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'Particularly interesting' lineup
On Saturday, Maryland's biggest music festival returns.
The fifth annual Virgin Mobile FreeFest will again take over Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion for the entire day, filling it with 20 of-the-moment music acts, thousands of fans and, of course, corporate sponsorships. (How else would we get the Free in FreeFest?)
This year's lineup is particularly interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it's top heavy with acts in different genres that could find overlap between audiences. (It's not hard to imagine an Avett Brothers fan enjoying MGMT's set or a Pretty Lights supporter enjoying Icona Pop.)
Second, this is the first FreeFest to lack a rap artist on the bill, which seems like a glaring missed opportunity. One of the joys of FreeFest is how well the lineup is typically constructed with artists on the cusp of big-time fame. Last year's best example, Big Sean, woke the crowd up mid-day with a surprisingly energetic set that inspired grind sessions in the crowd, for better or worse. But mostly better.
But even without a hip-hop element, FreeFest still offers an eclectic, one-day music experience unlike any other in Maryland. With a smart mix of A-list acts and rising stars, the lineup will produce sets worth seeing. To better prepare the fans lucky enough to secure the here-today, gone-today tickets, we selected the five acts -- in no particular order -- we're most excited to see. -- Wesley Case