Arts Desk

Virgin Mobile FreeFest: “You Can’t Complain When It’s Free”

When that is the most common thing one hears said about a concert, it would seem to indicate that something was left to be desired. It was a stroke of PR genius to make this year's version of the Virgin Festival completely free, after it became clear that the lineup was not going to live up to the standard set by previous years. So while there was a lot to complain about on Sunday, from the bizarre decision to turn pavilion seating into a free-for-all to the fact that, well, Blink-182 were the headliners, hey – it was free. And in this case, concertgoers got much more than what they paid for.

Public Enemy (pictured above, Flavor Flav) drew by far the biggest crowd to the festival's secondary stage, and delivered a set worthy of the distinction. I enjoyed a few other sets here and there, particularly over on that second stage (St. Vincent, Girl Talk, The National were all fun), but really, Public Enemy alone would have made the whole thing, um, worth the price of admission.

The full set of photos is forthcoming, but check out a few teasers after the jump.

Weezer:

The National:

Franz Ferdinand:

St. Vincent:

Wale:

The Bravery:

Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson handing out free beers:

Fan early in the day at the pavilion stage:

More to come.

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  • Merle Lindt

    So happy it was fun but I have a question about Virgin: Are they offering a low-cost plan for unemployed and other people who need a basic phone w/o the big bills? I keep hearing that they make a $10 a month plan available for those who can’t afford more but I don’t see it on their site.

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