Richard Branson tells music lovers to 'Go West!'



    Stakes claim to Fort Calgary as official launch of Virgin Festival
    Calgary

    Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver confirmed as host cities for Virgin
    Festival 2008

    CALGARY, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin
Group of Companies, rode into Calgary today to announce Calgary as the third
host city for a Virgin Festival in Canada. Hot on the heels of the phenomenal
success of Virgin Festivals in Toronto and Vancouver, Virgin Festival Calgary
will deliver the rockstravaganza event of the year to an expected 20,000 music
lovers in Calgary on Saturday June 21 and Sunday June 22, 2008.
    After firmly planting the Virgin Festival flag in to the grounds of
historic Fort Calgary and claiming it as "Virgin Territory", Richard Branson
announced Calgary's first-ever Virgin Festival. "Like all Virgin Festivals,
Virgin Festival Calgary will provide real value and a fantastic experience,"
said Richard Branson. "Music and entertainment have played a huge role at
Virgin since the '70s when I launched Virgin Records, and I'm delighted that
Virgin Mobile through Virgin Festival Calgary will continue to make music a
big part of people's lives."
    Set to invade Fort Calgary early next summer, Virgin Festival Calgary
will continue the Virgin Festival tradition of bringing in worldwide
superstars to headline the Festival while also shining the spotlight on
up-and-coming and local talent. Keep a lookout for an eclectic mix of
international A-listers, Canadian stars, and emerging artists that are just
breaking onto the scene. The festival's usual mash-up of rock, indie, punk,
electro-pop, alternative, and new wave will create yet another unique and
killer line-up.
    "We're thrilled to be bringing one of the biggest rock music festivals in
Canada to Calgary," said Nathan Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer. "Since the
first-ever Canadian Virgin Festival launched in Toronto in September 2006,
over 95,000 music lovers have lived the Virgin Festival experience. With the
addition of Virgin Festival Calgary to Toronto and Vancouver, we will continue
to rock the socks off the Canadian music scene and provide a unique and mind
blowing opportunity for thousands more Canadians to enjoy one of the biggest
and most respected rock festivals in the world."
    Virgin Festival is calling all Canadian music lovers to tell them what
bands they want to see at next year's festivals by emailing
festival@virginmobile.ca. Virgin Festival will begin announcing its line ups
for Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver in early 2008.

    Don't Call It A Concert

    While music takes centre stage at Virgin Festival, there's much more
happening than just that. The Festival creates on on-site experience like no
other - from interactive displays and contests, a full vendor village, DJ
tent, beer gardens, special perks for Virgin Mobile customers, and way more -
there is always something to keep everyone going while they're waiting for
their fave artist to take the stage.
    Virgin Festival works to raise funds for Virgin Unite - the charitable
arm of the Virgin Group that focuses on creating grass roots change and
sustainable businesses to make a real difference for people around the world
who need it most. The first three Virgin Festivals spread awareness of Virgin
Unite and raised more than $150,000 to support it.
    Another crucial focus for the festival is taking care of the environment.
To reach the goal of "near zero waste", Virgin Festival Calgary will include:

    
    -  Complete on-site recycling and composting

    -  Generators running on bio-diesel fuel

    -  Biodegradable cups and containers

    -  Printed materials will all use non-toxic inks on recyclable paper

    -  Recycling Store for trading in recyclables for cool swag and other
       goodies

    -  Advice and information on how to reduce carbon emissions
    

    Virgin Mobile will partner with concert production company Emerge
Entertainment to produce Virgin Festival Calgary.

    About Virgin Mobile Canada

    Launched in 2005, Virgin Mobile is Canada's first wireless service
created for and defined by youth. The country's first mobile virtual network
operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile has a portfolio that includes monthly price
plans, a full range of phones and a broad array of messaging, music and mobile
content offerings. J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Virgin Mobile as
ranking the highest in customer satisfaction with prepaid wireless service for
two years in a row(1).
    The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 10 million
customers worldwide. Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000
locations with top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations
nationally. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at
http://www.virginmobile.ca or by calling 877-662-2824.

    About Emerge Entertainment

    Emerge Entertainment has produced over 1,000 concerts since 1997 with a
wide spectrum of artists ranging from Bjork to James Blunt to The Killers.
Emerge strives to deliver the best and most unique concert experiences to both
ticket buyers and artists. The company was nominated for "Promoter of the
Year" at the 2005 & 2006 CMW Music Industry Awards.

    --------------------------
    (1) J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2006 Canadian Wireless Customer
    Satisfaction Study(SM.) 2006 study based on 5,784 total responses
    from consumers with prepaid wireless service surveyed in
    October 2006. jdpower.com.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: photography or to arrange an interview, please
contact: Mandy Dinning, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (403) 831-3542,
Mandy.dinning@hillandknowlton.ca; Chris Baines, Virgin Mobile Canada, (647)
378-8859, chris.baines@virginmobile.ca; Rebecca Teal, Emerge Entertainment,
(416) 599-1550, rteal@emerge.ca

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