Arenas & Sheds Concerts Festivals Merriweather Post Pavilion

2011 Virgin Mobile Freefest

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COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Joel Thomas Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, is known for his over-the-top visuals during his performances. His headlining slot on the West Stage at the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest bordered on sensory overload. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

Yes, these photos are months late. I never had a chance to go back and edit the entire set until this week. Honestly I didn’t really want to. I didn’t have much fun at this year’s festival (which is typically my favorite day of the year) and I didn’t want to revisit the photos I took that day. But now with a little distance, I feel differently.

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 -  Pop chameleon Cee-Lo Green's set drew from both his solo work and that of his other group, Gnarls Barkley. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Australia's Cut Copy was one of many electronic acts that dominated the lineup at  the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Grace Potter & the Nocturnals' brand of Led Zepplin-ish rock riffs got the crowd going despite their early set time at  the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

My main problem with this year’s festival was the crowds. There were an extra 10,000-15,000 people on the Merriweather grounds and there simply wasn’t anywhere to put them all. There were crowds everywhere and it made getting from stage to stage a real chore.

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Okkervil River perform at  the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  The band, based in Austin, TX, released their sixth studio album, I Am Very Far, in May of this year. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club draw the first big crowd of the day at the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 -  After headlining the Pavilion Stage with his group LCD Soundsystem last year, James Murphy DJ'ed a set in the Dance Tent  at this year's Virgin Mobile FreeFest. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

 That said, I’m generally happy any day I can shoot a large number of bands in a relatively short amount of time.  Shooting Deadmau5 (top photo) was an experience. We had to wait 30 minutes or so into his set before we were allowed to shoot him. Due to his enormous stage set up, we had to shoot from the soundboard, which made for some pretty great crowd shots.

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Joel Thomas Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, performs in his trademark mouse head costume at the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Rock legend Patti Smith received a warm welcome at the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion and responded with one of the best sets of the day, including rousing renditions of her hits "Because The Night" and "Gloria.".  (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)
COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Tunde Adebimpe of  TV on the Radio performs on the Pavilion Stage at the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

COLUMBIA, MD, -September 10th, 2011 - Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys performs at the 2011 Virgin Mobile FreeFest. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP). (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

Full photo set below. As always, click on any photo to purchase prints.
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Please don’t reuse these photos without my permission.
2011 Virgin Mobile Freefest – Images by Kyle Gustafson

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