‘Outside the Box’ Returns to Boston Common Next Week

“Outside the Box” – touted as the city’s “premier performing-arts festival” – returns to the Boston Common for the third time from July 13 to 17.

“’Outside the Box’ shows us how performing arts can bring a community together, breaking down barriers and inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a press statement. “Programs like ‘Outside the Box’ are a cornerstone of our commitment to creating an inclusive, innovative cultural environment.”

This year’s festival includes more than 100 free performances, with American rock band Smash Mouth headlining on the Capital One Mainstage on Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. Daughtry – the rock band formed and fronted by “American Idol” fifth-season finalist Chris Daughtry – appears on the stage on Friday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, July 16, the “Blue Man Group Drum Off” takes the Capital One Mainstage at 1 p.m. Four performances, presented by 92.5 The River, follow, including the Young Wild, the Wild Feathers, The Record Company and headliner Michael Franti & Spearhead – best known for their hits “Say Hey (I Love You),” and “The Sound of Sunshine.” best known for their hits “Say Hey (I Love You),” and “The Sound of Sunshine.”

Dance will also be featured throughout the festival, with performance from organizations such as BoSoma Dance, the Boston Ballet II, Tony Williams Ballet Company, StreetHYpE, Luminarium Dance Company and more. Family-friendly performers include Matt Heaton & the Outside Toys, the Puppet Showplace Theater and Tanglewood Marionettes, as well as activities from Knucklebones.

The Tremont Tent, which showcase performances that reflect the festival’s title of being “outside the box,” welcomes Lea DeLaria of Netflix’s hit series “Orange is the New Black” on Saturday, June 16, at 9 p.m. Over the course of the five-day festival, the tent will also host performances by Aubrey Logan, Luminarium Dance Company, Laugh Boston, OperaHub, This Is Tango Now and Kaki King, among others.

“We make it our mission to offer something for everyone,” said Georgia Lyman, the festival’s artistic director. “This year, the Tremont Tent houses performers like Lea, who are bold, risky, innovative and surprising. Not only will it highlight a unique variety of performers, but it will expose attendees to an incredible array of cultures and genres.”

This year’s festival also includes a new innovation component, “Outside the Box Interactive,” which showcases the city’s best and brightest technology and business entrepreneurs. All attendees will be able to visit the free “Innovation Village” on the Common, where cutting-edge companies will share their ideas, products and services, and on the evening of Friday, July 15, the Capital One Mainstage will serve as the venue for “Outside the Box Interactive” Awards for local start-ups.

“My hope continues to be that by adding an innovation component to this year’s festival we can inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures – not just in the arts – but in whatever passions they have,” said Ted Cutler, the Boston philanthropist who first brought the festival to the Common three years ago.

The festival’s media sponsors include the Boston Globe, Bostinno, 92.5 The River, CBS Boston and WERS.

For more information, visit www.OTBBoston.com or follow Outside the Box on Facebook, @otbBoston on Twitter or @otbboston on Instagram.

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