Virgin Festival News: Actual News Coming Soon
Details on this year's version of Virgin Festival will finally be revealed tomorrow.
What we think we know as of now: Blink-182, Weezer, Holy [Expletive], August 30, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Free.
It's worth noting that Holy [Expletive] was the only band that had the date officially listed (as Virgin Freefest) and it's since been de-listed. Maybe they aren't playing/had all the details wrong. Much more likely is that someone yelled at them, while repeatedly using a word in their band name.
What we hope to find out tomorrow: Other bands (maybe even a few good ones). And how exactly ticket distribution will work if it is indeed free.
First, some theories on the latter. My initial thought was that it would be some sort of "buy one get one free" deal. See, Flaming Lips are playing at Merriweather on Aug. 28. The Killers are playing at Merriweather on Aug. 31. I envisioned some sort of scenario where you buy a ticket for one of those shows, you get a free voucher to see Mark Hoppus make penis jokes.
But that seems a little complicated. Plus, tickets for the Killers show are already on sale, so that makes things even more complicated. Still, doesn't it seem odd that two former headliners of Virgin Festival would play completely unaffiliated concerts at the Virgin Festival venue on the same weekend? Also, if people are on the fence about going to a show, wouldn't they just go to the free one and not buy tickets for the others? Maybe there's something here. Maybe not.
More likely, it will be some sort of corporate tie-in. Maybe with Virgin. You never know. Like, text something to qualify for tickets or something. Or, sign up for a bunch of e-mail lists to qualify for a ticket. I don't know, man. I'm not in marketing.
And why exactly is this thing going to be free? (If indeed it is.) You don't give away something that you could get people to pay for. Unless, you know, you're Radiohead, and you possess Jedi powers over your fans so they give you money anyway. But the sorta-inverse is also true. What's the best way to get people interested in something that wouldn't normally interest them? One word: Free! It's the reason those annoying people hand out that crystal-flavor-burst gum. Gum? Whatever. Free gum? THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
So maybe the festival wasn't coming together with a lineup that was going to excite too many people. Especially compared to Bonnaroo or Coachella. But instead of taking the year off and doing irreparable damage to the brand, why not just make it FREE? How can anyone complain if it's free?
So you keep the festival going and get 20,000 to spend an entire day staring at logos and booths and collecting swag from corporate sponsors, while gorging themselves on cupcakes. Hey, maybe I should be in marketing!
As for the bands? There are three major festivals happening the same weekend as Virgin Festival. Street Scene in San Diego, Outside Lands in San Francisco and Reading/Leeds in England. Those are all very far away from Columbia, Md.
It's worth noting that Holy [Expletive] (man, I feel like I'm transcribing a Psychedelic Horse[expletive] interview) is actually playing in San Diego on Friday before heading east for V-Fest. So it's possible that some bands could pull double duty. Here are my last few predictions:
The Ting Tings
Played 9:30 club recently, playing V Festival across the pond the previous week, the right "size" for a band to play.
Did you know he was supposed to play the free Earth Day concert on the Mall? (Which was staffed by I.M.P., by the way.) His name was on the banner and everything, but was covered up by masking tape. So he's due for a free area show.
If the thing is going to be free, it would make sense that there'd be some local talent. Clutch has a very devoted fanbase and strong I.M.P. roots.
Any bright ideas out there? Last chance to get them in and say "told ya so" before official word comes down.
By David Malitz |
June 23, 2009; 3:53 PM ET
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