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Virgin Mobile FreeFest set for October 6

Virgin Mobile FreeFest set for October 6

By J. Alan Hayes

This year's 4th annual Virgin Mobile FreeFest, presented by LG, will take place on Saturday, October 6, at the Merriweather Post Pavilion located in Columbia, MD. The one-day festival will feature two main stages and a dance floor, with several well-known musical groups performing throughout the day in support of Virgin Mobile's initiative to help the nation's homeless youth.

The line-up for this year's FreeFest was announced by a select group of Virgin Mobile fans through the company's official website on Monday, August 13. Big names like ZZ Top, Nas, Ben Folds Five, Jack White, and Skrillex will headline the main stage. Other acts set to perform include Alabama Shakes, M83, Allen Stone, Penguin Prison, and many more.

The festival is free to attend, but passes are still required for entrance. Tickets become available to the public through TicketFly.com at noon on Friday, August 24. The cloud-based social ticketing platform TicketFly has placed a high level of importance on service to not-for-profit organizations and last month TicketNews reported on the announcement of TicketFly Causes which does just that.

Fans of Virgin Mobile who follow the company on Twitter will receive notices of "early bird" opportunities, as will Virgin Mobile customers and attendees of previous FreeFests. Aside from the complementary tickets that Virgin Mobile will make available through TicketFly, "free. I. P" and "freemium" packages are also offered that include extra perks like early admission to the venue or free drinks throughout the event.

According to the event's official website, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest "has always been about giving back." Virgin Mobile uses the festival as a means to "lighten things up in the face of a rough economy while drawing more attention to youth homelessness." In lieu of paying for a ticket, attendees are asked to donate a minimum of $10 to The Re*Generation, an initiative by Virgin Mobile to address youth homelessness in America.

The FreeFest of the past three years raised almost $600,000 for this charity and generated more than 75,000 hours of volunteer time. Donations from the 2011 festival were used in the construction of the Virgin Mobile RE*Generation House, a homeless youth shelter in Washington, DC developed alongside Sasha Bruce Youthwork. The website also states that funds raised by this year's FreeFest will be used to open the doors of the shelter, "providing a community of homeless youth with access to not just housing but programming around social entrepreneurship and urban agriculture."

The venue, the Merriweather Post Pavilion, includes 40 acres of land, according to its website, and is located between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. It is one of the most historic outdoor amphitheaters in the United States, playing host to big names of the music industry including Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Who.

Aside from the event's headlining live music, there will also be art exhibits, circus performers, and a few guaranteed "mind-bending surprises." A broad selection of food and drink choices are available to attendees. For guests traveling long distances to attend this year's Virgin Mobile FreeFest, several nearby hotel accommodations are listed on the event’s official webpage.

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