Richard Branson Announces New US Virgin Music Festival, to Debut in 2019
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has announced he is teaming with KABOO music festival founder Bryan Gordon and Virgin Produced CEO Jason Felts to bring a new major festival to the US in 2019, though details on the location and other information on the event—dubbed Virgin Fest—will not be revealed until next year.
Following the reveal of his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Branson announced the new venture, calling the festival “an innovative music and technology experience that will be unlike any other festival series.”
Branson announced last year that Virgin would not be continuing to produce V Festival, the British music gathering the company started in 1996. He and Felts spoke with Rolling Stone about bringing the new Virgin Fest to the US, saying it will take place on the East Coast in a location with “a lot of sunshine and an outdoorsy feel to it” and will accommodate up to 25,000 fans per day.
Felts also notes that the festival will attempt to offer a new, technology-based angle to their festival in an attempt to differentiate themselves from the crowded US festival circuit:
“The convergence of music, technology and innovation will be a key differentiator for us,” Felts says. “Most apps are just checking lineups and maybe there’s a selfie cam. There’s no real innovation. Imagine a world in which you go into your app and have your food or drink brought to you, have seat-to-seat chatting and click on your friend and have your friend meet you over at a certain stage. Imagine if you bought the general-admission pass and you got there and you think you made a mistake and want the VIP pass. Imagine a world in which you could go into your app and automatically upgrade.”
“Virgin has always been able to change things up and shake up an industry, so I am confident that the team at Virgin Fest will be able to do the same with their festival, and choosing the lineup will be part of that,” Branson says. “While I plan to leave the curating of the lineup to the experts, I’ll make sure to keep them aware of my favorites.”