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Hassle Shows

Guerilla Toss at Boston Hassle Fest

Guerilla Toss at Boston Hassle Fest

This is where it all started. Before Brain Arts was recognized as a certified non-profit, before we had a space or a newspaper or a website, our founders were bringing DIY and non-commercial musicians from across the country to play shows in Boston. While Hassle Shows have grown exponentially in scale and reach, the underlying principles have never changed. To this day, we remain committed to giving a stage and a spotlight to under-represented artists from across genres and mediums.

While the city of Boston is home to some of the greatest creative forces in contemporary art and music, a critical shortage of viable venues has limited the region’s exposure compared to other cities of its size. In a city where high-rent prices and strict zoning legislation limits the number of creative spaces, Brain Arts works to ensure that local and touring artists are able to find a platform in Boston. In 2017 alone, Brain Arts hosted 102 shows, giving a stage to more than 300 bands and displaying the work of more than 50 visual and performing artists.

In 2017, we hosted shows at more than thirty venues, including our own space, the Dorchester Art Project. Regardless of location, all Hassle Shows take place in safer spaces. As one of the most prolific booking organizations in Boston, we take our responsibility to make a safer, more inclusive scene seriously. We are committed to giving a stage to marginalized voices and creators of all ages.

While the majority of Boston shows have historically taken place at bars and other prohibitive spaces, Brain Arts books almost exclusively in all-ages venues, ensuring that our doors remain open to anybody who is respectful and complies with our inclusivity standards. Through events like Yes Fest and teen nights, we work to spotlight the many phenomenal artists who are not old enough to play in bars and 18+ clubs. All Hassle Shows, regardless of venue, are free of charge to guests under 18 years of age.