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Speculation: Virgin Mobile FreeFest Predictions, Vol. 1

gogol bordelloWill Eugene Hutz and Gogol Bordello make a Virgin Mobile Fest return? We think so. (Sarah L. Voisin/TWP)

By David Malitz

Here's what we know about the 2010 edition of Virgin Mobile FreeFest - it's on. It will, once again, be free and at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Other than that there are no details to be had. So when there are no details, you know what that means - wild speculation!

In the past our guesses have been fairly accurate. There's a certain formula to use when predicting bands that will be at V-Fest. It needs to be some combination of the following: 1) Has a previously existing relationship with I.M.P./9:30 club, 2) Has no D.C.-area show booked in the summer, 3) Is playing the summer festival circuit.

With that criteria already in mind and looking at the blog today a few ideas popped into my head. So here's my first official foray into FreeFest 2010 prognosticating. As always, feel free to add your own predictions in the comments. If I agree with them, I may just steal them for the next installment.

Gogol Bordello
The gypsy-punks (whose new album we reviewed earlier today) are doing an entire festival tour of Europe this summer. They are playing a pair of shows at Baltimore's Rams Head Live next week - both of which are I.M.P.-promoted shows. (Not the case with every concert at that venue.) They have played the 9:30 club in early January both of the past two years, are Virgin Festival veterans and are pretty much the ideal band for this type of show since you don't need to be too familiar with their recorded work to enjoy the spectacle that is their set.

(They played last night - will they be back later this summer? After the jump...)

The Frenchies just played an awesome show at sold-out Constitution Hall. And this wasn't one of those shows that took a while to sell out. It was instant - people were desperate to sing and dance along to "1901" and "Listzomania." When the band played at Coachella a few weeks ago the size of their audience dwarfed that of reunited indie-rock heroes Pavement.

And it makes a certain amount of sense - at the end of a long festival, don't you just want to listen to some catchy pop songs and dance? Phoenix is popular enough at this point to be somewhere near the top of the bill on a FreeFest lineup. (As in, don't expect the Who or the Police or bands that cost a lot of money.) Put them in the Franz Ferdinand slot from last year and you'd have lots of happy people. Let's make this happen.

Yep, he played last year. But he's constantly on the grind (#nodaysoff, anyone?) and is always looking to increase his fanbase, and no better way than playing to 25,000 to 30,000 people on a summer day. He remains the biggest name in local hip-hop, drew a huge crowd last year and there's really no reason for him not to make a return appearance in 2010.

By David Malitz  |  April 27, 2010; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Speculation  | Tags: Gogol Bordello, Phoenix, Virgin Festival, Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Wale  
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Next: Riffs: Know your Roots!


Will there be another thread to discuss any other '90s bands for the HFStival?

Posted by: Hemisphire | April 27, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The only words for Wale are...epic disappointment.

Maybe this year will be the year they actually get Animal Collective. Unlikely though.

Posted by: agl132 | April 27, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

HFStival Summer of '93 lineup: INXS, Iggy Pop, Stereo MCs, Belly, Matthew Sweet & more!!!

Posted by: iamasofaking | April 27, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to speculate M.I.A. She's no stranger to free festivals, having played Siren in the past and is no stranger to I.M.P. having played her last local appearance at the 9:30 Club. Admittedly, she's only announced two American tour dates and they're not festival dates but if this show goes down in late August she'll be back from Europe by then.

But ya know who is on the festival circuit this year (and who doesn't have a local date announced?) Pavement. I don't know what their relationship with I.M.P. is seeing as how I didn't live here in or prior to 1999. That might also just be wishful thinking.

Posted by: universaltravaler | April 27, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Probably MGMT. Gogol have two shows in Baltimore this week. Played two years ago Wale played last year. Both bad guesses

Posted by: atomicfront | April 27, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Probably MGMT. Gogol have two shows in Baltimore this week. Played two years ago Wale played last year. Both bad guesses

Posted by: atomicfront | April 27, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

MGMT just announced its own show at Merriweather on Aug. 14. Bad guess.

Posted by: DavidMalitz | April 28, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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