“The first Hassle Fest was back in 2009. I was still booking shows on my own at that point,” says Dan Shea, BRAIN Arts Director. “It was basically trying to take it to the next level– I’d booked a million shows, I wanted to have an event to put Boston on the map, and to get people here excited about local music beyond just a regular show.”
Now in its seventh year, Hassle Fest has been a constant part of BRAIN Arts’ contribution to independent music in Boston. ”It is our attempt to put on a larger-scale festival, where we can bring in underground and independent artists from all over the country and from other countries, to intermingle with some of our local heroes and stalwarts from the New England and Boston scene,” says Shea. “We’re bringing artists together from all over, many of which have never been to Boston or rarely come to Boston, and getting them all in the room together over the course of a weekend,” says Shea. “That in and of itself is special.”
Getting a festival’s worth of bands booked is a lot of work. “The fifty or so bands we’re winding up with are coming from a lot of bands being asked. Hundreds,” says Shea. He hasn’t done it alone. When this reporter asked who to talk to about this story, Shea sent me a list of a dozen names. “I did a lot of the booking, my partner in all of this, Sam, had a hand in the booking. There was a lot of input from a lot of different people. especially from some of the folks who write about music for the hassle website,” he says. “But Dan McMahon has been my right-hand person for the fest this year.”
3 days and 50 bands including Flipper (performing with David Yow of Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid), Screaming Females, Guerilla Toss, Dreamcrusher, Downtown Boys, Tyondai Braxton, PC Worship, Mini Dresses, Battle Trance and many more!
Also, read How We Made a Hassle Fest by Josie Grove – an article in which Dan McMahon and Dan Shea explain the idea behind the festival and how it came to be.
Get your ticket now before its too late and/or donate as little as $10: