Virgin Megastores Set Sales Records At Music Festivals

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

Virgin Entertainment Group, North America, the official music retail sponsor of the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the official music retail sponsor of Coachella 2005, set new sales records during the two popular music festivals with the highest sales ever during a festival.

"We've teamed up with these major music events as another way to deliver the best in fun and entertainment to our customers and to show our support for the artists of the past, present and future," saysSimon Wright, CEO, Virgin Entertainment Group. "With thousands of music fans visiting our on-site festival MegaTents this year at Jazzfest and Coachella we know these events give broadened exposure of the Virgin brand to a large consumer base and help us reach out to them in a unique environment."

Virgin set an all time sales record with an increase of over 13% from last year's Jazzfest sales. The Megastore hosted 19 in-store performances in three days and offered music fans the opportunity to meet and greet nearly 80 artists in seven days at the Virgin MegaTent signings on the grounds of Jazzfest. The top five best selling albums during Jazzfest were: Virgin's own compilation CD titled "Virgin MegaMusic New Orleans", "Jazz Biography Series" by Louis Armstrong, "Live Down the Road" by Marcia Ball, "Sunrise over Sea" by the John Butler Trio and The Greatest Hits by Better than Ezra.

Virgin Megastores saw a 15% increase in sales at this year's Coachella festival, held in Indio, CA, and hosted 14 artist signings at the Virgin MegaTent. The biggest draw at the Virgin MegaTent was for The Dresden Dolls, who greeted over 200 fans at their signing. The top five best sellers during the Coachella festival were "Silent Alarm" by Bloc Party, "Funeral" by Arcade Fire, "Crackle" by Bauhaus and self-titled CDs by The Bravery and The Dresden Dolls.

Virgin has sponsored the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival since 1999 and the Coachella Music Festival since 2001.

Virgin will also be sponsoring the upcoming New York Latin Funk Festival, The Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City and the Pride Festivals in Denver and Salt Lake City. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen