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6/13/2005

 
MSN Music Kicks Off MSN Music Road Tour at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Six Music Fans Are Given Chance to Live Like Rock Stars on Nationwide MSN Music Road Tour All Summer Long

REDMOND, Wash., June 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MSN Music ( http://music.msn.com/ ) is offering music fans the chance to live like rock stars during the 14-week summer long MSN(R) Music Road Tour, which kicked off June 10 at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 2005 in Manchester, Tenn. Six winners recently selected to tour the country from June 9 through Sept. 5 on a customized high-tech MSN Music tour bus will be hitting major music festivals and concerts all summer long. Content from the summer Road Tour is available at http://music.msn.com/roadtour.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )

Participants were screened through an online application that focused on a passion for the lifestyle of music. The 45-foot-long customized MSN Music bus is equipped to sleep all six "road stars" for the summer and will transform into an MSN Music Lounge that will be open to the public along the tour route, stopping in 37 states and giving road stars access to more than 100 live music acts.

The tour bus is equipped with state-of-the-art laptop computers, plasma-screen TVs, high-end stereo equipment and high-speed Internet. The road stars will be chronicling their experience by maintaining blogs on MSN Spaces where they can post photos, write reviews and share interviews with some of their favorite musicians that they will meet along the way. Fans of the experience will get a glimpse into the life of these music extremists, plus offer blog feedback and comments. Since the road stars were chosen based on their music expertise, people from across the U.S. will be able to connect to their playlists via MSN Spaces and then map back to http://music.msn.com/ to purchase downloads of songs they've just read about on a roadie's Space. The Spaces are scheduled to be live by the end of June.

MSN Music road stars will be giving away free download cards to MSN Music and portable music devices throughout the summer at the hottest summer music festivals nationwide as part of MSN Music's Meet New Music campaign. As the road stars attend major music festivals and concerts, they will post onto http://music.msn.com/roadtour festival reviews and artist interviews in addition to updating their blogs with playlists highlighting their favorite tracks from MSN Music. The experience is designed to tap into the passion of music fans and offer people everywhere the ability to meet, hear and experience new and exciting music through MSN Music.

"The MSN Music Road Tour represents the ultimate all-access pass to music all over the country and a dream come true for the music fans who have been selected," said Rob Bennett, senior director of MSN Entertainment. "These music fans will be empowered to share their tastes, opinions and passion for music with not only the thousands of people they come in contact with throughout the country, but potentially with millions more through their daily blogs and journals from the road."

The six road stars were selected from a nationwide search and chosen based on their passion for music and obsession of a particular genre:

-- Rebecca Foster, 22, is a country girl at heart. She has been a music promoter and worked with small local labels.

-- Shea Rose, 29, is a jazz enthusiast from Boston and is closely tied to the area's vibrant underground music scene.

-- Christopher Hart, 24, moves to the groove of electronica. He is from New York City, where he is involved in the music and club scene and works as a local music promoter.

-- Justin Gayle, 24, is hip-hop all the way. He grooves in San Francisco and exemplifies a hip-hop attitude with his everyday style.

-- Joel Voorman, 21, is a classic rock fan from Ohio. Joel loves to share his opinion about the local music scene by updating his blog regularly.

Profiles of each of the participants will be available at http://www.music.msn.com/roadtour .

MSN Music Road Tour Dates and Cites: First Leg (dates and locations subject to change)

-- Cleveland, Ohio: June 15
-- Washington, D.C.: June 17
-- Philadelphia, Pa.: June 19
-- New York, N.Y.: June 20 and 21
-- Atlanta, Ga.: June 24
-- Miami, Fla: June 25 and 26
-- Tallahassee, Fla.: June 27
-- Memphis, Tenn.: July 4

About MSN Music

MSN Music ( http://music.msn.com/ ) is a leading online music store with over 1 million tracks available for download in all genres. Songs downloaded from MSN Music can be played on more than 70 portable music devices that support the high-quality Windows Media(R) format. In addition to songs and videos from the all the major music labels, MSN Music offers tracks from 3,000 independent labels, making it easy to find what you love.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 400 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 41 markets and 20 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft, MSN and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk,photodesk@prnewswire.com

Source: Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Christine Andrews of Microsoft Corp., +1-425-705-8974, or
candrews@microsoft.com; or Jason Padgitt, +1-310-854-8140, or
JPadgitt@rogersandcowan.com, or Ivy Mollenkamp, +1-310-854-8131, or
IMollenkamp@rogersandcowan.com, both of Rogers & Cowan, for Microsoft Corp.

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/




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