BUMP up the volume

City Hall Plaza all the rage for 10,000 revelers
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 10, 2010


PHOTOS: 2010 Boston Urban Music Festival, plus crowd shots, by Derek Kouyoumjian
Local opener M-Dot got arrested on some bullshit for scuffling with state troopers at last Saturday’s Boston Urban Music Project (BUMP) festival on City Hall Plaza. Soon after, more than 100 teens in tight jeans rushed the stage and stalled a headlining set by Pittsburgh hip-hop upstart Wiz Khalifa. In short: it was the most memorable free public concert in recent Boston history.

In addition to the stellar breeze and the size of teenage boobs these days, the show’s success (and nearly 10,000-person turnout) can be attributed to the fact that the mayor’s henchmen didn’t help plan the event, as they had in the past. Hizzoner did make a brief appearance (which was cut short by stampeding mini-hipsters), but teen-minded outside promoters, backed by sponsors, were responsible for booking the diverse roster.

There was an excuse for all types of adolescents to incite pandemonium: Young Riot repped for the nu-rap set, Bad Rabbits kicked for the boogie prone, M-Dot spit for hardcore cats, and Khalifa quelled the masses. Even with the city not involved in trying to pick up perceptional peace points, the event was philanthropic by design, in that it gave potential youth offenders one central place in which to cause an innocent ruckus.

I’m sure that BUMP will be cited as an example of how hip-hop crowds can’t be controlled — even though this was more a teen and college horde than a boom-bap demographic. (Nothing comparable happened when old-school heroes like Slick Rick rocked Government Center in past years.) Still, even if the MTV generation bears the deserved burden for whatever minor mayhem took place at this festival, the lesson should be that Boston needs more — not less — spectacles that draw young people from across the region to break down barriers together.

Related: Photos: Metric at House of Blues, The Big Hurt: Faces refaced, A band, a part, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Tom Menino,  More more >
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