« Will the Virgin Mobile Festival return this year? | Main | Health inspectors close bars at Power Plant Live »

April 3, 2009

Yes, the Virgin Mobile Festival will be back. But where?

virgin mobile festival baltimoreThis just in: The Virgin Mobile Festival will return for a fourth year.

Now the big question is, where?

"Nothing in life is definite," said Jayne Wallace, director of corporate communications for Virgin Mobile.

"But for all intents and purposes, we fully expect to hold another festival. We have some exciting ideas we're looking at." 

Here is a short piece I just wrote, with more details about the festival. 

Actually, the piece is more about what we don't know than what we do. We don't know who's on the roster or when or where it will be.

I wonder if they're taking suggestions? I mean, who would you want to see, and where would you want the festival to be?

If I had my way ...

I'd want the festival to be in September, when it's not so hot. I like Pimlico as the location, because it's spread out enough to allow for a real festival atmosphere. If they move it to a stadium, it will lose that feel.

dave grohl foo fightersI'd like to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as one of the headliners -- even if he had to shorten his set for the festival crowd. I'd be happy with two hours of Bruce as opposed to the usual four. 

Phish might not be a bad choice, either. They're one of this year's biggest draws. But another big summer festival has already booked them and the Boss, so I doubt we'll see this lineup at Virgin Mobile Festival.

Somebody posted a rumor about Metallica possibly headlining the festival. That's not a bad choice. Their new album, Death Magnetic, was the best thing they've done in years. And I'm sure their live show is wild. 

Would they be wilder than the Foo Fighters (pictured), who headlined last year's festival? I dunno.

Merriweather wouldn't be an awful location for the festival. It just doesn't hold as many people, and might limit the caliber of bands they book.


(Sun photos by Patrick Smith)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:15 PM | | Comments (20)
Categories: Virgin Mobile Festival


I would love to see it at M&T Bank and Camden Yards like the African American Heritage festival does it. Spread out in the parking lots and in the stadium. They should try to get Kings of Leon.

Aside from time cutoff (and day festivals are best anyway) why not Merriweather?

wasn't the headliner lil wayne? No, it was foo and jack johnson, NIN and Kanye, i believe. Couldn't tell you how they were cause I was in the Dance Tent all day both days. So yea, I don't care what they do as long as they keep the dance tent.

I completely agree...a fall festival would be so awesome if there was no heat.

I like Anon's idea, but I think that would cost a heck of a lot more to put on, driving ticket prices higher than the already exorbitant cost (relative to other big or bigger fests). But I'd like Pimlico even more because it's two minutes from house.

Merriweather pulled off a pretty decent HFStival there during its last year, but I can't say I like the pavilion for a festival main stage.

I'm just glad it's coming back - the where and who isn't as important as having a well run festival with a wide range of music.

There are plenty of great bands out there who could headline (how awesome would Dream Theater be?!), as long as there are enough spots to feature some ecclectic or lesser known bands (Clutch, COC, Cake) and maybe even find some original local talent.

Pimlico would be my first choice, but there are some other places they could pull it off... heck, the state fairgrounds in Timonium might be great (parking, neat!)

Merriweather is tough, I think, for a festival. The stadiums would be a better play.

Let's hope it's as good as it's been in years past, and that there's enough continued support to keep bringing it back.

Happily surprised to hear it's back (sort of). Figured the Magna meltdown was the end of V-Fest in the B/W region. Little concerned about the comment from dir of corp comm. If that isn't hedging, I don't know what is.

Another vote for fall, or anytime other than August. Two yrs ago, I had sunscreen on every square inch of exposed skin, and still felt my feet burning in the 100 degree heat after standing in sun for 10 mins. Brutal.

Ohh yea, I really really like the Maryland Fairgrounds idea should Pimlico not work out. That's brilliant. Hell, I would imagine there would even be less issues about noise violation there with little to no residence near there that I can think of.

I think holding it in the fall or spring would be a great idea. I've avoided going to the festival every year b/c it always seems to be held on the hottest and most humid weekend of the year, in the middle of August. Um, why is that?

As for location, how about closing down the same area that's closed down for Artscape each summer? You could have multiple stages on various streets, and you have the ampitheater for the main stage acts. Light rail and shuttle bus could bring people in and out of the area, just like for Artscape.

As long as Virgin doesn't get the "bright" idea to hold it at Nissan Pavilion in Manassas, then I'll be happy. It's such a hike out there and it isn't the best place to see a concert either. I have pretty much avoided that place as much as I possibly can.

I'd love to see if moved to the Camden Yards/M&T Bank complex. Ideally, this would go hand in hand with a tiered pricing structure where you could essentially a la carte the options you want. The big headliners could play in the stadiums; the smaller bands throughout the parking lots. You could purchase just a grounds pass, seats for the headliners, GA for the headliners, VIP grounds passes, etc. I think it would be a better way to offer greater access since people like me aren't willing to pay $100+ for my ticket, but I'd be happy to pay $50 to enjoy smaller acts for the day, even if it meant I might not get to see the headliners. Others would be charged closer to the value they derive from seeing the headline acts on a big stage but still have the benefits of the festival.

The Virgin Fest can't be moved to Camden Yards or M&T.

Anyone who has been too or seen it would be a honor for pearl jam to headline.Always amazing

It would be so great if it would stay at Pimlico. Also I think that it should stay in August. Even though it is hot, it would bring many college kids who would be gone in the fall. It's not like the heat is unbearable anyway. But I really hope it goes well and that I can still go because it was so awsome last year

Pearl Jam would be amazing, metallica too. But I don't really care who the bands are, because the dance tent is outta control from start to finish, its the closest thing to ultra in the area. They need to get Simian Mobile Disco, MSTRKRFT, Dubfire, Hatiras, and LAIDBACK LUKE!


Are you a city resident? I'm guessing if so, you don't live near Mt. Vernon. Traffic patterns are drastically changed Tues/Wed before Artscape wknd. Likely the same traffic situation would occur if V-Fest were to relocate.

It's a major headache trying to go from northern Bmore City (avoiding 83 S) to downtown/95/295 with all of the road closures & restrictions.

Wait there's more...the current city budget can't take two "hits" due to OT for city employees. Artscape will prevail b/c of its 25+ yr history.


Inside voice please. :-)

ok. first, bands:Hmm, i would think bruce would be the [best], i also heard tool is doing a few shows, if there at v-fest, that'd b awesome, and as for metallica, that wouldnt be a bad idea, i saw them in january in DC, and it was awesome, Theres also the idea of Janes Addiction if there tour with NIN ends b4 then.

Location:Merryweither wouldnt work i think, i am going to see the NIN and JA tour in june there, but i dont think it would be a great place for a festival.
I think Pimlico works great for that festival kinda vibe. My opinion.

I think Metallica would be a great headliner one night much like NIN was last year....also Tool or Radiohead. And I know Incubus, Green Day and 311 have all been there already but they'd all make for some nice lead shows. Same with Third Eye Blind, Weezer, Pearl Jam and The White Stripes.

Personally, I won't go to the festival if it's not at Pimlico or in an open field venue like a park. I'd love to be able to camp close by as well...cheaper.

I would say do it labor day and we could do 3 days but then we'd probably all have to pay $500 a ticket knowing these bands today.

Wishlist: Animal Collective, MGMT, Green Day, The Cure, Deathcab for Cutie, Phish, Atmosphere,Daft Punk, Dave Matthews Band, Franz Ferdinand, Lenny Kravitz, Mindless Self Indulgence, Third Eye Blind, Voxtrot, and Weezer. All of these groups are amazing and I think they would put on one hell of a show.

As Far as location Pimlico is perfect however Merriweather would not be a bad venue. The problem with The MD state fairgrounds is that it is all cement and not grassy like either of the fore mentioned locations.

I would love to see the cost go down due to the "recession" however I recognise that Virgin Mobile is trying to turn a profit.

They should try to get bands from the all points west festival at Liberty Island

Death Cab for Cutie (the Song)
The Bonzo Dog Band in The Beatle's film "Magical Mystery Tour" (1967):

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "a" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected