Boston Calling, Cambridge complaining

The BU News Service reports that people living in Cambridge across the river from the Harvard land where Boston Calling now takes place are not in a happy place.



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Boston Calling sound travelled well into Someville

During one of the days of the festival, I was cycling across Somerville, alongside the Lowell commuter rail line and then onto the Community Path. The music from Boston Calling echoed off buildings all the way from at least Gilman Square to Davis Square, and I could also hear it later that night around the Peabody School on Rindge Avenue in North Cambridge.

Time To Ban Mayfair

Time to Ban Octoberfest.

Time to Ban the Head of the Charles

Time to Ban Harvard Commencement

Time to Ban Harvard Yale

These are all things that Harvard and/or Cambridge do to inconvenience the rest of us from time to time.

The dowagers and retired bobos at 985 Memorial Drive, where many, many are Harvard affiliated, (I used to work for the company that managed it prior to Thayer) can suck up a bit of the peasants celebrating near their units for a few hours each year.

It's brats like you who ruin

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It's brats like you who ruin large events like this for the rest of us. Working with local residents, management at Mt. Auburn Hospital, area businesses will help resolve some of the concerns, not your childish 'suck it' up snotty sense of entitlement.

I Got Called A Brat

Thank you. I'm so old that I voted for Dukakis legally; thrice!

I think that it is rich that someone from Cambridge / Harvard talks about a snotty sense of entitlement.

I can come down a peg on my entitlement if we can start taxing your endowment of $37 Billion at say 2.5% per year. We could funnel that $1 Billion of tax revenue into some spiffy signal systems for the T so we don't have to use our cars as much and not clog up your Elysium On The Charles with our bratiness.

I remember back during the 88 election, Bill Bennett said that the Cambridge / Brookline axis was not America but some fantasyland. I was offended at the time. Not anymore. I think he was right.

I usually skip Boston Calling because it falls around my wedding anniversary . This year I'm going to go and then bang pots all night in the park next to KSG for fun but call it a protest to support the Rohingya. That makes it cool, right? That means I one of you, right?

Somebody said something stupid on the internet

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I think Boston Calling is great, and I hope it continues to thrive in its current location. However, I was on the river that weekend, and it was very loud miles away from the site so I can also understood local residents' point. I'm sure a compromise can be reached on sound levels or design of the stage.

What's really rich is this: Despite the fact that you were not in the area during the festival and so have no idea how loud it was, you think these people are being entitled just because... "Cambridge/Harvard." Also, it seems silly to have to point this out, but people complaining about noise in a hospital directly across the river are not representatives of Harvard University. Did you even read the article? Your conflation of the two is silly and damaging to any point you might have had. Finally, you realize the whole festival takes place at...Harvard?!!

But what about the hospital?

I do think they are entitled to some consideration. The people who are admitted there, or work there, can't just go somewhere else.

In Somerville the echoing sound was just a silly distraction, but closer to the Charles it may have been less bearable.

Doubt It Was That Bad

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Otherwise hospitals in the Longwood area would have issues with every game or concert at Fenway. And I can certainly not hear a thing out in Allston from there... so not sure how you could hear Boston Calling in Somerville. It's possible you were hearing something much closer going on at the same time?

Look at a map

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The river corridors carry it.

I could hear it when biking through those areas too. It wasn't a closer event.

Heard all over Somerville

When I posted this to a Davis Square Facebook group on May 28, I got confirmations from other parts of the city and even from Arlington.

Wind patterns, humidity, cloud cover, and the loudness of particular bands on particular stages all make some difference.

Heard in Belmont

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I could hear it in Belmont, which is further away than Somerville, so I have no doubt they could hear it there too. It wasn't more than minor nuisance levels for me, but I can imagine it was much worse closer in Cambridge. A friend who lives near Mount Auburn Hospital claimed the bass booming was loud enough to jostle his picture frames. For whatever reason, the sound seems to have carried very well that day.

Slippery slope

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While I'm on your side on this, I don't think any of those events are anywhere near significantly as loud as Boston Calling.

Did you read the article?

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I did, if only to see the line between fake and genuine rage. The difference between the events you cite and this one was a booming sound system. I guess the simple answer is to lower the volume, but I don't know how that would work out with the actual event.

I think there will be a solution to this that will involve the concerts going on and the residents not having to deal with as much noise as there was this year. At least I hope that is the case.

Why not smaller quieter

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Why not smaller quieter speakers distributed throughout the venue? If attendees are wasted enough to be satisfied by a few giant distorted amplifiers, what the heck difference does it make to hear the same noise over wifi-broadcast extenders?

Boston Air Pollution Control Commission

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The Boston Air Pollution Control Commission works to maintain healthy air quality and noise levels in the City of Boston

Noise in Boston
Commissioner of the Transportation Department is Chair of Air Pollution Control Commission G. Fiandaca, email austin.blackmon at

The Air Pollution Control Commission APCC oversees both the air and noise regulations for the City, no separate Noise Commission, and oversee the new Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance.

Current Air Pollution Control Commissioners
​Ex-oficio - Chair - Transportation Department Commissioner, Gina Fiandaca​
​Ex-oficio -​ Public Health Commission - ​Julien Farland
​At-large - Bart Mitchell
​At-large -​​ Russell Preston​
​At-large -​​ Virginia Tisei​
James Gillooly
John Shea

Yeah, but

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Does Cambridge have one of these kinds of commissions?

I bet they do, but the City of Cambridge is notorious at withholding validly public information like that. In fact, every time I ask for the stenographic record of the proceedings of the Cambridge City Council, they say no.

were you there?

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Sound was pretty good at the venue, especially considering there were multiple stages with overlapping sets. Do you assume everyone who paid to attend was wasted because it might not have sounded good across the river? Are you a sound engineer?

A little late to be complaining about Harvard

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Not enough people gave two shits when they were buying up that entire part of cambridge, then expanding their tax-free land speculation across the river.

Interesting that noise from a concert is finally what gets people mad. Too little, too late folks.

You might want to change your handle

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If you are so smart, how did you miss the part where Harvard Stadium was built over a century ago - 114 years ago? The location of that stadium and the concert hosted there has nothing to do with recent land acquisitions.

Stay dumb, arse!

Nice! That sort of tenure

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Nice! That sort of tenure means that noise complaints even less legitimate than they were already. It's like living next to an airport and complaining.

Furthermore, a lot of the pearl clutching in this thread smells a bit off. We walked from Harvard Square to the venue, immediately across the river, while the show was already going strong, and if that show caused pictures to rattle in Belmont, it's time to give Unsolved Mysteries a call about strange auditory phenomena.

Have a problem with the show? Just take a bicarb and turn Matlock up a little louder.

Not comparable

Football games don't make a huge amount of noise. Some crowd cheering, some band music, that's about it, and they last no more than 3 hours.

You know this, how?

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Try living next to a high school football venue and say that again with a straight face.

That said

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The gripers in this story live across 2 streets and a river from the football field, and this ignores the fact that several other athletic facilities, such as the hockey rink and natatorium, are also in the way.

wah wah

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this is why we can't have fun events

if you need that much quiet move back to the burbs


Well, guess what

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All the complainers were probably all in favor of concert noise fifty years ago when they were getting their free love on and singing along with "signs signs everywhere signs".

Now they are in their 70s and they are pouting because they aren't a dominant generation anymore.

Went and saw Tool

Loved it, so for a couple of days a year, the nimby patrol should put on some Scriabin at home and relax.

Bluetooth headphones are your friend

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I hear shit I don't like, or listen to shit others don't like, out come the headphones. Want peace and quiet, ambient noize does wonders. One of my favorites is the sound of a cold, rainy evening in Tokyo.

BTW: The spam be gone code was a vulgar slang for a homosexual - f**