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Virgin Fest

Virgin Fest

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The 2009 Virgin Mobile Festival is moving to Merriweather Post Pavilion for a free concert headlined by rock bands Weezer and Blink-182 and hip hop act Public Enemy.The one-day concert on Aug.

30 is relocating to Columbia after a three-year stint on the massive infield at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course.

The festival, previously one of the largest on the East Coast, had been held over a two-day period featuring some of music's biggest names, including the Police, the Who and Kanye West.Virgin Mobile customers and previous Virgin Mobile Festival ticket buyers will have the first crack at landing the 35,000 tickets to the event, now being called "FreeFest.""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 of Virgin Group, in a statement.

"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."Tickets to the 2009 festival will be available to the public at at 10 a.m.

on June 27.

Virgin Mobile customers and previous ticket buyers will be invited by e-mail to a private pre-sale.

Ticketmaster (NASDAQ: TKTM) is also waiving service charges.

Parking at Merriweather will be free.By comparison, more than 60,000 people attended last year's Virgin Fest at Pimlico and tickets cost more than $100.

The Baltimore Business Journal first reported in April event promoters were eyeing Merriweather for this year's show.The Virgin Fest is promoted by Bethesda's I.M.P., which also operates Merriweather.This year's concert will also feature Franz Ferdinand, Jet, the National, Girl Talk, The Bravery, The Hold Steady, St.

Vincent, Wale, and Taking Back Sunday, as well as dance tents.
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