This past weekend (September 10, 2011) Virgin Mobile held the third run of its free festival. With the economy forcing people to cut on more of the things they love, Virgin Mobile decided to make their annual festival free two years ago.
Thousands of tickets are released and snatched up within minutes, but for those unable to snag free passes, Virgin Mobile has partnered with several charities around the DC, Maryland, and New York City areas that aid homeless youths to reward volunteers and donations with tickets. Music lovers might not have the money, but they certainly have time to give.
The Festival was held at Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, where the 20 acts were spread among the three different stages and covered a time frame of 12 hours! Big Sean and Cee Lo Green were among the big acts that Virgin Mobile booked for this year’s FreeFest. The acts were divided loosely based on similarity in style and genre of music which made it easier to discover new artists/bands to fall in love with.
Big Sean’s performance was by far one of the most energetic of the day, working up a sweat while getting the crowd pumped. The crowd cheered, danced, sang along to Sean’s smash hit “My Last”, and shouted out the rapper’s motto “I Do it” right back at ‘em. He performed several songs from his debut album Finally Famous including his latest single “Marvin & Chardonnay.”
Despite the fame that’s come with the success of his singles, Big Sean still remains humble and sent out several shout outs to his fans that he said were “the reason why [his] grandma is proud of [him].” During the show, he took a moment to pose for several pictures with the crowd to twitpic later, and after met up with fans, sharpie in hand, to sign badges, arms, t-shirts and take one-on-one pictures. It was a performance that gave you a deeper look into Big Sean the person not just the G.O.O.D Music artist.
Cee Lo Green’s performance which came later in the day had an overwhelming attendance. At the Karma Bar just a few minutes before his scheduled show, Cee Lo handed out drinks to the crowd of screaming and cheering fans. Surrounded by his four member band of heart-stopping “lady killers”, Cee Lo rocked out to songs like Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and The Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha” which he produced. Of course he sang his most famous single to date “F*ck You,” curses and all and a few others like “Champagne.”
The festival housed other great performances by artists like Cut Copy, Deadmau5, The Black Keys, Patti Smith, and TV on the Radio which covered genres like soul, free jazz, blues rock, electronic, house, and punk rock. This unique blend of music makes the Virgin Mobile Freefest worth the effort to attend with the added bonus of donating time and money to the homeless youth of America.