Crash Line Productions: A New Business With a Perfect Melody

Posted July 26, 2013 by Stephanie Dubick in Business

On the last night of May’s Boston Calling Music Festival, in the midst of nearly 20,000 overzealous fans, the lead singer of the veteran indie rock band The National, Matt Berninger, gazed over the audience and peered toward City Hall. “The architecture looks amazing from this vantage point,” he said. Curious heads turned toward the brightly lit government building.

The lights illuminated Government Center, completely transforming the Boston landmark that many of us pass every day without even noticing it. And there’s no one to thank but the owners of Crash Line Productions, Brian Appel and Mike Snow. They’re the team responsible for producing this year’s first annual Boston Calling Music Festival, which boasted national indie acts such as fun., Of Monsters and Men, The Walkmen, and Marina & The Diamonds. On September 7 and 8, the festival’s second September installment will feature Solange, Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, and Major Lazer—and Crash Line’s involvement will include everything from security to lighting and stage setup.

As former employees of The Phoenix Media/Communications Group, Brian and Mike have worked in and around the music industry for years. “We’re pretty much music industry insiders at this point,” Brian told me over the phone. Yet, with the fall of The Boston Phoenix last March, the idea of expanding Crash Line Productions (the name is a New Jersey Devils hockey reference) grew exponentially.

Soon Crash Line Productions set up shop in Faneuil Hall and began to jumpstart festivities around the Downtown Crossing neighborhood, such as the weekly block parties on Summer Street. “We looked at a few locations outside of the city and thought the best vibe to do a festival that was Boston-centric was to put it right downtown. We thought it was a totally unique opportunity. We love it here. It’s great.”

The lights of City Hall created a perfect backdrop for Boston Calling. Photo credit: Alexandra Hynes.

And with only a year under their belt, the two-day music festival on May 26th and 27th produced sold-out shows and joined legions of music fans in City Hall. That success has the crew of Crash Line focusing on their own events inside and outside the downtown vicinity, as well. “We got a lot of inbound calls after the music festival for people that produce events,” Brian explained. “They asked us to help run some of the events that they do, and we’re just starting to look at how much more work we can take on and what we would be good at. I think in the next year or so we’ll be able to expand a little bit and help people run their events.”

Until that time comes, both Brian and Mike are gearing up for September. They’re focused on producing a family-friendly event that they hope will become a Downtown Crossing tradition. Preticket sales for shows on September 7 and 8 have sold out already. And with confidence in the people and the bands, expectations and morale are high: “I think that the crowds are going to be very similar to the first Boston Calling. But right now, people are focusing on the summer. And then, when they start to think about the fall, they’ll think about Boston Calling 2.”


Boston, boston calling, , city hall plaza, Crashline Productions, , Fanueil Hall, , fun., Marina & The Diamonds Of Monsters and Men, Matt Berninger, Mike Snow, New Jersey Devils, The Boston Phoenix, The National, The Walkmen


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