Outside the Box festival is true to its name

Dutch Rebelle: One of Boston's fiercest rap performers, she'll be on the OTB Fountain stage on July 14.Dutch Rebelle: One of Boston's fiercest rap performers, she'll be on the OTB Fountain stage on July 14.True to its name, the upcoming Outside the Box (OTB) festival is boldly going where no local arts festival has gone before – adding talks and panel discussions by business innovators to its five-day lineup of free cultural events. Supplementing the arts programming headlined by veteran alt rock acts Smash Mouth and Daughtry, OTB will be hosting OTBi (OTBInteractive) events.

This third spring smorgasbord of free arts events runs July 13-17, 2016 again on the Common.

OTB, now clearly Boston’s premier performing arts festival, is the realization of the vision of philanthropist and arts enthusiast Ted Cutler, a Dorchester native who grew up on Abbot Street off Blue Hill Ave. Contributing millions of his own money, Cutler has rallied collaborators to join him in celebrating the power of the arts to educate and inspire creative thinking. First held in 2013, OTB continues to present local, national ,and international performances of all genres in a free event designed to cultivate a lifelong love for the arts.

The 2016 OTB is expected to be bigger than the 2015 edition, but smaller than its 2013 inaugural event. “Outside The Box is a wonderful opportunity for artists and audiences to share creative experiences,” asserts artistic director Georgia Lyman. “The 2016 performances range from spectacle to intimate. They’re immersive, interactive, and represent the diverse talent that Boston has to offer.”

Bostonians are very discerning musically, and the concert lineup reflects the city’s sophisticated tastes.

Vertical Horizon will open for headliner Smash Mouth on #TBT Thurs., July 14. Taking the Capital One Stage Friday night, July 15, will be Daughtry, the rock band formed and fronted by namesake Chris Daughtry.

Saturday will start off with the Blue Man Group Drum Off followed by four performances presented by 92.5 The River including The Young Wild, The Wild Feathers, The Record Company, and Michael Franti & Spearhead, best known for their hits “Say Hey (I Love You),” and “The Sound of Sunshine.”

Boston-based nonprofit studio and music incubator The Record Co. will be presenting CREATUROS, Ruby Rose Fox, and Dutch Rebelle from its forthcoming compilation album.

“We’re very pleased to have 92.5 The River help us present Saturday’s Capital One Mainstage artists,” said Susan Shields Darian, OTB’s executive director. “Having partners like Capital One, 92.5 The River and so many others help further Ted Cutler’s vision of a sustainable and vibrant artistic community in Boston.”

The festival will showcase other kinds of entertainment from across the globe: Guy Mendilow Ensemble (Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom) presented by the Israeli Consulate, Cheung Family Kung Fu (Lions Dragons Drums), Soumya Rajaram, Jordan Jamil Ahmed, Red Baraat, and many more. Other major acts will include Kaki King, Zap Mama, and Herencia de Timbiquí.

Dance too will be seen throughout the festival, with varied presentations from ensembles like BoSoma Dance, the Boston Ballet II, Tony Williams Ballet Company, StreetHYpE, Luminarium Dance Company and more. Parents looking for attractions to engross the kiddos need look no further than performances from Matt Heaton & the Outside Toys, the Puppet Showplace Theater, Tanglewood Marionettes as well as activities from Knucklebones.

Sponsor Capital One will kick off the OTBi portion of the festival on Wed., July 13, at 1 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre with a CapX Talk entitled “Reimagining Perspectives: Identifying Gaps that Revolutionize Industries.” The CapX Talk – an interactive panel discussion among some of the industry’s top innovators – aims to uncover the many ways industry pioneers are identifying gaps that are reimagining the way consumers live their everyday lives.

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