For the fifth year in a row, Virgin Mobile FreeFest tickets “freed-out” in just a few minutes. But fear not, there is still a way to get a ticket that’s fun, easy and way better than searching for scalpers. Virgin Mobile USA, creator of one of the largest and most critically acclaimed music festivals in the country that annually draws 50,000 people, today announced that music fans can volunteer their time at homeless youth shelters or donate hygiene kits to earn tickets to FreeFest through The RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile’s charitable initiative to address youth homelessness.
As a result of the last four FreeFests, through Virgin’s RE*Generation program, nearly $800,000 has been raised and nearly 75,000 volunteer hours and 25,000 hygiene kits have been donated. FreeFest fans have funded the development of “The RE*Generation House by Virgin Mobile,” a homeless youth shelter run by Sasha Bruce Youthwork in Washington, D.C. Proceeds from the upcoming FreeFest will support staffing and programs for social entrepreneurship and urban agriculture at The RE*Gen House and other Sasha Bruce sites in Washington.People will have several options to do something good and get a FreeFest ticket in return: Volunteer: Participate in service projects that will involve landscaping, painting, cleaning and gardening on Saturday, Aug. 24. Donate: Create hygiene kits (four kits minimum) containing travel sizes of toothbrush, toothpaste, liquid soap, deodorant, lotion, shampoo and conditioner. Kits must be dropped off at the Sasha Bruce House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 17, 24, 31 or Sept. 7. Purchase: There will be a limited number of FreeFest FREEMIUM packages which include guaranteed admission to the festival, a FreeFest T-shirt and a souvenir cup that comes with free fountain drinks throughout the festival. In addition, a $10 charitable donation will be made to Virgin Mobile USA’s youth homelessness initiative from the cost of each FREEMIUM package purchased. FREEMIUM tickets are available via Ticketfly or at the Merriweather Post Pavilion and 9:30 Club box offices. “FreeFest started as a way to give back,” said Felicia Hill, manager-Brand Engagement and Cause Marketing, Virgin Mobile USA. “We give music fans a free day of incredible music, and thousands of them have paid the good karma forward by donating to homeless youth. When we started this, we could not have imagined that after four years we’d have ‘A House That FreeFest Built,’ but here we are. Now we want to raise enough to keep the house running for years to come. The issue of youth homelessness, which impacts more than 2 million young people in our country, needs our support more than ever.”
“Homeless youth at Sasha Bruce Youthwork get so many benefits from FreeFest and Virgin Mobile,” said Deborah Shore, executive director of Sasha Bruce Youthwork. “The RE*Generation House provides a safe home for youth to grow and prosper and is the foundation of our youth-led entrepreneurial project. Volunteers and welcome kits benefit hundreds of our homeless clients. Virgin Mobile has been brilliant in bringing a creative way of encouraging volunteerism and enhancing public understanding of the needs of homeless youth, and does so by offering the reward of this fabulous festival. This is the concept of RE*Generation at its finest.”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 USAVirgin 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. About I.M.P. 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.