|By Business Wire||
|September 24, 2013 03:01 PM EDT||
Thanks to the 50,000 people in attendance at the 2013 Virgin Mobile FreeFest presented by Samsung, fest fans broke through the $1 million donation benchmark for Virgin Mobile USA’s initiative, The RE*Generation, which addresses the needs of homeless youth. Previous FreeFests raised enough money to build the RE*Generation House, a transitional living facility for homeless youth in Washington, D.C., which opened this year. The funds raised at this year’s festival will go toward operating it for two years. With this year’s contributions, fan donations have totaled more than $1 million over the last five years of FreeFest.
Held Saturday, Sept. 21 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., the Billboard award-winning festival, which is produced by I.M.P. and gives away tens of thousands of tickets to lucky fans, is known for the inventive and unexpected experience in addition to unforgettable performances. Fans had several ways to donate to the charity including taking a ferris wheel ride to get an aerial perspective of the grounds.
Spanning across 40 acres, two main stages and a dance forest, the lineup featured Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, Pretty Lights, Robin Thicke, MGMT, Kaskade, City and Colour, Icona Pop, CHVRCHES, The Knocks, Black Joe Lewis, Sky Ferreira, Little Green Cars, Madeon, Gareth Emery, Washed Out, Manufactured Superstars, Conogorock, TJR and Ghost Beach.
Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop guest bartended at the RE*Gen bar, fans took rides on the ferris wheel, and others purchased FreeFest reusable water bottles – all of which contributed to the charity. Photos of the festival can be downloaded here Virgin Mobile Newsroom. A video re-cap of the festival can be seen here Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2013 Video Re-cap.
About Virgin Mobile USA
About Youth Homelessness and Virgin Mobile’s RE*Generation Initiative
The RE*Generation is Virgin Mobile’s initiative to address youth homelessness. Our mission, which we began in 2006, is to empower a generation to help its own by connecting individuals and organizations who want to improve the lives of these young people. It’s an overlooked problem in our country and the result of other societal problems, such as poverty, drug abuse, mental illness, domestic violence and homophobia. Foster children who “age” out of the system often become homeless and make up a growing number of the homeless youth population.
More than 2 million youth between the ages of 12 and 24 will experience at least one episode of homelessness each year, and more than 100,000 youth sleep on the street for six months or more in America. Research tells us that only one in 12 youth access a shelter. The vast majority of homeless youth will experience amplified risk of exposure to physical assault, rape, sexual exploitation, recruitment into gangs and deepening mental illness.
“At Virgin Mobile we believe in the collective power and shared responsibility to improve the lives of young people in need,” said Hill. “Together we can make an impact, whether we give our time, voice or resources. These young people deserve a better start and together we can all help.”
About Virgin Mobile USA
Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint's prepaid brands, offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk™ No Contract plans with unlimited 3G and 4G data for mobile phone service, including Android-powered smartphones and prepaid Broadband2Go high-speed Web access on the Nationwide Sprint Network. Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk monthly unlimited data plans, which start at $35, are ideal for those smartphone users hungry for the most connectivity and the least amount of voice minutes. Virgin Mobile-branded devices are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Target, Walmart, Best Buy, RadioShack, and Virgin Mobile stores. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide. Experience Virgin Mobile on the Web at Facebook, Twitter and You Tube and purchase Virgin Mobile USA products at www.virginmobileusa.com.
Formed in 1980, I.M.P. is a Bethesda, Md.-based concert promoter and event production company. In addition to launching Virgin Mobile Festival in the United States, the principals at I.M.P. own Washington, D.C.’s award-winning 9:30 Club, www.930.com, renowned as the premier place to see and hear cutting-edge live music of all varieties. I.M.P. also programs and operates Merriweather Post Pavilion, www.merriweathermusic.com, in Columbia, Md., and it operates the Lincoln Theatre in Washington. During the last 33 years, I.M.P. and the 9:30 Club have put on nearly 12,000 events, hosting millions of music fans.