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Allston Residents Concerned About Boston Calling Location

Boston Calling
The Avett Brothers perform at Boston Calling in Sept. 2015.
While music fans are snatching up tickets for this spring’s Boston Calling—held for the first time at Harvard’s athletic facilities across the Charles—some Allston residents are worried about the foot traffic the music festival will bring to their neighborhood.

The Allston Construction Mitigation Subcommittee held a meeting Wednesday at Honan Library to discuss concerns about the upcoming music festival, which will take place from May 26 to 28 along North Harvard St. in Allston. Previously, the music festival has been held in Boston’s City Hall Plaza twice a year, in the spring and fall.

Allston resident Brent C. Whelan ’73 said in an interview that he was concerned about the musical festival—which has drawn more than 20,000 attendees in previous years—moving to Allston.

“Bad things happened when it was downtown, not terrible things, but a certain amount of rowdy stuff on the periphery,” he said.

Edward G. LeFlore of CSL Consulting, who represented Harvard at the meeting, said that Boston Calling is working closely with the car-sharing service Uber to develop an efficient system for transportation that weekend.

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On weekdays, a residential parking pass is required to park on some streets in Allston. Allston residents said that they would like to see residential parking extended into the weekend of Boston Calling to prevent overflow parking in their neighborhoods.

During the annual Harvard-Yale football game in November, some Allston residents said they were frustrated by the congestion on their neighborhood streets.

“I was on my driveway and not able to pull out for over ten minutes. I don’t want this to happen again,” said Joyce R. Radnor, an Allston resident who attended the meeting, about Harvard-Yale weekend.

In addition to the crowding, Allston residents said they were also concerned about safety during the festival.

“We don’t want people coming in the middle of the night, at 1 a.m., drunk, to retrieve their cars,” said Radnor.

Whelan echoed Radnor’s safety concerns, but said those concerns do not necessarily mean that hosting the Boston Calling in Allston is a “terrible idea.” He added that he could be interested in attending the festival’s film showcase curated by Harvard alumna Natalie Portman ’03.

“Whether they can deliver, we won’t know until it’s over,” Whelan said. “If they put reassurances in place and back them up, they should get a chance to do it once, and if doesn’t work, we’ll never do it again,” he continued.

LeFlore said communication with Allston residents will be key in Boston Calling’s next steps as the festival’s organizers figure out logistics.

“We all know that if they hold this [music festival] against the will of the neighborhood, it’s not going to happen again. And this is something that they want to bring back year and year again in the future,” LeFlore said.

—Staff writer Sarah Wu can be reached at sarah.wu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @sarah_wu_.

—Staff writer Lucy Wang can be reached at lucy.wang@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @lucyyloo22.

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