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Richard Branson announces new US Virgin Fest

The festival, set to debut in 2019, will feature "diverse music acts, cutting-edge technological experiences … and a commitment to sustainability", says Branson

By Jon Chapple on 17 Oct 2018

Richard Branson, Virgin Fest

Branson (centre) with Nervo at the launch party

image © Bob Riha Jnr/Virgin

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has announced the launch of Virgin Fest, a new “multi-experiential” music festival set to debut in the US in 2019.

Virgin was formerly involved in the UK’s V Festival, promoted by Live Nation, Metropolis Music, MCD Productions and SJM Concerts. V debuted in 1996 as twin festivals in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, and Victoria Park in Warrington, with headliners Pulp, Paul Weller and Elastica. The northern England leg moved to Leeds in 1997, before settling in Weston Park in Staffordshire in 1999.

Announcing the end of the partnership, Branson said last October: “We’ve been proud to sponsor V Festival for the past two decades and there have been some incredible performances on the stage. Now, after 22 very enjoyable and successful years, 2017 was Virgin’s last V Festival.”

The Chelmsford V Festival was succeeded by a new event, Rize Festival, in 2018, although the Staffordshire event has not been replaced.

Writing on his Virgin blog after unveiling his new Hollywood Walk of Fame star, Branson says: “Once upon a time, we built the largest independent record company in the world, and that is the reason I believe I’ve been honoured with a star. Running a record company can be a lot of fun, and, yes, it did involve sex, drugs and rock’n’roll! So I had plenty of stories to share with the audience in Hollywood, from Mike Oldfield to the Sex Pistols, Phil Collins to Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones to Boy George, Peter Tosh to the Spice Girls.


“I could go on and on about all of the moments that brought us here (I’ll share more of them soon), but it’s always most important for me to keep the Virgin brand moving forward and that’s exactly what we intend to do together.

“With that in mind, I’m proud to announce Virgin Fest, an innovative, multi-experiential music festival with all of the fun surprises and red-hot service that can only come from Virgin. We followed the Walk of Fame event with a special Virgin Fest launch in Hollywood, complete with a brilliant performance from Nervo (who says you can’t dance at lunchtime?!)

“Virgin Fest is coming to the US in 2019 and will be centred on music, exploration, innovation and generosity. It will feature a unique mixture of diverse music acts, cutting edge technological experiences, exclusive content, and a commitment to sustainability.”

No dates, performers or a venue have yet been announced for the new event, but Branson says its programming will reflect “the heart of the Virgin brand, [which] has always been music and entertainment”, with a “unique mixture of diverse music acts, cutting-edge technological experiences, exclusive content and a commitment to sustainability.”

“But, true to the Virgin brands,” he adds, “we will make sure Virgin Fest also focuses strongly on customer service. We want our festgoers to come away having enjoyed an amazing experience, not just another music event.”


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