Rest in peace, Virgin Mobile FreeFest. A staple in the North American festival scene since 2006, the festival’s promoters announced that it would not go on for the 2014 year at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. They didn’t give a reason for axing the festival, but founder Richard Branson once explained the challenges with putting on a free event, nothing that, keeping it free “fits in the spirit of the brand” but if they had to start charging, “they’d think about it”. Will it be back in 2015? Promoters aren’t sure, saying that Virgin’s pieces are not yet all in a row and they don’t know when they will be. A disappointing blow for East Coast festival-goers, for sure.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest was actually a spin-off of the very popular V Festival in the United Kingdom. Richard Branson started the concert series, announcing inaugural shows in 2006 at Toronto Island Park in Toronto and Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Tickets to the shows “freed out” every year, contingent upon participants completing a series of charitable tasks in their communities.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2013 Lineup

City and Colour
Robin Thicke
Ghost Beach
Vampire Weekend
Washed Out
The Avett Brothers
Pretty Lights
Black Joe Lewis
Gareth Emery
Little Green Cars
Manufactured Superstars
Icona Pop
Sky Ferreira
The Knocks

City and Colour Video for “The Girl”

Image source: Joe Loong via Flickr.