Virgin Festival Is Free This Year

Multi-industry moguls at Virgin Group announce recession-friendly festival

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-Avery Spofford

While most of this summer’s popular music festivals will cost attendees upwards of several hundred dollars (tickets to Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza run at $240 and $205, respectively), music fans can look forward to a budget option thanks to leading media innovators Virgin Group. Earlier this week, the corporation announced the lineup for its annual Virgin Festival as well as the concert’s ticket price: completely free.

Virgin Festival has become one of summer’s premier festival destinations, featuring acts including Wilco, Kanye West, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bob Dylan since its inception in 2006. Tickets to last year’s festival cost $175 for two days of music headlined by Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Jack Johnson and Kanye West.

This year’s lineup, topped by Blink-182 and Weezer, has been criticized as a downgrade from that of previous festivals: both acts are arguably past their prime years. The headliners are, however, supported by an impressive sampler of today’s most relevant artists: mash-up mastermind Girl Talk, of-the-moment singer/songwriter St. Vincent, electronica innovators Holy Fuck and Brooklyn indie darlings The National are just a few of the artists already signed on to the festival.

Virgin cites the failing world economy as the reason for the festival’s cost (or lack thereof): the group calls the concert a “gift” to music fans with financial woes. The free festival does, however, come with a karmic catch: Virgin asks that festival-goers donate a minimum of $5 to the corporation’s youth homelessness charity initiative, RE*genegeneration.

Donations can be made by texting “Freefest” to 20222 or by visiting


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