I’ve been talking (and tweeting) non-stop about Firefly Music Festival since it was announced earlier this spring; as the first weekend-long, camping, legit headling bands plus smaller equally-amazing acts, music festival the Mid-Atlantic region has ever see (Warped Tour does not count, guys), it’s kind of a big deal. I may live in the Big Apple now, but I grew up in small town Maryland, and let me tell you, no concert worth seeing happens around those parts. You’re looking at a 2-hour plus drive to D.C. or Philly or Norfolk to see anything cool. Needless to say, when I saw that a festival with Jack White and The Black Keys headlining was happening in Dover, Delaware for $180 ($220 now) for a three-day pass, I got right on that shit.
But maybe you’re not acting on a desire to see musical notoriety come to your childhood region. Why should you care about this festival when there’s Bonnaroo and Lolla and SXSW and all that jazz?
For one, there’s the lineup. Headliners: the aforementioned Jack White and Black Keys, tickets for whom (if you can even get them before they sell out) run around $50 each, then Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, and the just-added-today (and fulfilling all my 7th grade dreams) Modest Mouse. You’d be spending over $200 just to see any 4 of those bands. Besides the headliners though, the organizers really did their homework on bands who are fantastic but not totally blown up yet: my favorite of the moment Reptar, last year’s fav The Head and the Heart, The Knocks, Grouplove, Mayor Hawthorne, Bombay Bicycle Club. And then there are the solid additions that will definitely put on a swell show: Lupe Fiasco, Cake, The Flaming Lips, Passion Pit, Silversun Pickups, Young the Giant, Cults, Chiddy Bang. And that’s not even everyone! So you’re already looking at a well-curated selection of musical tastes in varying degrees of popularity that’s well worth the $220 price tag.
Two, location location location. If you’re in Cali, well, this isn’t your thing. But for all us on the heavily populated East Coast, the central Delaware location is pretty prime. It’s easily accessible from New York, D.C., Philly, and Baltimore by train; even Boston is only a few hours away. And if you’re driving, it’s a straight shot off I-95 (a super easy trek I’ve done innumerable times). How many non-exclusive music festivals are a 2.5 hr drive from New York City? None. Literally. Also, it’s not Texas or Tennesse–less sweating and chance of heatstroke.
Three, this is the first one! Ever! And maybe I’m counting my memories before they’re made, but the inauguration of any festival is a story in and of itself. If this becomes the next played-out, everyone-and-their-brother-going scene in a few years (I see you, Coachella), I’ll be very happy to say I got there before the crowds did.
They also got their own beer from Dogfish Head. Andthere is an option to see any of the shows from a hot air balloon, if you shell out for the VIP glamping pass (only $1200!). That’s pretty baller.
I’ve made my case. If you’re not convinced… get out of here. If you are, well, I’ll see you on the music field.