Featuring festival food, fashion and fun of Boston Calling

This year’s Boston Calling was a full on experience of the senses with fun attractions for all interests. (Image Courtesy Boston Calling)

This year’s Boston Calling was a full on experience of the senses with fun attractions for all interests. (Image Courtesy Boston Calling)

Over the past few years, music festivals have transformed beyond just concert events with multiple artists. Now the food, the fashion trends people are wearing and the activities for attendees are arguably equally as important to the experience. Boston Calling is no different and in 2019, the festival definitely delivered on all fronts for a fun and even sometimes overwhelming experience with the bevy of options available.

“When we crossed the bridge walking there, we could already see the biggest stage from afar and it was huge,” Hope Dymond, a third-semester environmental engineering major, said. Her favorite performance of the festival was ODESZA, and she enjoyed a Hawaiian poke bowl from Love Art Sushi for dinner.

A little history

The music festival began in 2013, and was originally held biannually in May and September at City Hall Plaza, according to an article by the Boston Globe.

However, in 2016, the organizers decided to focus their efforts on a single spring edition, and moved the venue to where it is currently held now, in Allston. Thankfully, many of the complaints and concerns from festival-goers that arose from the 2017 edition were addressed and rectified last year, adding 50 percent more entrances to reduce long lines for entrants, as well as increasing signage, as explained in the Boston Globe.

Food, food and surprise, food

Upon entering the festival, the tents hosting over 25 food vendors were what first came into my line of sight. Sure, I heard the dulcet tones of whoever was performing at that time, but the sheer amount of choices available to eat definitely caught my attention.As the years have gone on, the food choices have become more sophisticated and niche for music festivals, akin to the vibe of food trucks. The vendors available ranged from sushi from Love Art Sushi to burgers from Tasty Burger to rice bowls from Riceburg to Mexican food, as described on the festival’s website. The food can be a little pricey, but is an expected expense when attending the festival.

In the afternoon, a clear favorite were The Chicken and Rice Guys; the number of people in line almost doubled all the others. Love Art Sushi also served out poke bowls, and Moyzilla dished out scores of dumplings for Asian fusion fans.

For some late night munchies, my sisters and I ordered bucatini fritti from The Arancini Bros and the three cheese melt from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. Dairy overload, I know, but I couldn’t resist the stringy, melty cheese these dishes offered.

Images by Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus

The former sold all kinds of arancini, fried to perfection with flavors like buffalo chicken, pesto, pizza, Nutella and the flavor we got, which featured “Italian-style mac and cheese.” Served in cute half-dozen egg crates, these fried balls of cheesy goodness were the perfect mix of junk food yet sophisticated cuisine I was craving.

The latter sold some gourmet flavors of grilled cheese, including Hot Honey and Bacon and the Green Monster (which had avocado), but I opted for a good ol’ classic with a three cheese combination. There’s nothing like toasty, buttery bread coupled with some really high quality cheese: Muenster, fontina and Vermont cheddar, oh my!

By the last acts of the festival, attendees were hankering for some sweet treats. The line for Fomu Ice Cream was notably long, with chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches or scoops of ice cream in waffle cones. However, the line for Zinneken’s was definitely the longest, with hot and fresh gourmet Belgian waffles. Options included “The Gourmand,” with caramel, bananas and whipped cream; the “Fruit Delight,” with melted chocolate, bananas and strawberries and the “Ice Cream Zandwich” with vanilla ice cream.

And for those legal, there were definitely many beverage options available, from a Sam Adams garden, Miller Lite’s Bar 75, Sol Cerveza and even Barefoot Wine being sold.

A ferris wheel and more fun

The host of sponsors for the festival offered many fun and intriguing tents for attendees to partake in. A bright and colorful ferris wheel overlooked it all, offering a different perspective on Boston Calling for those unafraid of heights.

Fujifilm employees milled around a photo set area with a couch and fairy lights, offering free Polaroid photos from their Instax cameras. My friends and I gladly took them up on their offer.

Another fun photo opportunity was offered by Vans, which had a comfy foam pit you could “dive” into to pretend you were stage-diving. The attraction doubled as a photo booth.

In the same area as the Polaroid photos, which was a little away from the hustle and bustle of the main field, was an Honest Tea truck. Inside the vintage trailer was a cute setup showing how their tea is made. Outside, I sampled honey green tea, half tea and half lemonade, peach tea, pomegranate blue herbal tea, orange mango herbal tea and probably even more (being outside all day makes you thirsty, okay, stay hydrated folks!).

As mentioned before, Barefoot catered to wine fans, and even had a “treehouse” set up for attendees to cool off in. Another treehouse was set up by Angry Orchard, which had many flavors of their hard cider available. Samuel Adams had a beer garden with lawn games and samplings. More (non-alcoholic) drink sponsors included Mojo Cold Brewed Coffee Elixirs, where people could grab some caffeine, win some swag and even get their face painted.

Newbury Comics was the tent to go to for music fanatics, offering vinyl LPs, autographed CDs and even more merchandise from the artists at the festival.

Trends trickling down from Coachella

The beauty and fashion at Boston Calling was not as outlandish and quirky as music festivals such as Coachella are known for, yet there were some tell-tale trends around this weekend that seemed to come from the premier music event.

As for hair, curls and updos were the look. Double buns and half-up ponytails were a clear trend throughout the festival, as were beach waves. Straightening your hair is no longer enough for the affair - if anything, for hairdos, the messier and more effortless it looked, the better. Bedhead curls and big waves made an appearance in many girls’ looks.

With makeup, the name of the game is still the bolder, the better. Music festivals and concerts are some of the only times one can be extravagant with their makeup and not feel out of place (but honestly, you do you with your makeup), so why not? Glitter still reigns supreme, appearing not only on people’s eyeshadow, but also their highlight and their bodies, such as their cheekbones, shoulders and hair. Even some guys had glitter on their cheeks and hair, which I truly respect. Gems, rhinestones and face stamps also were a big hit with festival-goers, which are some of my favorite trends from Coachella.

Images Courtesy of Ty Johnson/Boston Calling

The fashion was tamer than I expected, but many sported fun summer looks. People were enjoying the weather with fun cut-outs or mixing more revealing clothes such as tube tops with jean jackets. Looks ranged from flowy, flowery summer dresses to tight bodycon dresses to loose colored jumpers and denim on denim. So-called vintage pieces, such as the aforementioned jumpers and jean jackets, as well as scrunchies, Doc Martens and fanny packs.

With all that in mind, I’m ready to tackle my next music festival!


Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.