The Festival will take place October 6th at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.
Gates open at 11AM. Show ends at 10PM.
Click here for directions to Merriweather Post Pavilion from where you are right now.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
& Surrounding Grounds
Yes, Jimi Hendrix played here! Merriweather Post Pavilion is one of the world’s most beautiful and storied amphitheatres – nestled in 40 acres of forest, smack between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. If the backstage walls could talk, you’d get goose bumps listening to Roger Daltrey and Robert Plant trade some wicked stories about when The Who & Zeppelin played in 1969. Now Animal Collective ensured its legendary status, when it named its genius CD – “Merriweather Post Pavilion” in homage to the band’s favorite venue. Thanks to Billy Joe Armstrong, Merriweather ripped out the first – to build a mosh pit for Green Day’s American Idiot Tour.
Merriweather was designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, who is best known for defying architectural conventions. The natural outdoor setting is one that can’t be matched. The fantastic sound system and large video screens make this amphitheatre a favorite for bands and fans.
And now Merriweather will be turned upside down for Virgin Mobile FreeFest, transforming it into the quirky musical escape-land fans have come to expect. It’ll include two enormous stages and a massive rave-worthy Dance Forest – in addition to other mind-bending surprises.
Some of the most awesome sculptures in the state of Maryland live at Merriweather, some lyrical, some thought—provoking, some downright funny. This year’s most audacious addition is the award-winning “Great Key West Chicken,” a 7,500 lb., 15-foot magnificent bird will be back this year.
There’s something (weird) for everyone at Virgin Mobile FreeFest. Some of the great attractions the Festival has become known for – like the large format fire sculptures, circus performers, and more – will be back this year.
Food & Drink
Crab cakes, Quesadilla, Fresh Mama Donna’s Pizza, Pit Beef, Pit Pork are just the start. Of course we’ve got other crowd-pleasing festival fare too: fresh grilled burgers, chicken fingers, veggie wraps, Maryland’s own Boardwalk Fries, falafel, wraps, fruit smoothies, and more. There will be plenty of vegetarian options as well.
Virgin Mobile FreeFest also offers a broad selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. In addition to the usual fare, we will be pouring micro-brewed beer and top shelf liquor.
The best part about having a drink at Virgin Mobile FreeFest is that you can take it with you on your festival journey. You won’t find pesky beer gardens here because our idea of a good time does not include sitting in a cage while drinking a cocktail. That’s right: if you are of age, you can take your drinks with you wherever you choose on site. And, be green about it.
THE GREEN SPOT
Clean & Green
Virgin Mobile FreeFest aims to be as clean as we can possibly be! Last year we were able to divert tons of trash away from landfills by introducing composting, recycling, and biodegradable food service items. We also cleaned up our act by running the Festival on B99 biodiesel fuel. This year, we aim to do the same and more!
Check it out…
We are making best efforts to eliminate trash.
That’s right, we’re not going to be handing you trash, and we hope that you will help us by not bringing any in. Whenever possible, if trash can be replaced with a more sustainable option, it will be. You can help by bringing an empty or factory-sealed bottle of water and re-filling it at our water stations. You’ll reduce waste, save cash, and stay hydrated.
COMPOSTING FOOD ITEMS
We are composting leftover food waste.
Virgin Mobile FreeFest has teamed up with Merriweather Post Pavillion to make sure that all food service waste will have a second life in a local park or garden. Maybe yours?
RECYCLING TAKE BACK
Recycling is for the free.
You used it. Now let us help you put it back. Bring us your empty bottles and we’ll recycle them for you, and for the good of the planet. The more you bring the more we can give. Earn your free by being green.
USING RECYCLED & ORGANIC PRODUCTS
Using Recycled & Organic Products
We have replaced nearly all paper items (such as posters, posters, small signage) with 100% recycled paper and printed with soy-based inks. Even the toilet paper is virgin tree-free.
We are using clean energy wherever possible.
All on-site power, including generators, phone re-charging stations, and light towers, will run on B99 biodiesel. We are using Solar Panels to power parts of the venue.
We are carbon-offsetting.
For those times that we can’t support clean energy (production flights, etc), we are offsetting our carbon footprint by purchasing Green Tags from Bonneville Environmental Foundation and donating clean energy to communities (solar, wind power, and the like).
Please follow this simple checklist to keep the Festival safe.
- No framed or large backpacks
- No knives/weapons of any kind
- No chains/chain wallets
- No chairs of any kind
- No outside food and beverage, except (2) plastic factory-sealed water bottles
- No coolers
- No tents or large umbrellas
- No video cameras
- No audio recording devices
- No professional cameras (changeable lenses)
- No pets
- No drugs/drug paraphernalia
- No laser pointers
- Small tote-style umbrellas
- (2) plastic factory-sealed water bottles or an empty reusable water bottle
- Small digital or disposable cameras
- Small blankets or beach towels
- Kid supplies when accompanying a child (i.e. stroller, kiddie food)
- Sunglasses, hats and sunscreen
- A valid photo ID card for alcoholic drink
BANDS, BOX OFFICE & THE BASICS
- I need to know when my favorite band is playing.
When will the performance schedule be available?
- We will release the schedule for the two outdoor stages and the dance forest the week of the Festival. We will send an email to everyone who signed up for email updates once the schedule is posted, so be sure to sign up.
- Will there be a sound conflict between the two stages?
- As with most large festivals, the stages and sound systems are designed to not interfere with each other, so there should be no sound conflict between the two stages.
- What time does Merriweather open?
- Gates will open at 11AM. Virgin Mobile FreeFest is scheduled to end at 10PM.
- Can I enter, leave and re-enter Virgin Mobile Free Festival?
- Once you leave the site, there will be no re-entry.
- I’m under-aged, but a huge music fan. Can I go to Virgin Mobile FreeFest?
- All ages are welcome at Virgin Mobile FreeFest.
- My parents want to know the best drop-off point and pick-up point?
- Please follow signs to general concert parking and then only stop at designated drop off locations which will be marked with signs.
- What are acceptable forms of ID to purchase alcohol?
- Acceptable forms of identification include a current state-issued driver’s license or ID card, military ID or a valid passport.
- Is Virgin Mobile FreeFest BYOB?
- No outside beer and wine is permitted at Virgin Mobile FreeFest. You may, however, bring two factory-sealed bottles of water per person, and these bottles can be refilled at on-site water fountains.
- Are parking spots sold out?
- Parking is free at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
- Is there parking for buses and motorhomes?
- You bet. Drive to the Main Parking Lot, entering off of Brokenland Parkway.
- What services are available for disabled music lovers?
- Need an interpreter? Please call 410-715-5550 to request an interpreter for the hearing impaired.
- Is there handicapped parking at Merriweather?
- Handicapped parking is available at the South Entrance Road lot. Make sure your handicapped vehicle hang-tag is visible.
- Directions to the Merriweather Handicapped Parking From the Administrative House
- Go to the bottom of the driveway and turn left onto Symphony Woods Dr. and then make a left onto South Entrance Road. Turn left at the light onto Little Patuxent Parkway, go through the next light and then turn left at the next entrance off Little Patuxent. There is a handicapped sign. Follow the road down to Handicapped Parking.
- From Northern Baltimore
- (i.e. Towson, Randallstown, Pikesville, Catonsville, etc.) Take the Beltway (695) to Interstate 70 West (exit 16) to Rt. 29 South. Follow 29 South(approx. 5 miles) past the South Entrance Road exit, to Broken Land Parkway (exit 18). Make a left at the traffic light onto Broken Land Parkway. Go through one light. At the second light, turn right onto Little Patuxent Parkway. Then take the next possible right off Little Patuxent Parkway. There is a handicapped sign. Follow the road down to Handicapped Parking.
- From Souther Baltimore Co. & Baltimore City:
- (i.e. Arbutus, Landsdowne, Linthicum, etc.) Take Interstate 95 South to Rt. 32 West to Rt. 29 North. (Do not take the Broken Land Exit off Rt. 32.) Follow Rt. 29 to Broken Land Parkway (exit 18A). Go through the first light and continue to Little Patuxent Parkway. Turn right onto Little Patuxent Parkway. Take the next possible right turn. There is a handicapped Sign. Follow the road down to Handicapped Parking.
- From Washington/Northern Virginia
- Take the Beltway (495) to 95 North towards Baltimore (approx. 18 miles) to Route 32 West towards Columbia to Rt. 29 North. (Do not take the Broken Land Exit off Rt. 32.) From Rt. 29 North take Broken Land Parkway (exit 18A). Go through the first light. At your second light make a right onto Little Patuxent Parkway. Take the first possible right off Little Patuxent Parkway. There is a handicapped sign. Follow the road down to Handicapped Parking.
- From Annapolis
- Take Rt. 50 West to Rt. 97 North to Rt. 32 West towards Columbia to Rt. 29 North. (Do not take the Broken Land Exit off Rt. 32.) Follow 29 North to Broken Land Parkway (exit 18A). Go through the first light and at the second light make a right onto Little Patuxent Parkway. Take the next possible right off Little Patuxent Parkway. There is a handicapped sign. Follow the road down to Handicapped Parking.
- From Pennsylvania
- (i.e. York, Harrisburg, etc.) Take Interstate 83 South to the Beltway 695 to Interstate 70 West (exit 16) to Rt. 29 South toward Washington. Travel on Rt. 29 south (approx. 5 miles) past South Entrance Road exit, to Broken Land Parkway (exit 18). Make a left at the light, and then go through one light. Make a right onto Little Patuxent Parkway at the next light. Take the first possible right off Little Patuxent Parkway. There is a handicapped sign. Follow the road down to Handicapped Parking.
BWI train station services Amtrak and MARC trains. These trains come from all over the Eastern Seaboard, places like New York, Boston and Newport News Virginia. From the BWI train station there is a connection on the Howard County Transit (Silver Line) that will take you to the Mall in Columbia, which is a convenient walk from Merriweather Post Pavilion. For more information and schedules for connections from BWI Train station please visit: http://www.howardtransit.com/
**CAB services for a higher fee are also readily available from both BWI Airport and Train station.
Muzik Bus will be providing round trip shuttles from many locations around Merriweather Post Pavillion.
Visit http://virginmobile.muzikbus.com/ and help spread the word for a fun, safe, and green way to enjoy the day.
For additional bus routes, please visit: http://www.howardtransit.com/.
Bus stop at Columbia Mall, directly across the street from the venue.
If you have 4 or more people in your vehicle, you can park in the Main Parking Lot. Here’s how to get there:
From Northern Baltimore:
(i.e. Towson, Randallstown, Pikesville, etc…) Take the Beltway (695) to Interstate 70 (exit 16) to Route 29 South. Follow Route 29 south approximately 5 miles to South Entrance Rd. Turn right and then left onto Symphony Woods Rd. into the Merriweather Parking Lot.
From Southern Baltimore Co. & Baltimore City:
(i.e. Catonsville, Arbutus, Landsdowne, Linthicum, etc…) Take Interstate 95 South to Route 32 West to Route 29 North. Take Broken Land Parkway (exit 18B) and the first right will be into the Merriweather Parking Lot.
From Washington/Northern Virginia:
Take the Beltway (495) to 95 North towards Baltimore (approximately 18 miles) to Route 32 West towards Columbia to Route 29 North. Take Broken Land Parkway (exit 18B) and take the first right into the Merriweather Parking Lot.
Take Route 50 West to 97 North to Route 100 West to Route 29 South. Follow Route 29 South approximately 2.5 miles to South Entrance Rd. Turn right onto South Entrance Rd. and then left onto Symphony Woods Rd. into the Merriweather Parking Lot.
From Pennsylvania (York/Harrisburg):
Take Interstate 83 to the Beltway (695) to Interstate 70 (exit 16) to Route 29 South. Follow Route 29 South approximately 5 miles to South Entrance Rd. Turn right onto South Entrance Rd. and then left onto Symphony Woods Rd. into the Merriweather Parking lot.
There will be plenty of it. You will be directed once you get to Brokenland Parkway or South Entrance Road. Shuttle busses will take those in the further-away lots.
Handicapped parking is available at the South Entrance Road lot. Make sure your handicapped vehicle hang-tag is visible.
Please follow signs to general concert parking and then only stop at designated drop off locations which will be marked with signs.
The closest airport to Virgin Mobile FreeFest is Baltimore/Washington International Airport (code BWI). From BWI, take a cap to hotel or take a cab to Merriweather.
The next closest
Reagan National Airport (code DCA).
The next closest after that
Dulles/Washington International Airport (code IAD).
Local Cab Companies
Here are some local cab companies to check out. Make sure to check the backseat of the cab for all of your belongings before exiting.
The Limo Connection
Contact Kelby Enterline at 703.532.1555
Columbia Cab Company