Eminem to Headline Boston Calling at Harvard Facilities

Chance the Rapper Crowd
Chance the Rapper performs at Boston Calling on May 26th, 2017.

Eminem, along with rock band The Killers and musician Jack White, will headline this year’s Boston Calling music festival at the Harvard Athletic Complex from May 25 to 27, its organizers announced Thursday.

The concert marks Eminem’s first time performing in New England since 2005.

This year’s iteration of Boston Calling will feature more than 50 performances from musicians and comedians like rapper Tyler, The Creator, rock band Portugal The Man, and comedian Jenny Slate. The event will also include two podcasts: Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It.

Natalie Portman ’03 is also expected to “curate and host a series of special programming,” according to the event’s organizers.


This will be the second year Boston Calling is hosted at Harvard’s athletic complex. In May 2016, the event organizers announced the festival would be held at Harvard instead of Boston City Hall plaza, which housed the concert since its debut in 2013.

Festival designer Russ Bennett, who organized the layout and visuals of the 2017 Boston Calling festival, will return to design the concert this year. But this year’s event will bring several new additions. According to a press release, the 2018 iteration of the concert will feature a new sound system, stronger wi-fi, a designated VIP lounge, larger video screens, and added entrance lanes.

The sound system is meant to reduce the noise level generated by the festival, whose location places it near the homes of some Allston residents. Last year, Allstonians said they were concerned the concert’s move to Harvard facilities would bring heavy foot traffic and potential safety issues.

The festival’s organizers said they are excited about this year’s lineup.

“Each year we continue to push ourselves to bring fans the very best festival experience,” said Brian Appel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Boston Calling Events, in a press release. “With some new changes and features already announced for this year’s festival, and many more on the way, we are ready and excited to treat our fans to an incredible weekend of performances from some of the world’s most iconic music acts.”

Last year’s event featured performances from Chance the Rapper, indie pop band Tegan and Sara, and electronic music group Major Lazer, among other artists. The event drew nearly 40,000 attendees.

—Staff writer Idil Tuysuzoglu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @IdilTuysuzoglu.