M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem, T.I., Pavement to perform Virgin Mobile FreeFest
By Chris Richards
Virgin Mobile FreeFest has announced a line-up that’s sure to delight both pop-omnivores and text message enthusiasts. M.I.A.! LCD! T.I.! OMG!
The region’s leading annual pop-music festival will take place at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 25, offering the most refreshing line-up in its five-year history: Pop polyglot M.I.A., disco-rock troupe LCD Soundsystem, Georgia rap hero T.I., reunited indie gods Pavement, hype-surfers Sleigh Bells and a dozen other acts are all scheduled to perform.
And like last year’s concert, this one will cost fans a whole lotta zilch. Tickets are free and will be given away at Ticketfly.com on Saturday, July 24 at 10 a.m.
“We really took the approach of turning people on to who we thought were the coolest bands out there,” says Seth Hurwitz, FreeFest producer and chairman of concert promotion powerhouse I.M.P. “We don’t have the pressure of having to sell tickets, so who do you pick? You pick the bands you think are going to [offer] the best music... It's a rare privilege to book a show like this.”
Other FreeFest main stage acts include Ludacris, Joan Jett, Thievery Corporation, Matt & Kim, Jimmy Eat World, the Temper Trap, Yeasayer and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. In addition to the two main stages, there will be a third stage on the Merriweather grounds — they’ve dubbed it the “Dance Forest” — to host sets from Chromeo, Die Antwoord, Modeselektor and Neon Indian. Ascendant jazzman Trombone Shorty will also be performing on the grounds.
And while this year’s programming might not have the star power of previous years, it still feels the most current. Back when the festival charged actual money, headliners included the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Who in 2006, the Police and the Beastie Boys in 2007, and Kanye West and the Foo Fighters in 2008.
Last year, the festival downsized from two days to one, and migrated from Pimlico Race Course to Merriweather Post. Aging alt-rockers Blink-182 and Weezer headlined. The party line was, “I can’t complain when it’s free.” This year, the party line will probably be, “I can’t believe this is free!”
Also like last year, Virgin Mobile is encouraging concertgoers to make a $5 donation to The RE*Generation, its charitable initiative to end youth homelessness. In return, fans will receive a download of FreeFest artists mixed by DJ and dubstep producer, Rusko.
And there are two asterisks. First one: Virgin Mobile customers and fans who held tickets for previous Virgin Mobile Festivals will be invited via text message and email to a private online ticket giveaway on Friday, July 23. Secondly, fans who don’t want to deal with the rush of online ticket-snatchers can choose to purchase a premium ticket for $125. It provides Pavilion seating, with a portion of the proceeds going to homeless youth charities, and is available for purchase online Friday at 10 a.m.
Fans who would prefer a totally free FreeFest, practice your mouse-clicks. Last year, all 35,000 tickets vanished in a mere 30 minutes.
July 20, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories: Local news | Tags: Chromeo, Die Antwoord, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Jimmy Eat World, Joan Jett, LCD Soundsystem, Ludacris, M.I.A., Matt & Kim, Pavement, Sleigh Bells, T.I., The Temper Trap, Thievery Corporation, Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Yeasayer
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