Maybe you’re not going to this year’s Boston Calling, and nobody knows how much longer you can watch Boston balling, so we’ve got a few other activities to fill your cup this Memorial Day Weekend. In this weekend’s preview, we have live performances as well as outdoor hangs and free art workshops for both adults and children. It’s the unofficial start of the summer season. Have at it, Boston.
Friday, May 26-Saturday, May 27
Just down the road from Boston’s Coachella, a weekly summer concert series has returned for its seventh year. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, local and touring musicians visit the Sideyard at Zone 3 for an outdoor concert paired with brews, hard seltzer, food trucks, and, of course, string lights. This week will feature performances from Hammond B3 organist Jordan Gravel and his improvisational duo, “JORGAN,” on Friday, and local indie psych-rock band Crash Cadet on Saturday. Both shows start at 7 p.m. For people who forgot to purchase their Boston Calling ticket, this Allston hangout is an atmospheric alternative. (This event is for those 21 years of age and older.)
Friday, May 26
Do you ever feel like you missed out on the college experience of taking a drawing class with a live model? The Academy of Realist Art Boston is offering an evening of free drop-in demonstrations. Starting at 5 p.m., two clothed models will be available for an open figure class and a figure drawing demo by artist John Asimacopoulos, and at 6 p.m., there will be a wet-on-wet painting demo by Antonio Lones. This event gives those who are curious about the Academy’s workshops and programs a free opportunity to test the waters of realist art without signing up for a weeks-long class. Online registration is available but not mandatory.
Saturday, May 27-Monday, May 29
For three days a year, the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton turns into a marketplace of over 200 artists and makers presenting their works of visual art, jewelry, furniture, home decor and more. In addition to art for sale, the festival includes demonstrations, workshops, a Sculpture Promenade, a silent auction and on-site food under a dining tent. The most expensive ticket is $16, and children under 12 have free entry. After the festival, head over to Main Street and order a “frappe” at Filos, where the term means a Greek-style iced coffee rather than the classic drink common at New England ice creameries.
Saturday, May 27
Does “The Penumbra Podcast” sound familiar? You may have heard or read about it when we profiled co-producer, director and sound designer Harley Takagi Kaner in WBUR’s 2022 edition of The Makers. If you did, then you know that this fictional podcast follows various characters from outer space, including Juno Steel, a non-binary private eye who interrogates Martian society and goes through the trials and tribulations of finding love in space. The podcast has received accolades for its representation of queer and LGBTQ+ characters, and it’s grown a loyal fanbase over the last five years. This weekend, a live edition will be performed at The Crystal Ballroom in Somerville.
For those who haven’t attended live tapings of podcasts, they’re an interesting combination of visual theatrics that complement the audio and give a behind-the-scenes look at this medium. Combine that with a bar setting, and you’ve got yourself a fun night out. Standard admission tickets are $35. (Sorry, kids. This one is also for those 21 and older only.)
Monday, May 29
With children home from school over the holiday weekend, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is stepping up to offer an educational alternative to the school day. This year, the annual Open House includes admission to the special exhibit “Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence.” While you may not recognize that name, you’d certainly recognize Hokusai’s most famous piece, “The Great Wave,” one of the world’s only artworks to become an emoji. [Read more about the exhibition here.]
The Open House will include a paper-making workshop and an art fair. Visitors can also watch improvisational performances incorporating saxophone, marimba, poetry and electronics. Tickets are free for all Massachusetts residents and are available in person on a first-come, first-served basis.