In case you missed the announcement last night, yes, the festival is returning for another year at Merriweather Post Pavilion. And yes, it's going to be free again.
Since none of the bands/dates are set yet, that leaves plenty of room for speculation.
So what's your dream lineup? ...
Keep in mind, the festival is free, which means we're probably not going to see a quadruple bill of Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and U2. Those caliber of acts generally don't play free festivals, unless it's for a super duper save-the-earth kinda event like Live 8. But you can bank on mid- to top-tier acts along the lines of Weezer and Blink-182.
When it comes to producing free shows like this one, the first year is usually the toughest. It can be hard to convince a band to play for free or a fraction of their usual cost.
If the first year's a hit, the musicians start talking amongst themselves about how cool it was, and it gets easier to book bands.
I've heard through the grapevine that a number of bands have already approached the promoters about performing at this year's festival.
You might laugh at me, but I'd like to see Lady Gaga. I've never seen her, but I've heard it's a freaky, fun show. Problem is, she's already performing at the Verizon Center September 7. I'm also morbidly fascinated by fellow pop sensation Ke$ha. I switch back and forth between annoyed and absorbed with her music. Hee hee.
In all seriousness, I would really like to see Pearl Jam headline. They're socially conscious enough where they just might get behind the festival, given its devotion to youth homeless charities. If memory serves, it's been a while since they've played in the area, too.
Who do you want to see headline?
(Baltimore Sun photo of Richard Branson serving beer at last year's festival by Christopher T. Assaf)