Virgin Fest Goes Free

Franz Ferdinand, Weezer, Girl Talk to perform at Merriweather. Cost to you? Nothing

The Virgin Mobile Fest -- now to be called Free Fest 2009 -- is giving away a few tickets for free. A few. Liiiike, all 35,000 of them.

No, seriously.

But you may have already guessed that from the new name. You're pretty smart and all.

The event, formerly held at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, is moving to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. -- a whole lot closer for DC residents. Not that we DON'T love sitting in traffic, 'cause if we didn't, we wouldn't be living here in the first place.

So let's see: The fest is changing its name, its venue and its pricing. We're not actually sure we're allowed to view this as the same event anymore, but it's FREE, so we're just gonna go with it for now.

Customers of Virgin Mobile and previous festival ticket-buyers can start requesting tickets Wednesday, June 24. The general public -- wow! that's us! -- can snap 'em up from Ticketmaster as of 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 27.

This year's lineup features big names of indie, rock and rap: Franz Ferdinand, Public Enemy, Girl Talk and The Bravery, just to get started. Weezer and Blink-182 are headlining. Merriweather's outdoor venue has only one permanent stage, but a second temporary stage will be set up, as well as a dance tent, where you can catch Holy F*ck, Danny Howells and more.

Although tickets will be free, festival-goers are encouraged to donate $5 to agencies that help homeless youth. Complete 13 hours of community service at designated youth shelters and score access to a VIP seating section, called FreeIP.

"We'll take care of you. Will you pass on the karma"? asks Free Fest's Web site.  Text "freefest" to 20222 and a $5 deduction will be added to your cell phone bill (savvy!) or make an online donation here.

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