Think Outside The Box!

Two years ago, Ted Cutler presented the first Outside The Box free performing arts festival in downtown Boston. I went to many of the performances, in part because I work downtown so I could sneak over for a long lunch but mostly because this was too good an opportunity to miss.


That year, the performances spread across nine days and two areas (Boston Common and City Hall Plaza). This year, the event will begin on Tuesday evening, July 14 and run through July 19.  All events will take place on the Boston Common.

I was extremely impressed with everything about the first Outside The Box festival – programming, staff, volunteers, security, and most of all the vision – and have no reason to think this year’s festival will be anything less than marvelous. Even though the brutal heat wave of 2013 coincided with the festival, there were misting stations that dampened only our clothes. Spirits were high at every performance I saw.

Through a partnership with Greater Media, the Radio 92.9 EarthFest will move to the Boston Common this year as part of Outside The Box.  EarthFest will take place on Saturday, July 18 and will feature performances from Guster, New Politics, Atlas Genius and Alex PrestonRadio 92.9 will also present a headlining performance from the Gin Blossoms, which will take place on Thursday, July 16.

Country 102.5 will present Kacey Musgraves, Austin Web and Cam on the Beacon Street Stage on Friday, July 17

There will be more than 100 performances over the 5 day/6 night festival.

The opening ceremonies will take place on Tuesday, July 14.   This spectacular performance will begin as Puppets from the Puppeteers Cooperative rise up over the Common, leading a parade over to the main stage where they’ll be joined by members of the Boston Circus GuildEmperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band will perform on the main stage, followed by a collaborative dance ensemble piece featuring seven local Boston dance companies.   Closing out the evening, world-renowned Turkish dance group Fire of Anatolia, takes to the main stage with over sixty dancers, presented by Turkish Airlines.     

Family-friendly performances will abound, including performances from The Airborne Comedians, Alastair MoockAmi & Tami, A Musical Fable backed by Landmarks Orchestra, Bari Koral Band, Keith Munslow, Matt Heaton & the Outside Toys, and many others.  A hands-on interactive element will include print making from the Museum of Fine Arts, origami from the Winchester School of Chinese Culture, educational performances from the Freedom Trail Foundation as well as activities from the New England Aquarium and Knucklebones,

The festival will showcase cultures from across the globe, featuring performances from both local and international arts organizations.  A sample of these performances will include: Benkadi Drum & Dance, Boston Bhangra, Cape Verdean singer Neuza De Pina, the Paa Seck Diery Band, Gamelan Galak Tika, French rock group La Jarry, Japanese taiko drummers Genki Spark,  and Lenelle Moïse, an independent recording artist and an award-winning playwright.

Dance will be seen throughout the festival, with spectacular performance from organizations that include BoSoma Dance, the Boston Ballet School, Nozama Dance Collective, Tony Williams Dance Company, the Floorlords, Jo-Me Dance Company, Prometheus Dance and more. 

There will also be performances from Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Evan Northrup, Free for All, Jay Fraser, Landmarks Ochestra, Liars & Believers, Nemes, OperaHub, Our Place Theater Project, Paul Good, Peter Parcek Trio, the Puppet Showplace Theater, Renaissance Charter School, the Sleeping Weazel Theater, The Fence, The Janes, Berklee School of Music and Young Audiences of Massachusetts

Outside The Box is the vision of Boston-based philanthropist and arts enthusiast Ted Cutler, who believes in the power of arts to educate and inspire creative thinking.   

The Managing Director for the 2015 Outside The Box festival is Susan Shields Darian. The Artistic Director, Georgia Lyman, is a Boston-based performer and producer who served as associate curator for the 2013 festival.  

For more information, visit or follow Outside The Box on Facebook or @otbBoston on Twitter.

Go to as many performances as you can. Turn your mind onto something new and unexpected. That’s what Outside The Box is all about.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on July 9, 2015, in concert announcements, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Lisa Stratton

    Two years ago the line up was much better, I too went to many shows. What happened two yrs. later? Personally not one of the performers interest me.

    • I hear what you’re saying but I respectfully disagree. There are many acts who either sound interesting or acts I have seen and know are terrific. Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band. Will Dailey. Ruby Rose Fox. Air Traffic Controller. Kasey Musgraves. Peter Parcek Trio. Matt Heaton. Nemes. Abbie Barrett and the Last Date. Bill Banfield. Since it’s free, I’m thrilled to be able to get turned on to something new. It’s worth taking a chance!

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