Everything you need to know about virgin festival

September 21, 2006|By SAM SESSA


The Virgin Festival is Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave. Gates open at 10 a.m. See virginfestival.com for more information.


General admission tickets are sold through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com, 800-551-SEAT) and cost $97.50. You can also purchase them at 1st Mariner Arena (201 W. Baltimore St., 410-347-2020) or the Sound Garden (1616 Thames St., 410-563-9011). VIP tickets are $250 each and can only be purchased two at a time. They give you access to the VIP Grandstand, a fenced-in VIP stage area, commemorative T-shirts, parking for one car, VIP bathrooms and concessions.

There is no re-entry.

Transportation and parking

The best parking spots are in the Pimlico lots, are $25 and can be purchased in advance through ticketmaster.com. There's also parking at Pimlico Middle School, 3500 W. Northern Parkway, for $15. The school is about a half-mile walk from the racetrack; parking lots open at 8 a.m. Handicapped parking is in lot 9.

Some free nearby street parking is available but will probably be snapped up quickly, so don't count on it. You might be able to score a semi-cheap spot on someone's lawn close to the racetrack, like on Preakness day.

The two hubs of public transportation to Pimlico are the Mount Washington light rail stop and the Rogers Avenue Metro station. Light rail trains run until 11 p.m. Saturday and the metro runs until midnight. Bus fare is $1.60 one way, $3.50 for a day pass.

From the Mount Washington light rail, take the No. 27 bus, which runs every 30 minutes from 6 a.m.-3 a.m.

From the Rogers Avenue Metro station, take the No. 27 or 91 bus lines, which both run until 3 a.m., or the No. 44 or 33, which go until midnight and 11:22 p.m., respectively.

Food and drinks

No outside food or drinks, except two sealed water bottles, are allowed into the festival. Charm City Hospitality, the company that handles Merriweather Post Pavilion's food, is running the Virgin Festival's concessions. Expect steamed seafood from Ocean Pride, Sherrie's Crab Cakes, barbecue from Red, Hot and Blue, Boardwalk Fries, Ostrowski's Sausages and other options.

You'll be able to get beer and liquor at the festival, though prices haven't been released.

What to bring

Umbrellas, two sealed water bottles, small digital and disposable cameras, blankets, beach towels, strollers and baby food, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen.

What not to bring

Prohibited items: large backpacks, chains, chain wallets, knives or other weapons, chairs, coolers, tents or large umbrellas, video cameras, audio recording devices, cameras with detachable lenses, pets, drugs or drug paraphernalia, laser pointers, skateboards, scooters, bikes, fireworks, explosives and musical instruments.

On-site entertainment

When you need a break from the live music and crush of people, head to the Virgin Mobile Freak Lounge. All day during the festival, this tent hosts performances by Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, the Merry Milk Maids, the Go-Go Hula Hoop Girls and others. VHS or Beta will DJ a set in the tent at 5 p.m.

Anyone (not just Virgin Mobile customers) can plug in their cell phones at charging stations in the tent, and then take a break on one of the two hammocks in the corners or the lounge chairs throughout. The tent will also have a 50-foot bar.

Art from about 10 local artists will hang in the RE*Generation Gallery, the Charm City Roller Girls will perform demonstrations, and batting cages will be set up.

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