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Soaring temperatures of over 100°F did not stop 80,000 music lovers from attending a massive two-day charity concert held at the Pimlico Raceway in Baltimore on August 4 and 5. The Baltimore Virgin Festival was part of a series of concerts being held this year, partly organized by Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand.

Concert goers were treated to performances by 40 groups and artists, including Sting and The Police, Ben Harper, The Beastie Boys, Iggy Pop, and The Smashing Pumpkins. $1.50 from every ticket sold was donated directly to Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of the Virgin Group, dedicated to “tackling some of the tougher social challenges by uniting people and Virgin’s global resources.”

The concert also featured a huge tent village which housed a mall of philanthropy booths, where concert attendees could find out more about non-profit organizations such as Oxfam, The Living Classrooms Foundation (which uses maritime settings to train at-risk youth), StandUp For Kids (which helps homeless children), and Youth Noise (a website where teens can talk about significant issues and raise money for their chosen causes).

Branson joined actress Daryl Hannah at the event, and stated that the festivities were extremely eco-friendly, with 99% of the fuels used to power the concert being the cleanest biofuel available.

The Virgin Festival in Baltimore followed a similar concert held in Vancouver in May, and the next event will be in Toronto in September.

Also rocking out on August 4 and 5 was another huge concert, the Lollapalooza Festival, an annual event founded in 1991. 165,000 people crammed Grant Park in Chicago to see 140 acts, including Pearl Jam, Ben Harper, and Snow Patrol. A portion of every ticket sale went to the Parkways Foundation, a non-profit organization working with the Chicago Park District.

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