The Virgin Mobile FreeFest Presented by Kyocera was announced today by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, who delivered the message via a video posted on Virgin Mobile Live's Facebook page. The free, Billboard award-winning festival, known for breaking from traditional music events, will feature two Main Stages and a Dance Forest. Scheduled to perform on the Main Stages are The Black Keys, Deadmau5 (pictured), Cee Lo Green, TV on the Radio, Patti Smith, Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Okkervil River, Big Sean, Two Door Cinema Club, Alberta Cross, and Bombay Bicycle Club. The Dance Forest will feature James Murphy, Calvin Harris, Ghostland Observatory, !!!, Porter Robinson, Eclectic Method, and Teddybears. This year's festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
"It's so much fun to be a part of this," Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. and Virgin Mobile FreeFest producer said in a statement to the press. "As a promoter, I enjoy watching 40,000 people walking around, having a blast, feeling very lucky they got a free ticket...it's my favorite day of the year. There are a lot of bands vying to play this festival, but, because we give all the tickets away, we get to choose based on nothing but who we think are the most happening. I suppose it's a bratty approach, but we just want people to see this festival as the list of the absolute coolest bands and stories of the moment."
"This free festival represents everything our brand stands for," said Ron Faris, director of Brand Marketing for Virgin Mobile USA. "We’re very proud of our deeply engaged fans who donate their time and money to youth homelessness through this concert. During the last two FreeFests, nearly $300,000 has been raised, and volunteers have given more than 55,000 hours of their time to the cause. This festival is dedicated to them. Giving away free tickets to our most loyal fans on our Virgin Mobile Live Facebook page is an absolute pleasure." The Virgin Mobile youth homelessness initiative is the focus of The RE*Generation project, the pro-social effort by Virgin Mobile USA dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of at-risk and homeless youth.
Tickets to the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest will go "On Free" to the public at 10 a.m. (EDT) Friday, July 15, via Virgin Mobile LIVE on facebook.com/virginmobilelive. Fans must first "like" Virgin Mobile Live before they are eligible to secure free tickets. Virgin Mobile customers and Virgin Mobile Festival ticket holders from the past five years will be invited via text and email to a private "free-sale" (much like a pre-sale, except free) to be held at 10 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, July 14, also at facebook.com/virginmobilelive.
During the last two years, Virgin Mobile FreeFest’s tens of thousands of tickets were scooped up in just minutes. Replacing the VIP ticket this year will be a limited number of FreeFest Premium Ticket Packages, which include admission to the festival, a FreeFest T-shirt and poster, a souvenir cup that comes with discounts on drinks, and early admission to the grounds. These limited special packages will be available via merriweathermusic.com or ticketfly.com. In keeping with the "free" mantra, Ticketfly is waiving all service charges on free tickets when fans pick up their FreeFest tickets at Merriweather or the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., or print their tickets at home.