Boston Globe

A celebratory last blast brings Boston Calling to a close

It doesn’t get much more Boston than peeing on the John Harvard statue.

At Boston Calling on Sunday evening, on the grounds of Harvard’s athletic complex, the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser recalled a brief tale of band members once taking part in the bizarre Crimson ritual. True to its namesake, the last day of this year’s festival repped all of the Boston things, from sarcasm to loyalty, Sam to Dunks, provincialism to the Hub of the Universe.

The Linda Lindas, the punk grrrls from LA, were introduced by a fangirl named…

NBC Boston

Boston Calling Guide: Who’s Playing, Getting There, What to Eat and More

Boston’s biggest music festival is back and the sun is expected to shine down on it all weekend.

For three days Memorial Day weekend, major music acts and local artists alike will descend on the Harvard Athletic Complex for Boston Calling, along with thousands of fans.

From the Foo Fighters to Paramore, this year has quite the lineup. And between acts, there will be a smorgasbord of food options.

Here’s what to know:

What’s the latest music lineup?

Taylor Swift may have left the Boston area, but other big stars are here — though one big act had to pull out at the last minute.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs dropped out of the lineup for Friday, citing an illness, but local legends the Dropkick Murphys stepped up to replace them — presumably, they don’t need to go too far to ship up to Boston Calling.

Here’s the full lineup, with headliners in bold (which you can also see in interactive form on the Boston Calling website and apps):

1:45 p.m.: Alisa Amador / Happy Valley Red Stage
2:15 p.m.: Zolita / Blue Stage
2:20 p.m.: Razor Braids / Green Stage
2:50 p.m.: Brandie Blaze / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
3 p.m.: Celisse / Happy Valley Red Stage
3:20 p.m.: GA-20 / Blue Stage
3:55 p.m.: The Beaches / Green Stage
4:05 p.m.: Summer Cult / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
4:35 p.m.: TALK / Blue Stage
4:45 p.m.: Chelsea Cutler / Happy Valley Red Stage
5:20 p.m.: Blue Light Bandits / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
5:50 p.m.: Teddy Swims / Blue Stage
5:55 p.m.: Dropkick Murphys / Green Stage
6:55 p.m.: Little Fuss / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
7:05 p.m.: The National / Happy Valley Red Stage
7:40 p.m.: Niall Horan / Blue Stage
8:40 p.m.: Foo Fighters / Green Stage

1:45 p.m.: Neemz / Happy Valley Red Stage
2:20 p.m.: Loveless / Green Stage
2:20 p.m.: The Q-Tip Bandits / Blue Stage
2:55 p.m.: chrysalis / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
3 p.m.: The Aces / Happy Valley Red Stage
3:25 p.m.: Welshly Arms / Blue Stage
3:55 p.m.: Joy Oladokun / Green Stage
4:05 p.m.: Coral Moons / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
4:35 p.m.: Declan McKenna / Blue Stage
4:55 p.m.: Mt. Joy / Happy Valley Red Stage
5:20 p.m.: Actor Observer / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
5:50 p.m.: Fletcher / Blue Stage
6:05 p.m.: Noah Kahan / Green Stage
6:55 p.m.: Najee Janey / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
7:15 p.m.: Alanis Morissette / Happy Valley Red Stage
7:35 p.m.: The Flaming Lips performing ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ / Blue Stage
9 p.m.: The Lumineers / Green Stage

1:45 p.m.: Juice / Happy Valley Red Stage
2:20 p.m.: Mint Green / Blue Stage
2:25 p.m.: Wunderhorse / Green Stage
3 p.m.: The Linda Lindas / Happy Valley Red Stage
3:05 p.m.: Workman Song / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
3:45 p.m.: Brutus / Blue Stage
4 p.m.: 070 Shake / Green Stage
4:30 p.m.: Sorry Mom / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
5:05 p.m.: Bleachers / Happy Valley Red Stage
5:05 p.m.: Genesis Owusu / Blue Stage
5:55 p.m.: Ali McGuirk / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
6:15 p.m.: Maren Morris / Green Stage
6:40 p.m.: The Walkmen / Blue Stage
7:25 p.m.: Queens of the Stone Age / Happy Valley Red Stage
7:40 p.m.: Couch / Tivoli Audio Orange Stage
8:30 p.m.: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard / Blue Stage
9 p.m.: Paramore / Green Stage

The Crimson

Pass the Pita: Cava Makes Harvard Square Debut

Cava opened its newest location Friday morning on Brattle Street, bringing a Mediterranean-themed fast-casual option to Harvard Square.

Prior to the grand opening, Cava held a fundraiser in partnership with Project Bread, a food assistance nonprofit based in Massachusetts. Their Thursday event — which sold out on Eventbrite — allowed attendees to receive a free meal of their choice, and encouraged donations for Project Bread. Cava matched donations up to $1,000.

Cava’s “Community Day” is a companywide opening tradition that has raised more than $350,000 in the past four years. The donations often focus on ensuring food security in the surrounding communities.

Christian Starkes, Cava’s Northeast Regional Leader, wrote in a statement that the company “couldn’t be more excited” about the new Harvard Square location and stressed Cava’s ethos of generosity.

“Our mission is to bring heart, health, and humanity to food, and everything we do at CAVA is grounded in that spirit of generosity, to our guests, our team members, and our community,” he wrote.

Both Cambridge residents and tourists expressed excitement about the new location.

Shubhanshi N. Gaudani said while she hasn’t tried the food at Cava yet, she appreciated the ambience of the restaurant and the variety of food available.

“The building looks cool because of the glass windows,” she said. “So I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cute, a lot of sunlight,’ and it’s a nice color palette in terms of food, so, yeah, I like the options too.”

Kendall B. Clark, who was visiting from Chicago along with Gaudani, echoed her sentiments about the building’s decor, and added that she was happy with Cava’s vegetarian options.

“Like Shubhansi said, it’s really cute in here, very aesthetically pleasing. And I like the food, generally — we’re both vegetarian so I was like, okay, yeah, this is a good place that’s gonna have options for us.”

Cameron Seamans said Cava is a good option for after the gym, when he might want “something quick.”

Cambridge resident Angelina Z. Wang said she used to visit a Cava location near Boston University when she was a student there and was happy to have a new location in the area.

“I used to go when I was in school, but there aren’t any Cavas around here really except for this one, so it’s nice to have something.”

Biz Journals

Boston Calling expected to be a boon for businesses across the river in Harvard Square

housands of people are expected to descend on Allston for the Boston Calling concert festival Memorial Day weekend, and for many businesses just across the river in Harvard Square, the festival will provide a boost.

The festival, held in Harvard University’s athletics complex in Lower Allston, is less than a mile away from the Red Line’s Harvard stop, the nearest MBTA station.

For Harvard Square businesses, the concert has become a capstone on an especially busy month, which already includes the annual Mayfair early in the month and Harvard’s commencement ceremonies.

That’s welcome news to Harvard Square retailers, which, like counterparts practically everywhere, have had to struggle through the pandemic and the loss of — especially for Harvard Square — students and international visitors.

A new annual highlight

For Harvard Square businesses, Boston Calling has become a prominent item on the calendar along with Mayfair, Oktoberfest and Head of the Charles, said Denise Jillson, Executive Director, Harvard Square Business Association. Boston Calling began a decade ago at City Hall Plaza and moved to Allston in 2017.

“They’ve added Boston Calling to that period of time when they make sure they have plenty of inventory and plenty of staff,” Jillson said of Harvard Square businesses.

Two aspects have worked in Harvard Square’s favor: the festival gives out wristbands that allow concertgoers to come and go throughout the day, and the location makes a walk from the Red Line the best bet for many people arriving.

“It’s a wonderful option for people who don’t necessarily want to be in the festival from beginning to end,” Jillson said.

Harvard Square is less reliant on office workers for foot traffic than neighborhoods like downtown Boston, and summer tourists make the square busier than it might normally be when Harvard’s between school years. The neighborhood’s retailers also hung on through the pandemic thanks in part to how many are independent, and therefore able to quickly make decisions on when to reopen or how.

“I’m not saying they’re not struggling. Everyone is struggling,” Jillson said. “But they’re hanging on.”

Other retailers are regularly opening, she added, giving a sense of optimism in the ever-changing neighborhood.

Retailers and restaurants were just starting to loosen or eliminate the last pandemic restrictions during Boston Calling a year ago, with this year’s festival offering a chance to look back on having made it through a harsh period for retailers.

The visibility effect

The wide range of time where people will be coming and going — over the festival’s three days — is critical, retailers said. In some cases, like restaurants, the benefit is immediate. In other cases, retailers enjoy a bump in visibility that helps them out down the road.

“The great thing about Boston Calling is everyone has their own plan,” said Patrick Lee, the owner of sibling restaurants Grafton Street and Russell House Tavern on John F. Kennedy Street and Hourly Oyster House the next street over on Dunster Street.

“Some people are coming later, some want to be there at the beginning and some leave and come back,” he said.

For Grafton Street, that’s helped some people discover or remember that the restaurant moved early last year from elsewhere in Harvard Square. For Forty Winks on JFK Street, the fact that it’s along the most direct route Boston Calling patrons take between the T and the concert venue can provide a boost.

Few are shopping for lingerie and sleepwear on their way to or from the concert, Forty Winks co-founder Rachel Wentworth said, but all the foot traffic can serve like great free advertising.

“People see us for the first time or they’re reminded of us,” Wentworth said. “We’ve heard people say, ‘There’s that store I’ve been meaning to go into.’”

It’s a similar story at Black Sheep Bagel Cafe, which shares a building with Forty Winks. Customers will often mention they didn’t realize that was where the cafe was located or ask about how long it’s been there, owner Shoshanah Ramirez said

The festival’s first acts go on at 1:45 p.m., also making the cafe a good stop for those looking for something to eat before heading in to catch early performances.

“At one point, we were the only place in Harvard Square to get a cup of coffee, so a lot of people discovered us that way,” said Ramirez, who opened Black Sheep Bagel Cafe five years ago with her husband, Manny.

NBC Boston

Boston Calling a Boon for Businesses in Harvard Square

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Allston for the Boston Calling concert festival Memorial Day weekend, and for many businesses just across the river in Harvard Square, the festival will provide a boost.

The festival, held in Harvard University’s athletics complex in Lower Allston, is less than a mile away from the Red Line’s Harvard stop, the nearest MBTA station.

For Harvard Square businesses, the concert has become a capstone on an especially busy month, which already includes the annual Mayfair early in the month and Harvard’s commencement ceremonies.

Broadway World

THE GAAGA Coming To Harvard Square; Discounted Tickets Available!

The Gaaga is a darkly funny, haunting phantasmagoria that takes us on a journey through the consequences of war. 

The Harvard Square Business Association has announced the US premiere of The Gaaga, a fantastical trial of Putin set in a bomb shelter through this site-specific phantasmagoria written and directed by celebrated Ukrainian playwright and director Sasha Denisova, taking place June 2nd – 18th at the former location of the Beat Brew Hall, 13 Brattle Street, Harvard Square. These performances will also be available to stream virtually June 8th – 18th. The Gaaga is produced by HSBA member Arlekin Players Theatre & (zero-G) Lab.

The Gaaga is a darkly funny, haunting phantasmagoria that takes us on a journey through the consequences of war. Set in an abandoned restaurant converted into a bomb shelter, a Ukrainian girl dreams Vladimir Putin and his cronies into a trial for crimes of war. Developed through first-person interviews with refugees and officials, *THE GAAGA* *(The Hague)*, is inspired by world events.


Raven Used Books announces closure of Harvard Square shop

The bookstore will say goodbye to Cambridge this summer but move to a new location in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Harvard Square will lose one of its longtime businesses this summer. 

After 18 years, Raven Used Books is shuttering its Cambridge shop and moving to a new location in Western Massachusetts, owner John Petrovato announced “with bittersweet emotion” Friday on Facebook

“The years of business at this location has been amazing and I cherish all the strong relationships built and support of the community,” he wrote. “With my family’s relocation to southern Vermont, it is time to transition to a new adventure.”

The new location for Raven Used Books will be at 49 Conway St. in Shelburne Falls. Situated in a former mill, it will host indoor and outdoor events and feature a cafe. 

Raven Used Books was originally started in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1995; Petrovato moved the business to Harvard Square in 2005, setting up shop, initially, at 52 JFK St., according to the business’ website. A second location was opened on Newbury Street in 2010, but a large rent increase resulted in the shop’s closure in 2015. 

The Cambridge store moved to its current location at 23 Church St. in 2015. 

Petrovato on Friday did not provide a closure date for the shop on Church Street, but said that all gift certificates and credit slips will continue to be honored at Cambridge shop until the doors close and then be accepted at the new location.  

“I cannot thank enough all of the Raven staff and dedicated customers who made this store a vibrant part of Harvard Square for so many years,” he wrote. 

Harvard Crimson

Madras Dosa Co. Brings a Dose of Dosa to Harvard Square

Madras Dosa Co., a chain specializing in customizable dosas, opened its doors last Friday with the goal of bringing South Indian food to Harvard Square.

Located on 22 Eliot St., the new establishment’s menu centers around the dosa, a crepe-like dish made of lentils and rice that is usually stuffed with savory fillings. The Harvard Square location is the second for the chain, which opened its first storefront in Boston’s Seaport district in 2021.

Koushik “Babu” Koganti, the owner and operator of Madras Dosa Co., said that plans to open the chain came about because Indian food, especially from southern regions, is “underserved” in America. “A lot of people think Indian food is chicken tikka masala and naan,” he said.

“Dosa has its own character, so we want to make dosa as big as it can go. That’s why we want to focus on one single dish,” Koganti continued.

The menu includes options to fill the dosa with a wide variety of vegetables and meats, as well as fruits for those looking for a sweeter option. The restaurant also serves rice pilaf, chaat, and sandwiches.

On expanding into Harvard Square, Koganti said that he believes dosa is “a great to-go for the students.” He added that he hopes the restaurant will attract “millennials who are health conscious, who love vegan food.”

Inside the restaurant, customers sit alongside a wall adorned with green foliage, highlighted with a pink neon sign stating, “Dosa is the Answer.”

“We want people to take pictures with this wall,” Koganti said.

Shreeja Kikkisetti ’25, a student at the College from South India, said she decided to eat at Madras Dosa because dosas were a “staple” for her at home. “I feel like it resembles very closely to what I’m very used to,” she said.

Rachna Gupta ’25 described the atmosphere in the restaurant as “very homely” and said she was excited by the opening, despite repeated delays to its opening.

“Me and my friends have been anticipating it opening, like I follow its Instagram page. I know there were some delays, which made us a little disappointed, but we’re happy it’s here,” Gupta said.

Madras Dosa’s opening saw a series of delays as the restaurant brought the space up to code and obtained permits from the City of Cambridge. The establishment initially sought to open its doors to students in December 2022 or January 2023.

Madras Dosa is open until 3 a.m. every day as Koganti hopes to add the dosa to the list of late-night options in Harvard Square.

According to Koganti, the chain is seeking to expand to major cities around the world, with a location on Madison Avenue in New York City set to open in a few months, as well as another along the Las Vegas Strip. Negotiations are also under way for a potential location in Paris.

“One billion people in India love it. From north to south, east to west, everybody loves dosa,” Koganti said.