Baltimore Loses Virgin FreeFest

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Another one of Baltimore’s major events bites the dust: yesterday evening, organizers announced that the Virgin Mobile FreeFest, a huge music festival that has taken over Merriweather Post Pavilion every September since 2009, will not take place this year. (Before that, it was at Pimlico, called the Virgin Festival, and was not free.)

“The Freefest was this fantastic product of a crossroads of [Virgin Group founder Richard] Branson and some very creative people at Virgin. The mixture got shaken up every year, and it always settled at the last possible moment for that year,” MPP operator Seth Hurwitz told the Baltimore Sun over email. “That was part of the spontaneous magic that everyone could pick up on I think. Unfortunately, the pieces are not all there right now with Virgin. Whether they are again who knows.”

You call it “spontaneous magic,” I’ll call it “lack of organizational coherence.” Branson has also pointed out that the festival costs $3 million to put on, and that it was originally intended to be a brand-building event to cheer people up during the depths of the recession; now that the economy is slowly recovering, that purpose may no longer make sense. In any case, we’ll be sad to see the festival go. At least we still have BronyCon.



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