Citing “all the bad news about the economy and the layoffs,” Virgin Mobile has rebranded its fourth annual American music festival the Virgin Mobile FreeFest, and has reduced its price of admission from a lot of dollars to no dollars at all. An exec for the company tells Billboard they were just trying to “put a smile on people’s faces.” With the details we have it’s hard to be cynical about this, and you know how much I love being cynical about everything. Weezer and Blink-182 headline, and the undercard is no OzzFest shit show either, including St. Vincent, the Hold Steady, Holy Fuck, Girl Talk, Public Enemy, Franz Ferdinand, Taking Back Sunday, and Pete Tong. Yes also the Bravery and Jet, but let’s just take it easy now. It’s free.
The FreeFest will be 8/30 in Columbia, Md. at the best venue of 2009, the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tickets are available starting 6/27 via ticketmaster.com, but if you bought tickets to a previous Virgin Fest, or if you’re a Virgin Mobile customer, expect an email on 6/25-26 giving you first dibs. And with all the nonstop Ticketmaster scandals, the company’s trying its best not to taint the goodwill a free event of this magnitude generates by waiving its fees for those picking up tickets in person at the MPP or 9:30 club in D.C. But if you want them to deliver ‘em, they’ll gladly do so. For a fee. Also if you’re into all this, you can donate $5 to “help youth homeless shelters” by texting FREEFEST to 20222.