Say what? Some of you are wondering–at least 25 bands and a number of anxious music fans. It is obvious that we cannot have a music festival in August. When I postponed the orignal dates back in March, I knew it was a roll of the dice that we’d be in a place to assemble in any capacity by July 30. The situation has been so fluid that each day brought new challenges. Watching local and national venues struggle is heartbreaking. If we lose them, we lose the foundations of our music communities, communities are built by small, independent rooms. We are a congregation and venues are our church. 

It has been on my mind everyday and I wondered if there was a right time to call it. Now is as good as any. Tickets cannot go on sale on June 22. Who’ll buy them? Who’ll come? What bands will want to take part given they haven’t seen each other in person in two or three months? How can that be fair? When will we have a venue? When can ONCE reopen and what will that look like? How will we be able to assemble? That’s what I have thought about. Every conversation I’ve had about the likelihood of it happening was a shrug of my shoulders. This is the inevitable outcome of a pandemic that has ravaged the music industry. 

Thank you to the 24 bands who make up the Class of 2020.


April came and went. It was sad that we couldn’t celebrate together. All the care and caution in the world will not change the very obvious limitations on social gatherings. I wish the news was different. Live music is taking a beating, recovery will be long and labored. The Rumble has always been a welcomed break from the stresses of our day-to-day lives. I am sorry that we cannot share a drink, have a hug in the photo booth, & enjoy time together. Hopes were high that summer would bring renewed energy and community. Given all that is against us heading into summer, we won’t be able to have a Rumble this year. Our venues, businesses, and studios are faced with major challenges, the timing isn’t right to ask for sponsorships and donations. Bands can’t rehearse. ONCE remains closed. The city of Somerville has no definitive reopening date. We all gave our best. Let’s do everything we can to take care of each other now. Please help us make up for it in 2021.


To commemorate this “Rumble That Wasn’t,” I have set up an online store of Rumble and Boston Emissions merchandise. Thanks to Peter and QRST’s of Somerville for facilitating this. RUMBLE 2020 items are coming and there will be a RUMBLE 2020 t-shirt, with the option of the Summer Rumble band lineup. 

Shop the Boston Emissions Online Store,
support the show, The Rumble, and local business

For any band or artist that mentions Boston Emissions when ordering your own t-shirts from QRSTs, you will receive six complementary t-shirts. Consider it the Boston Emissions bump.

Lastly, please support our venues. One way we are working to save our stages is through the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). How can you help? Contact your local representatives and ask they help independent venues whose future is uncertain amid this financial crisis. Many have closed or will close. 

Go to to find your rep, copy and paste a message (or create your own) and send it. #SaveOurStages

ONCE Somerville has an open funding site here:



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