At the top of the bill: Ohio rock duo the Black Keys, “[Forget] You” crooner Cee Lo Green, Gotham greats TV on the Radio, and rock-n-roll icon — and recent National Book Award winner! — Patti Smith.
“We just want people to see this festival as THE list of the absolute coolest bands and stories of the moment,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of promoter I.M.P. and Virgin Mobile FreeFest producer, in a statement.
Other mainstage performers include masked DJ Deadmau5, Australian dance-rock troupe Cut Copy, folk princess Grace Potter & the Nocturnal s, Texas rockers Okkervil River, pop rapper Big Sean and other acts, including Empire of the Sun, Two Door Cinema Club, Alberta Cross, and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Promoters are also bringing back last year’s “Dance Forest,” which will feature sets from Calvin Harris, Ghostland Observatory, !!!, Porter Robinson, Eclectic Method, Teddybears and James Murphy, whose now-defunct group LCD Soundsystem closed out last year’s FreeFest.
This will be FreeFest’s third year at Merriweather, after slimming down the festival from two days to one, and relocating from Pimlico Race Course.
Tickets will be given away on Friday at 10 a.m. via Virgin Mobile Live’s Facebook page (facebook.com/virginmobilelive) — but you have to “like” Virgin Mobile Live on Facebook in order to secure tickets.