music, Pop Culture, Reviews

Festival Review From a First-Timer: Day 1 and 2 at FireFly Music Festival

My husband and I arrived in Delaware late Thursday afternoon, just in time to catch a couple of shows at the Firefly Music Festival. Firefly is a relatively new festival, this was its third year in existence and this was my first festival.

Photo taken by Brian Topper
Photo taken by Brian Topper

We bought VIP tickets because we thought we would be more comfortable — nicer accommodations and better bathrooms. I also got press passes to enable us to get into the Artist Lounge.

We checked into our hotel and headed over to the festival. We parked our car in the VIP section and then walked over a bridge and down a road to check in.  There were so many people. I was actually surprised that so many people were there the first night. It was a bit of a mess. If you don’t like crowds and don’t like to be pressed up against other people, you wouldn’t have been happy with the check in process into the festival.

“Just go through the crowds,” said one of the security guards. It was challenging and very uncomfortable so we left the check in area and walked back toward another gate we saw before check in.  Our media passes let us in the gate with no people and we got into the park.

Upon entering, we were given a schedule and map.  There were seven stages — Firefly Main Stage, The Backyard, The Lawn, The Porch, The Forest, The Coffee House and The Big Break. All the stages weren’t open Thursday night. So we watched a couple of bands including: Courtney Barnet, Phosphorescent and Amos Lee.  I really wanted to see Local Natives but it was on too late and we were both tired.

Photo taken by Nelson Vinokur
Photo taken by Nelson Vinokur

On Friday morning, we met up with our friends — Madeline and Steve and Nelson and June. We got to the Festival a little earlier than I would have liked but Nelson wanted to catch a band called, Secret Sisters so we got there early.  The crowds weren’t as bad in the morning and it seemed to take less time getting into the festival. As soon as we went through the maze of people at check in, we headed over to The Porch to see Secret Sisters and I’m glad we did.  I had never heard of them before.  They played country music and their voices were perfectly in tune with each other.  The harmonies were a delight to listen to at the start of the day.

Photo taken by Brian Topper
Photo taken by Brian Topper

After that, I felt as if we were on an endless quest to see everyone playing.  Brian and I split up from the group because we wanted to see different bands.  We ended up walking about 10 miles during the day but saw The Kongos, from South Africa (I love the song – Come Hear Me Now), Bleachers (which was practically the same set that they played in Brooklyn when we saw them a couple of months ago), High Highs (a new Australian band that we saw in the Coffee House and I really enjoyed their “trippy” type of music), Toxic Airborne Event, American Authors (also in the Coffee House and they were incredible), Arctic Monkeys (where we finally met up with another friend, Stephanie), Band of Horses, Young the Giant and then the evening culminated with the Foo Fighters on the Main Stage.

Photo taken by Nelson Vinokur
Photo taken by Nelson Vinokur

It was exhausting, especially in the heat. Even first thing in the morning when we watched the Secret Sisters, it was stifling. We found a shaded area with seats and thought it was the VIP section so we walked over and sat down. There was no one there. Within moments, a woman came by and told us the section was for those with a disability and we had to leave.

At one point, Brian and I went over to the Hammock section and although every hammock was taken, we sat on a blanket and  laid there for a half hour. It was nice to get out of the sun.  (The park has very little to no shade.)

There were 80,000 people at the Festival. Looking out into the crowd, I have never seen so many people!

Things I found unique were:

  • All the young women (and some older women too) wore flowers around their head.
  • Several folks in the crowd were holding up big photos of David Bowie, Bob Saget (Full House) and some other random people.
  • And, we weren’t the oldest ones at the festival.  There were plenty of baby boomers there.

The evening ended with a drunk older guy telling our small group that we couldn’t sit near him and his “peps” to a huge burp during the performance of Foo Fighters lead singer, Dave Grohl.

First two day observation — Hmmm… Interesting!



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