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Outside the Box returns in July with a new focus on tech

The music and art festival will also celebrate innovation in Boston

Boston's Keon Hill, a performer with the hip-Derek Kouyoumjian/Metro

Outside the Box is returning to Boston this summer with music, performing arts and a new component highlighting technology.

In addition to its 100-strong roster of performers, the free five-day festival is adding new programming called “OTB Interactive” to celebrate the city’s innovation community, organizers said Monday.

The festival this year will include an “Innovation Village” on Boston Common, along with networking events, off-site speakers and the “OTB Interactive Awards.” The schedule of events hasn’t been announced yet.

“It’s the melding of art, culture and innovation that makes our city so exceptional,” Susan Darian, Outside the Box’s executive director, said at a news conference.

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It’s scheduled to run July 13-17. Find more info on the OTB website.

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Mayor Marty Walsh offered his support for the festival’s new tech focus Monday morning, saying it would “showcase our thriving startup scene here in the city, providing another resource for entrepreneurs as America’s most innovative city.”

As for the music portion of the festivities, headliners this year are 90s hit-makers Smash Mouth and Daughtry, the American Idol-winner-helmed rock band.

Most of the acts will again be lesser known local talent and performers from around the world, according to Georgia Lyman, OTB’s creative director. She said the full list of performers would be announced in the coming weeks.

“There are names that might be familiar already, and a lot more that you should keep your eye on,” Lyman said.

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Walsh also used the occasion to tout the city’s freshly drafted cultural plan. Among other things, the lengthy plancalls for promoting “the city’s rich cultural festivals.”

Meanwhile, Ted Cutler, the wealthy benefactor who dreamed up the festival to bring art to the masses, said he’s looking forward to OTB’s return in July.

“We are inviting everybody – the haves, the have notes – to come and enjoy performing arts,” he said, adding, “It’s on me.”

 
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