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My Review of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Plus Tips For All-Day Music Festivals

This past weekend I went to Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion and all my wannabe hippie dreams came true. For those of you who are unfamiliar, FreeFest is a  all day music festival held by Virgin Mobile. The past three years it has been free.

Many of the festival goers are young people between the ages of 18-35. It was an amazing day where we painted ourselves, got really muddy, and danced the night away in the dance forest (an outdoor club they set up within the grounds of Merriweather). We raged to DeadMau5 for two hours with 50,000 of our closest new friends and it was really epic.

I spent the day with my favorite Campus Cutie Editor Caitlin Long and we met up with a bunch of different friends throughout the day. We even spotted this weeks Campus Cutie Eric Crosby!

This is something I highly suggest for all-day festivals-don’t go with a lot of people. Seriously,  at an event like this where there are so many different acts at once no one ever wants to see the same thing and it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. I made this mistake too many times before and trust me its not happening again.

In the beginning of the day we saw Two Door Cinema Club. They were AWESOME! Although, I’m a bit bias because I have a HUGE crush on the bassist, Kevin Baird. He is so dreamy. They did, however, perform a solid set in the early afternoon which the crowd responded really well too!

The Hot Bassist, Kevin Baird, is on the far right.

After Two Door we kicked it in the dance forest and caught the last bit of Porter Robinson’s set. There was so much energy and happiness in that crowd, it was hard not to have a good time. We also met up with Dan (an old friend from high school) here!

This is Dan.

At this point we decided to check out Big Sean. I saw Big Sean a couple of months ago with Wiz Khalifa and was really disappointed. I’m sorry to say my disappointment hasn’t changed. There was no variety, he didn’t even seem that happy to be there, and it was hot-really hot, like blazing hot.

Which leads me to tip number two: wear sunscreen (lots of it) and drink a LOT of water. I felt really bad for the 15-year-olds who got drunk at 11 a.m. and couldn’t even make it to the end (which was the best part). I think a lot of people (myself included) forget how hot September can actually be. It was so hot that we left after about 10 minutes of Big Sean’s set to frolic in the shade with our fellow hippies.

While Cailtin got to enjoy Grace Potter’s set, I spent the majority of it waiting for the bathroom. I would suggest wearing depends because the lines are SO LONG. Although, that might not be a good idea, especially if you were trying to hook up with one of the hottie’s there. I swear, it was like 70% male and 30% female, who needs Match.com anymore!

Then, we saw one of the most epic moments of the day-Cee Lo Green!

I got to give Cee Lo credit, the poor man tried so hard, but most of us were worried he was going to have a heart attack at any moment. He started out strong with one of his more memorable songs (Crazy) and did a cover of Don’t Cha (made famous by the PussyCat Dolls)-which he wrote. By the time he got to singing the F$%K You song he was huffing and puffing and leaning onto the mic for dear life!

TV on the Radio was playing after Cee Lo Green and was probably one of the only acts I really wanted to see. But on my way to TV on the Radio I discovered a bunch of paint (provided by Virgin Fest). I decided at this point that covering myself in paint and dancing in the forest was WAY more important than seeing TV on the Radio. This leads me to tip number three: go with the flow! Personally,I don’t really go to these things to see my favorite bands, it’s way more fun to discover new music and just have a good time. During Cee Lo’s set we met Dan’s friend Sarah (who is really awesome) and had so much fun with her. See, going with the flow. So much more fun.

Then, the most breathtaking moment of the night-DeadMau5’s performance. We were able to inch our way to a pretty good spot near the front of the stage (of course we got really muddy in the process).

Mud was a constant theme of the day.

DeadMau5’s light show was incredible.

After that we danced for two hours straight. DeadMau5’s show was full of these beautiful lights and electric sounds. This random guy came up to me and offered me ecstasy (which I politely declined). Then, he gave me a shoulder ride so I could see better.

We found glow sticks on the ground and he broke them with his teeth so we could write over everyone around us. It was beautiful, everyone was being so kind to each other. It was that moment that made me believe in the good of humanity.

Then it was all over. I threw myself in the shower and washed away the remnants
of my one night as a true hippie. Until next year…

Alexandra (Ali) Pannoni is a senior at Towson University majoring in journalism with a minor in theatre. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Towson. As the Campus Celebrity columnist for Her Campus Towson, Ali has interviewed Country Music Superstar Chuck Wicks and Major League Baseball Player Casper Wells. In Spring 2012 she was an editorial intern with Baltimore magazine. Currently she is an intern for the nationally syndicated radio morning show, The Kane Show, heard locally on HOT 99.5 in Washington D.C. and Z104.3 in Baltimore.  You can view some of her published work for Baltimore magazine on her website. She loves reading magazines, (attempting) to run, and hanging out with friends and family. 
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