Outdoor Performance Venue and Beer Garden Set To Open May 4 on the Common

A new seasonal performance space and outdoor beer garden offering music, food, and beverages is set to open Thursday, May 4, on the Boston Common, the city announced two days earlier in a press release.

The city released a Request For Proposals (RFP) in January 2023 “calling for vendors with experience running a successful food and beverage service program to operate and manage a hospitality destination that would enhance the southeast corner of the park,” according to the city. Emerson College UnCommon Stage and the Trillium Garden on the Common were ultimately selected, and they will occupy the corner of the park at Tremont and Boylston streets near the Boylston Street MBTA station. The venue will operate through Nov. 1.

On Thursday, May 4 at 5:15 p.m., Mayor Michelle Wu will join the Parks and Recreation Department, Emerson College and Trillium Brewing, and community members for a ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of the venue.

“This new performance venue and beer garden on Boston Common will activate the historic park, and our Downtown, with performances that represent all of our residents of Boston and a new, beautiful outdoor gathering space for all,” Mayor Wu said in the press release. “The City is proud to partner with Emerson College and two family-owned local businesses –Trillium Brewing and Taqueria El Barrio – to bring new joy and renewal to Downtown Boston.”

The partnership between the Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) and Emerson College is aligned with the recently released Boston Common Master Plan, which, according to the city, “called for introducing new activities to reimagine underutilized spaces in the park.”

“The Boston Common, or the ‘People’s Park,’ is a crucial historic central gathering space in our city,” Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space, said in the press release. “The new partnership with Emerson College and Trillium is creating a space that allows people to connect with each other while supporting local artists in our country’s first public park.”

Added Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods: “UnCommon Stage and the Trillium Garden on the Common are perfect spots to grab a bite or spend time with friends and family. The activation also creates a new revenue stream that will help support our recreational programs for youth and adults citywide.”

The 5,000 square foot performance space, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, will feature daily entertainment and programming at the Emerson College UnCommon Stage. Performances will range from local musicians and WERS 88.9 broadcasts to DJs, comedy shows, book readings and more, according to the city.

The Trillium Garden on the Common will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The outdoor garden, which seats more than 400, is open to all and will offer a variety of beverages and food by Taqueria El Barrio.

“We know that positive activity in a park pushes out negative activity and behavior,” Liz Vizza, president of the Friends of the Public Garden, said in a press release. “This new attraction will bring more people to this part of the Common while the income generated will support projects such as the Brewer Fountain activation.”

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