Entries tagged with: Maryland

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Virgin FreeFest

The VIrgin Mobile FreeFest is returning for its fifth year on September 21 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. This year's lineup leans pretty heavily on indie/pop crossover with names like MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Washed Out, The Avett Brothers, CHVRCHES, Icona Pop, Sky Ferreira, Robin Thicke, Pretty Lights, Kaskade, and more.

Free tickets go on "sale" August 9 at noon, and a presale (via Twitter and Facebook) begins August 8 at noon. There will also be premium packages which guarantee admission, and include a t-shirt and souvenir cup for free fountain drinks at the festival. Any contributions will go to Washington, DC's transitional home for homeless youth, The Sasha Bruce Re*Generation House, which the festival had been raising money for over the last four years to help have it built.

Speaking of Washed Out, he just announced some other special free events happening in NYC and LA this week.

Full FreeFest lineup and announcement video below...

Continue reading "Virgin FreeFest 2013 lineup (MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Washed Out, Icona Pop, CHVRCHES & more)"

Phoenix at MSG in 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Phoenix

First, Phoenix announced that their long awaited followup to 2009's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix would be out this April, then they revealed that it's called Bankrupt! and made their first North American show announcement of 2013: New Orleans Jazz Festival. They've since been revealed as a Coachella headliner and now they've got even more North American dates scheduled, including one that's not too far from NYC: Columbia, MD's Sweetlife Festival, which goes down at Merriweather Post Pavillion on May 11 (about a 3 and a half hour drive from NYC). Their schedule currently has a week or so free on either side of of the Sweetlife fest...hmm.

And the rest of Sweetlife lineup ain't too shabby either. Joining Phoenix will be Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Solange, Youth Lagoon, Holy Ghost!, Gary Clark Jr, MS MR, and more. Tickets for the festival go on sale Friday (2/8) at 10 AM with a presale beginning on Wednesday (2/6).

The full lineup and announcement video for Sweetlife, and a list of all Phoenix dates below...

Continue reading "Maryland's Sweetlife Music & Food fest announces 2013 lineup; Phoenix playing there and other dates"

Legalize it

Though there seems to be some dispute at the moment about who is "first", history was made Tuesday (for more more than one reason). Baltimore Sun reports:

Maryland made history yesterday as the first state to approve gay marriage at the ballot box. The outcome on Question 6 was notable not just for what it will mean for thousands of gays and lesbians whose relationships will now be recognized as equal to those of their heterosexual peers but for what it says about the state of gay rights in America. There is good reason to believe that yesterday's vote was not just a victory for equality but a turning point.

Technically, Maryland appeared to be tied for the first-in-the-nation distinction, as a similar measure was poised for passage in Maine on the same day. Another was on the ballot in Washington. Considering that the electoral record for same-sex marriage up until yesterday was 0 wins and 32 losses, those victories are remarkable. The vote in Maryland in particular is a sign that the growing acceptance for marriage equality is starting to break down old barriers and may portend a rapid shift in the political and legal landscape.

Meanwhile the NY Times reports:
Maine voters approved same-sex marriage in an election night that jubilant gay rights advocates called a historic turning point, the first time ever that marriage for gay men and lesbians has been approved at the ballot box.

While six states plus the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through court decisions or legislative decisions, voters had rejected it more than 30 times in a row up to now.

Results for the other three states voting on same-sex marriage -- Maryland, Minnesota and Washington -- were still coming in late Tuesday but rights groups said that the victories in Maine, and possibly other states, were an important sign that public opinion is shifting in their direction.

As of this article, results are still just coming in, so hopefully by Wednesday morning we're saying that four states approved same-sex marriage on ballots in 2012.

UPDATE:: Minnesotans have sadly defeated the attempt to amend the state's constitution to ban gay marriage,

This election also gave us our first openly gay senator, our first state with marijuana legalization, and our first two-term African-American president. To quote Reggie Watts, "The Mayan prophecy is coming true!!!"

James Murphy

The above pictures is a screen shot from the Virgin Freefest lineup announcement video that they posted to YouTube. The girl behind the words exclaims, "James Murphy solo!" as she reads her piece of the September 10th free MD festival lineup. The full lineup, video, poster and press release is below...

Continue reading "Virgin FreeFest announces 2011 lineup (includes "James Murphy solo" and many more)"

Sweet Life Fest

The Sweetlife Festival, scheduled for Saturday, April 30th at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD, has announced The Strokes as headliner. The rest of the lineup is still TBA.

Tickets went on sale Friday for the show The Strokes are playing at Madison Square Garden at the beginning of the same month.

photos by Greg Cristman

Pavement @ Summerstage Friday
Pavement

After six nights in gotham that included one show in a bonafide downpour, two TV appearances (Colbert and Fallon), and thousands of tickets sold to five live shows, Pavement moved on to Marland Saturday to play the free Virgin Mobile FreeFest that went down at Merriweather Post Pavilion...

"False starts, aimless guitar-noodling, and Stephen Malkmus' sloppy 'do: Yup, it was a perfect Pavement set. Now several months into its reunion, the legendary indie-rock quintet cycled through every song but "Box Elder" that's essential to a Pavement show, often with heavy audience accompaniment. Some of the crowd's favorite singalong lines: "No big hair!" in "Cut Your Hair"; "Not here, babe!" in "Summer Babe"; "Don't worry, we're in no hurry!" in "Range Life." It was uncharacteristically unslackerish, which is to say Bob Nastanovich wasn't the only member rocking out. Malkmus was in particularly good spirits. After the band ended "Spit On a Stranger," he joked that he'd auditioned with the song for American Idol. "I couldn't hit the high notes," he said." [Spin]
Pavement's NYC victory lap ended one day earlier with their fourth show at Summerstage/Rumsey Playfield. We previously posted the set list and promised more pictures from the show. Here they are (though none of opener The Beets unfortunately).

On Sunday Pavement played Atlanta, and the band has five more dates to go before they hang it up again (or will they?) (should they?). Those dates include Hollywood Bowl in LA with Sonic Youth and No Age, and the Matador 21 Festival.

Setlists from Maryland and Georgia, along with the rest of the pictures from Summerstage Friday, below...

Continue reading "Pavement played Virgin FreeFest (setlist) after completing their run of 5 NYC shows (one more set of Summerstage pics) "

The Boss @ Izod Center in May (more by Tim Griffin)
Bruce Springsteen

The Federal Trade Commission has settled with Ticketmaster over complaints that Ticketmaster used deceptive tactics to steer Bruce Springsteen fans to expensive scalped tickets last year. As part of the settlement, the company will pay refunds and, in a move that could have a wide impact on the multibillion-dollar resale business, make disclosures about the availability of the tickets it resells.

The settlement, announced Tuesday by the F.T.C.'s chairman, Jon Leibowitz, concerns 14 Springsteen concerts last May and June. Fans trying to buy tickets through Ticketmaster's Web site were pointed to a subsidiary site, TicketsNow. In what Mr. Leibowitz described as thousands of instances, brokers on TicketsNow -- an eBay-like resale marketplace with no price caps -- advertised tickets they did not have, and fans never got the tickets they paid for.

"TicketsNow.com sold phantom tickets without letting consumers know that the tickets did not exist," Mr. Leibowitz said in a statement. "Then the company held on to consumers' money, sometimes for months, when it knew those fans weren't going to see Springsteen. Clearly consumers deserve better. They deserve to know what they're buying, including the risk that their tickets won't materialize." According to the settlement, Ticketmaster must refund to fans who used TicketsNow the difference in price between the tickets' face value and the final amount. Mr. Lebowitz said those payments could amount to more than $1 million. In addition, brokers on TicketsNow must disclose when they are listing tickets they do not have in hand, and the F.T.C. is sending letters to about 10 large ticket resellers warning them to comply with the law.

Scalped Springsteen tickets have been a focus of news-media and political pressure on the concert industry since early last year, when fans for two Springsteen shows in New Jersey were directed from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow while tickets at face value were still available. Ticketmaster settled with the state of New Jersey over those concerts.

Last month Ticketmaster received approval from the Department of Justice to merge with the concert giant Live Nation. That merger still faces court approval. [NY Times]

In other news, Maryland's approximately-20K-capacity Merriweather Post Pavilion (a venue now known for other reasons than just being a venue) has dropped its deal with Ticketmaster/Live Nation for Ticketfly...
"Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., has inked an online ticketing and marketing deal with Ticketfly. The deal marks the largest venue contract to date for the upstart ticketing company, which also handles ticketing for 9:30 Club in Washington D.C., among other venues. The 9:30 is owned and operated by independent promoter I.M.P., which also books and operates Merriweather." [Billboard]
I.M.P. also co-founded the Virgin Vestival in the USA along with one Andrew Dreskin...
Andrew Dreskin is the co-founder of Ticketfly, Inc., a next-generation ticketing and marketing company. He is the co-founder of the Virgin Mobile Festival, a multi-day music and arts festival. Mr. Dreskin was the co-founder, and president and C.E.O., of TicketWeb, the first company to sell event tickets over the Internet. TicketWeb was acquired by Ticketmaster in 2000. Prior to founding TicketWeb, Mr. Dreskin was the co-founder of Energy Media, an early web design firm. Prior to that, Mr. Dreskin was the executive vice president of Beserkley Records, an influential independent record label. Until its recent acquisition by Knitting Factory Entertainment, Mr. Dreskin was the largest outside shareholder in the Big Easy Concert House, a chain of concert venues in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a B.A. from Tulane University, where he is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council. He is also a member of the board of directors of Headcount, a non-profit voter registration organization.
Seth Hurwitz is I.M.P.'s chairman and co-owner...
Independent concert promoter Seth Hurwitz and the Maryland-based companies he co-owns, It's My Party (I.M.P.) and It's My Amphitheatre (IMA), have taken legal action against Live Nation.

In an 11-count lawsuit filed shortly after Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced their intentions to merge in February, plaintiffs I.M.P. and IMA allege that Los Angeles-based Live Nation "deliberately" and "unlawfully" acquired monopolistic power over promotion for the national concert market, and has used its influence to "coerce" artists from only appearing at amphitheaters and other venues the company owns, operates or books.
[Billboard - June 12, 2009]

All connections considered, it's not that surprising how this is all playing out, especially now that Ticketmaster and Live Nation actually decided to merge which forces promoters who compete with Live Nation to decide if they want their competitor to sell their tickets for them.

What does it mean for NYC? How long until Bowery Presents (who probably sells more NYC tickets total through Ticketmaster than anyone else in NYC at the moment) moves to Ticketfly too? Ticketfly is already selling tickets for a few NYC venues: Brooklyn Bowl, Littlefield and Knitting Factory / Warsaw. Nothing on that list is as big as Merriweather, but Brooklyn Bowl is a Bowery Presents-booked venue (though important to note: Brooklyn Bowl were using Ticketfly before Bowery was in the picture there). And even before the TM/LN merge we learned that Bowery wasn't 100% committed to Ticketmaster when they started selling tickets to their NJ venue Wellmont Theatre through Tickets.com (though it is of course possible that they use tickets.com there due to some strange contract that came with the venue when they opened it.... regardless, anyone who has tried tickets.com knows that it won't ever be where Bowery moves permanently).

Meanwhile, Live Nation, who used to use Ticketmaster exclusively but then switched to their own LiveNation.com ticketing system, have started using Ticketmaster again. For instance, Crystal Castles' Irving Plaza show went on sale on Ticketmaster today. Shows that have been on sale for a while, like Ted Leo (and Obits and Screaming Females), are listed on Ticketmaster (its a redirect), but actually only on sale on LiveNation.com.

More details of the Baltimore story are below...

Continue reading "Ticketmaster has to pay refunds to Bruce Springsteen fans, loses Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavilion to Ticketfly"