Monday, August 31, 2009

Virgin Mobile Free Fest

I went to the Virgin Mobile Free Fest yesterday and had a great time. I ended up getting to Merriweather around 12 so that I could be there when other people I had tickets for showed up. As I wandered around the grounds I was impressed with the number of booths there were and the variety of sponsors that had promotional tents set up. I went to the Charm City Roller Girls booth and found out my friend was there skating around (she tried to do the half-pipe on roller skates and that ended in a predictable outcome; her pulling wood out of her fishnets).

There were also a lot of performance artists there. I ran into the below group several times so I figured after our tenth encounter I should get a picture. There was a woman on stilts towering over everyone and my favorite was a group of people dressed as garden gnomes and two people that looked like moving bushes and they would set up different scenes all over the place.

I ran into several people I knew while I was walking around, which was amazing since there were 35,000+ people there. The pitcher Magda is holding below was the best deal in the festival ... with the exception of the free tickets, of course. These pitchers were only $16 and were around 64 ounces, a pretty good deal for this kind of event.

Even though I spent a lot of time walking around and going between the different stages and different events, I still did spend a lot of time watching the bands. The first act I was was The Birthday Massacre; damn could that girl sing, and scream. It was heavier than a lot of what I listen to, but I will definitely check them out more because her voice was awesome. I went back to the side stage and caught a little of St. Vincent's act, but couldn't really get into it so I wandered around more. After a while, I went over to see Taking Back Sunday on the Main Stage. I've always liked TBS and they put on a pretty good show. My favorite line was, "There's really no pressure if we mess up because it's not like you paid anything," or something along those lines. I didn't really see anyone else until Weezer came on and their line-up was great. After their set, we made our way to the front of the lawn area before Blink came on, some people were not happy to have a 6'4" guy blocking their view of Travis' ridiculous drum skills. There were rumors going around that they may not play because of DJ AM's death, but they come on on-time and played a full set. They were awesome and they played everything I wanted to hear. Throughout the set I found myself realizing that I knew the words to almost all the songs they played. I didn't know the were so many Blink songs I knew.

All in all, it was a great time and I am glad I ended up going. The event was very well organized, there were plenty of vendors so lines weren't too long, ditto for the bathrooms. The staff all seemed happy to be there and again, there were plenty of them. The fans seemed to not get out of control like I have seen at many other festivals of this sort and with the exception of some overly drunk people, I didn't see anything that required someones intervention (cops, EMT's, staff, etc.). I hope they have this, or more fests like this, at Merriweather again next year ... I would even pay ... but not too much.

1 comment:

danielle said...

I was there too! and had a great time! I don't know what kind of music you like, but Wale (who played after St. Vincent) was really entertaining.

This was my 2nd Virgin Fest and they are always well planned and executed. I also hope there will be more Virgin Fests and fests at Merriweather. It was nice to go there for more than the typical opening band / headliner show.