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For philanthropist Ted Cutler, ambitious new Boston arts festival could come at a cost

Singer Bryan White, left, greets Doug Logan of Plymouth, an Emerson student during an audition at the WERS studios beside Boston Common. The Grammy winning singer joined a panel of judges to award a performance spot at the Outside the Box Festival. Also seen is Regan Communications V.P. Brent O'Connor. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe (arts, edgers)
Singer Bryan White, left, greets Doug Logan of Plymouth, an Emerson student during an audition at the WERS studios beside Boston Common. The Grammy-winning singer joined a panel of judges to award a performance spot at the Outside the Box Festival. Brent O'Connor, of Regan Communications, was on hand. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

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They told Ted Cutler not to do it this summer, that there simply wasn’t enough time to launch what he’s calling the biggest arts and music festival in Boston’s history.

Others warned the Dorchester-born millionaire that holding the Outside the Box festival could cost him more than $5 million.

But Cutler didn’t listen.

“I’m going to be 83 years old,” he said, chuckling. “I don’t buy green bananas, for Christ’s sake. I want this to happen when I’ve got a couple of years to enjoy it.”

Outside the Box, running July 13-21 on the Boston Common and City Hall Plaza, is a huge undertaking, promising more than 200 musicians and other performers. What’s more, it’s all free to the public.

But the tab, for Cutler, could be considerable.

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