It is with much regret that I have to inform you that I will be unable to cover the Boston Calling music festival later this month. This is for one simple reason: they are not offering me press credentials this time. What are press credentials? That’s just a fancy way of saying they let you in for free so that you’ll write about or photograph their event for the media. If it wasn’t for press lists, I’d rarely ever see any concerts since I’m barely scraping by on disability. That said, I cannot afford to purchase tickets to Boston Calling. They’re just not something I can afford. I have a cat with diabetes and an immune system disorder and have to make his medications — and mine — priority.
I had originally sent in a completed media application for Boston Calling back in March, but on April 25th I still hadn’t heard back from them. So, I e-mailed them to ask when they’d be letting me know and they said they didn’t have my application and asked me to re-send it. This tells you two things. 1. They were at least considering me or they would’ve just rejected me instead of asking me to re-send the application. 2. They still had openings on their press list because if it was already completely full they wouldn’t have asked me to re-send the application. The reply I received from them after I re-submitted it reads:
So sorry, but we cannot offer you press credentials for the festival.
We appreciate your interest and application.
Needless to say I was shocked that they weren’t offering me credentials, seeing how I have covered their last four festivals and they always seemed happy with my coverage. More importantly, I have been posting their press releases about this year’s festival all year! I also wrote about how excited about the festival I was. But I would not have posted any of that if I knew they were going to dismiss me. Suffice to say I felt like they were slapping me in the face. I mean, seriously, I’m good enough to post all of those announcements about the line-up and tickets going on sale and such, and I was always good enough to cover their festivals in the past, but now I’m not good enough? This made no sense to me – our site still gets the same number of unique visitors – so I replied and asked if they could tell me why. Here’s the reply:
Unfortunately with the festival expanding this year, we’ve had much more interest in press credentials and have had to make some cuts.
OK, I don’t doubt that there has been more interest in covering the festival since it’s expanding this year, but with the festival being bigger than ever, you would think they would want to have more press coverage than ever. You’d also think that they would at least approve people who’ve covered the festival four times in the past. That you’d be grandfathered in or something. That would be the respectful thing to do. I feel like they’re saying, you were fine when we were smaller, but now that we’re growing you’re of no use to us. It really stings, to be perfectly honest.
I know my site isn’t Stereogum or Pitchfork, but you’d think tens thousand unique visitors a month would be enough that they’d want those people to read about the festival and perhaps attend in the future. Also, we’re based out of Massachusetts and our biggest readership is here. So, those people who are coming to our site are basically their target audience. And our Boston Calling coverage has resulted in some of our most popular posts. We’ve even spent money boosting some of our Boston Calling posts on Facebook to ensure that they’d be read by thousands. Regardless, a lot of people clearly like my coverage of the festival.
Honestly, as much as I feel stabbed in the back from them right now, I suppose I am hoping that they’ll read this and change their minds about giving me credentials. I would like nothing more than that. I’ve been pretty depressed and that was the one thing I had to look forward to all year, which is why I can’t stop dwelling on this. To that end, I sent them another e-mail, basically begging them to reconsider, but I received no reply after that.
If I don’t hear from them, that’s fine. I realize they’ll probably ignore this. But I felt like I owed you Love is Poppers an explanation about why I won’t be covering the festival because I know many of you were looking forward to reading my coverage. That said, if they don’t change their minds there will be no further mention of Boston Calling on this site. I will not post their press releases and tell people I’m excited about the festival if they don’t want me there. I won’t give them free publicity on my site if they can’t give me a wristband and let me in for free.