The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


Boston Calling’s Disaster of a 2024 Lineup

New England’s #1 music festival may already be a flop, according to social media.
Boston Calling
Boston Calling’s controversial 2024 lineup

Phone all across New England just rang with Boston Calling’s 2024 lineup, and a lot of music fans are less than thrilled. The festival takes place from May 24-26 and is filled with some recognizable names like Ed Sheeran, Hozier, Tyler Childers, Megan Thee Stallion, and Reneé Rapp, but people took to social media to express their discontent.

One problem that people seem to have with the lineup is the lack of cohesiveness. It makes sense for a festival to display many different music genres, but it’s hard to create a strong audience with no clear theme or style. One user took to Instagram and said, “Who exactly are y’all ‘calling’ with this wack lineup [emphasis added]?” (@angel_b_running). The genre confusion continued when two users commented, “Since when did this become a stomp clap festival?” (@michaelcamer.n) and “But why is Thee Stallion playing at a rock festival?” (@thelinkey). 

Festival goers seem to simply not understand what the main idea is supposed to be. Yes, the festival is trying to appeal to a widespread audience, but the goal of gaining support from many is lost in the inconsistency. When only one or two artists of a certain genre are playing, it’s not enough to make the fans of that type of music invested in actually attending, and these fans let Boston Calling know.

One user summed it up nicely by saying, “There’s a few good artists but not enough to be excited about for most and not enough to justify the price point or dedicating 3 whole days to it for even more. That’s what makes it mid [emphasis added]” (@blaireinspace). 3-day tickets start at $383, so it is a high price, especially if you only want to see a few artists.

People are also unhappy with the 2024 lineup compared to previous years.“I miss the lineups from ten years ago,” (@beepymeeps), said one disappointed Instagram user.

Some people wondered if the lineup was lacking because of the cost of having a big name at the festival. One user said, “Tell me you gave every penny to ed sheeran without telling me you gave every penny to ed sheeran” (@dan_chabot8). It’s true that the festival’s budget may have gone to this artist. Ed Sheeran is popular with people of all ages, and his presence will definitely draw some publicity to the event. One of the other most recognizable names in the lineup is Megan Thee Stallion, and some people have an issue with her standing in the lineup.

The main stage at Boston Calling 2023 (Penny Keenan)

The six headliners of the festival are Ed Sheeran, Leon Bridges, Tyler Childers, Trey Anastasio & Classic Tab, The Killers, and Hozier, none of whom are female. The success of these artists is undeniable, but not every choice makes sense.

According to Spotify’s statistics, Megan Thee Stallion has 24.1 Million monthly listeners, but headliner, Trey Anastasio has 101.8k, or only 0.42% of Megan Thee Stallion listeners. Of course, people might listen to either of these artists in forms other than Spotify, but a general fanbase size can still be concurred. The prominent display of a name like Reneé Rapp could have also helped draw people in since her role in the new Mean Girls movie has made her a hot topic. These statistics and details bring up the question of what the thought process behind the headliner list was, and why, out of six slots, none were given to a woman.

Many Instagram users posed this question, leaving comments like “Six male headliners…seriously? [emphasis added]” (@clgoodnough), and “How is megan thee stallion not a headliner??????” (@kristinavlondon).

To give Boston Calling the benefit of the doubt, they may have simply not thought of this fact, but it’s a little harder to say this when looking at the past year’s lineups. There have been no female headliners at Boston Calling in 2024, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, and more. With the knowledge that this lack of female headliners is a pattern, it’s harder to excuse as an honest mistake, and this issue clearly needs to be addressed when coming up with future lineups. 

“Six male headliners…seriously?

— @clgoodnough

The concern may not have been realized or recognized during the process of creating the lineup, but this does not excuse the mistake. It instead shines a light on the fact that there must be people involved in the process that bring awareness to issues like this so the festival doesn’t continue to reinforce inequality in the music industry.

Despite the abundance of disapproval, there is still some excitement buzzing in Boston Calling’s comment section. Some even went so far as to say, “This is literally the best lineup you all have had in a hot minute [emphasis added]” (@colmeetsworld).

The positive side of the comment section even shined a light on the opportunities the festival is providing for smaller bands, with a comment from Tysk Tysk Task, saying, “Ecstatic to be included in this festival – an amazing opportunity for a DIY band like us!” (@tysktysktask).

The Lumineers were headliners at Boston Calling 2023 (Penny Keenan)

Another user illustrated a more positive aspect of the lineup by saying, “If there ever was a year where I could just roam every stage this would be it… Could discover a lot of new music I don’t know” (@not_the_breed). Some of the artists at Boston Calling aren’t the most well-known or A-list, and this is a really constructive way to look at it. You could always come across your new favorite artist that you otherwise wouldn’t have ever heard. While some people were thrilled, they were far and few.

Even if there are some artists to be excited about, the lineup clearly fell flat this year. The intended audience is unclear and it supposedly hails in comparison to previous years, but the lack of female headliners may be the most concerning issue.

Overall, there cannot be a definitive answer on whether Boston Calling’s 2024 lineup is good or bad, but the general consensus leans more toward the latter. One can only hope that the event will rise above the bleak expectations and become a great experience. 

As for now, many music festival goers, and maybe even Boston Calling, could agree that the public’s reaction to the 2024 lineup was a catastrophe.

About the Contributor
Penny Keenan
Penny Keenan, Writer
Currently a freshman at FHS, this is Penny's year with Pantherbook. She has always had a passion for writing and other forms of art. Penny is also part of A World of Difference. In her free time, she likes to hike, crochet, paint, go thrift shopping, and listen to/make music. She enjoys writing about her favorite hobbies and looks forward to bringing new topics into her Pantherbook articles.