Virgin Mobile “FreeFest”

Forget discounted tickets or discounted merch – this summer’s unbeatable deal comes courtesy of the Virgin Mobile Festival as tickets to this year’s event are absolutely free. Free. That’s right. It will cost you zip, zero, nada, nothing to get in.

The 2009 Virgin Mobile “FreeFest” is going down on the 40 wooded acres of the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., Aug. 30.

“Taking care of our loyal customers comes first,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., promoter and producer of the Virgin Mobile Festival. “And when we say free, we mean it. The tickets are free. The parking is free. Ticketmaster really stepped up on this. Everybody just wants to make this the party of the summer. It’s gonna be nuts.”

(To ensure Ticketmaster waives the convenience charge, fans simply have to pick up their tickets at Merriweather or the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.)

Photo: AP Photo
Video Game Awards, Sony Picture Studios, Culver City, Calif.

This year’s fest features artists including Weezer, blink-182, Franz Ferdinand, Public Enemy, Jet, The National, Girl Talk, The Bravery, The Hold Steady, St. Vincent, Wale, and Taking Back Sunday. Dance tent favorites include Holy F*ck, Pete Tong, Danny Howells and Lee Burridge.

All 35,000 festival tickets will be given away with the public onsale kicking off at at 10 a.m. EST this Saturday. Previous Virgin Mobile Festival ticket buyers and Virgin Mobile customers will have first dibs on the tickets with an invitation to a “free-sale” (like a pre-sale but it’s free) on Thursday and Friday.

Photo: Mike Bamford / 3KZL

“In a time of economic challenges and daily sacrifices, we wanted to throw a fantastic party so people could let loose and have a great time — on us,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder and President, Virgin Group. “Virgin Mobile FreeFest offers music fans a brilliant day of fun and music and a chance for them to give back to those even less fortunate.”

Virgin Mobile is encouraging people to text “FREEFEST” to 20222 (regardless of wireless carrier) to donate $5 to select U.S. youth homeless centers, via The RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile’s charitable arm.

Photo: Sean Pecknold
Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Wash.

Want to sit in the special VIP seating area? Virgin Mobile FreeFest, which is being sponsored by Kyocera Communications, will feature a special VIP seating area for ticketholders who complete 13 hours of community service at select U.S. youth homeless centers.

The fest’s Lucky Layoff Lounge will also offer “surprising treats” to ticketholders that present proof of unemployment. Virgin Mobile USA’s current Pink Slip Protection helps out American workers by offering eligible customers that lose their jobs three months of free wireless service.

Last year’s Virgin Mobile Festival, which featured artists such as Foo Fighters, Bloc Party, Bob Dylan, Stone Temple Pilots, Kanye West, Wilco and Jack Johnson, was nominated for Best Festival of the Year by Pollstar magazine.

Click here for more information about the fest, including a full lineup.