady is the immortal crone, casting spells and wreaking havoc. Paper Lady consists of Alli Raina, Kenzo Divic, Alex Castile, Will Davila, and Rowan Martin. This 5-piece indie dream rock outfit was formed in the depths of the northeast DIY scene in 2019. They took the orange stage by storm and had quite the crowd to come see them rock out. And that they as they had the crowd bopping their heads and grooving out to their indie rock tunes. 

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Day 3


A very crowded Day three saw many amazing acts take the stage, including Blondshell. Hailing from Los Angeles, Blondshell took the blue stage by storm and got the crowd into it early on. She even played a new song for the crowd called “Man” to the crowds delight. It was a spectacular set that really set the stage for the rest of the day to unfold.

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Zola Simone

Zola Simone was another standout act on day three and she was also another local to Boston which was amazing to see so much local talent in one festival on one stage. Zola’s infectious indie and R&B sound is refreshing to hear and the crowd was out in numbers for their set. Both friends and family were there amongst new fans to see Zola shine on the orange stage, and that they did. Zola described this day as one of the best of thier life. It really was a full circle moment and it was heartwarming to witness.

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Chappell Roan

In quite arguably the best set of the weekend if not the entire festival in our minds, Chappell Roan truly shined at a VERY packed green stage, which saw around 40,000 people there to witness such a show stopping performance. Chappell is the moment right now and she is already taking the world by storm. It was a sea of pink with many fans wearing cowboy hats and dancing along to “HOT TO GO!” in which Chappell taught the entire crowd how to do the dance or so say “cheer”, which gave us chills seeing so many thousands of people doing it at once. It had to be the most high energy set of the day. She played all of her classics like “Red Wine Supernova”, “Pink Pony Club” and newest single “Good Luck, Babe!”. This was Chappell’s biggest crowd to date and you just had to be there to witness the true magic of this performance.

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The Killers

Closing out a fantastic weekend at Boston Calling, The Killers returned to put on one of their best shows yet. You couldn’t ask for a better way to end a three day festival. Lead singer Brandon Flowers sure knows how to command a crowd and put on a spectacular show every time. Of course everyone was waiting for the moment they could scream the lyrics to “Mr. Brightside” as loud as they could. it was such a euphoric moment closing out the show with that song and getting hear everyone scream back the lyrics in unison. It was such a special moment and such an amazing end to an amazing festival.

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Festival Atmosphere

Boston Calling always delivers when it comes to the overall festival vibes and the atmosphere around. It doesn’t matter who is playing or which of the three days it is, or how hot it is out, everyone is always having a great time and you can see it on their faces. Boston Calling also always hits it out of the park with their food and drink choices. There were some new vendors on the list ready to making their debut, including mac and cheese variations from The MacBar, Thai dishes from Ricen, and seafood choices from Shaking Crab, all of which seemed like everyone was enjoying. For drinks a selection of beers and hard seltzers including Miller, Heineken, Truly, and Twisted Tea, something everyone can enjoy. This years Boston Calling saw near record numbers for attendance with Sunday GA fully selling out. The energy was high all weekend long and people were enjoying their time at the festival. Boston Calling always does a fantastic job at putting together a festival that has unique and diverse talent from multiple genres so there’s something for everyone, as well as their amazing hospitality.  That’s why it proves to be one of the best music festivals on the east coast. We had a blast at this years fest and we can’t wait to see what next years brings!

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All photos (except for The Killers) taken by Erin Crowley

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