By TJ Millman
This year marked the sixth year of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, and Mother Nature showed mercy, holding off the rain and storms that forecasts had predicted throughout the weekend. The days were hot and humid, but the weather at night was pleasing as concert-goers flocked to see headliners like Twenty One Pilots, The Weeknd, and Chance the Rapper.
While many Firefly attendees were quick to praise the headliners, some also managed to discover new artists that they enjoyed. Milford native Jeremy Gaglione mentioned NF as one such artist. “I loved Twenty One Pilots, but part of the allure to music festivals is finding new artists to listen to. I really enjoyed the set by NF, and he was someone I had never even heard of. I go in to these days with an open mind and just appreciate all the different types of music,” Gaglione said.
This year’s festival was advertised as being fan-curated, and fans were allowed to vote on the acts that would be invited, as well as some of the extra amenities the festival offered. The result was a large variety of rap, electronic dance, and modern pop music, though Bob Dylan stands apart from that list.
These types of music led to a younger and smaller crowd than Firefly has seen in peak years, but many festival-goers did not mind at all. Kelli Warner, a 25 year-old medical student from Bridgeville, was glad to see a slightly-less crowded venue. “The crowd was still great, but it was nice to be able to walk through the festival without bumping in to people the entire time. In previous years, even the line to get in could take up to an hour to get through. This year may have had a slightly smaller crowd, but it made things run smoother,” Warner said.
Speaking of running smoother, Firefly also went cashless this year in an attempt to speed up concession lines. The result was a success and outside of the main dinner rush lines were reasonably short throughout the weekend.
Despite some complaints about a lack of rock music that had been a part of Firefly Festivals passed, the grounds were covered with people having a good time. Milford High School student MaKenna Hajek was at her first Firefly, and said that it is more than just the music that makes Firefly such a great time. “The music is awesome, but what makes Firefly so great is the whole experience. It’s so much fun to spend four days with your friends, listening to music, trying all the different foods, and just hanging out. The atmosphere here is just fun,” she said.
As Firefly transitioned into a more modern festival, in both its music and structure, the roots of the Firefly experience remained the same. People still spread out on the lawn to listen to music, and fun was in the air. The days were long, the weather was hot, and the weekend was unforgettable.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.