The Complete Guide to Firefly Music Festival
What Makes Firefly Different from Other Music Festivals?
One of the coolest things about Firefly Music Festival is that its creators started from scratch. They didn’t try to borrow from other festivals and instead they dreamt up the perfect “summer day” style festival. It was all about hanging with friends, chilling outside, and listening to great music. In 2012, Firefly Music Festival was born, the crowds descended upon Dover, and a huge community of loyal fans was created.
Now in its seventh year, Firefly is still going strong. Its directors have said they hope to make it a cultural institution, a rite of passage, and an unforgettable experience. So, say you only have room for one major music festival on your summer calendar… What makes Firefly different from other music festivals?
It’s on the East Coast
Yeah, yeah, we know about Coachella. We’ve heard.
But what about us folks on the other side of the country? Firefly gives us that summer festival experience we’re looking for. It’s within the vicinity of NYC, DC, Philly, and Baltimore without being in the actual cities. East coast people can get there quickly for a weekend away from the city.
Firefly is billed as the east coast’s premier music and camping festival.
And it is, kinda. Bonnaroo is in Tennessee, so we’re not counting it because it’s not close to the coast or any of its major cities. When you’re driving down with all your camping gear and buddies, that location just isn’t super convenient.
When Firefly started, there weren’t really any music festivals in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region of the country. Firefly has now become the biggest music festival on the coast that allows camping.
Of course, there are other big names who’ve managed to stick around. Governor’s Ball in New York draws a huge crowd, but it’s an urban festival in NYC so there’s no camping. Same with Panorama, Boston Calling, and even Hangout down in Alabama. So yeah, they don’t really give you that same festival experience.
The Multi-Day Camping Aspect
Speaking of camping, you’re either into it or your not. But when a music festival allows camping, it just changes the whole atmosphere. There’s comradery, chilled vibes, and the party never stops. There’s the special experience of sharing those four days and nights with your closest friends, weathering the elements, and spending time in tight quarters together.
You can cook out, play games, and pregame at your campsite. You necessarily make new friends because of the communal nature of camping while bonding with your old ones. (Seriously. There’s a girl on the Firefly Facebook page talking about how her group decided to camp next to random strangers one year… and now one of them is her husband!)
One of the best things about Firefly is the community of fans it brings together. And camping is a big part of that.
It’s Surrounded by Nature!
Another big selling point? The festival is set in a lush, wooded landscape with trees all around. Hey, they don’t call it The Woodlands for nothin’! Festivalgoers get to spend the entire weekend surrounded by leafy green trees in a very nature-forward setting. And we’ll take that any day over the scorching dry desert.
Firefly officials visited several venues before settling on Dover International Speedway, and one of its biggest selling points was the natural green setting offered by the area. They renamed the picturesque, tree-filled RV campground known simply as Lot 10 to “The Woodlands” and the festival’s backdrop was born. The grassy space was expanded from 87 acres to 300 acres by 2015.
Even with 90,000 fans in attendance, it doesn’t feel too crowded in The Woodlands during Firefly. And they incorporate the grounds into nature instead of pushing it aside. They’ve lit the trees throughout The Pathway and set up several Hammock Hangouts for people to relax.
Our friends @dogfishbeer want YOU to decide what this year's #FireflyAle is going to taste like! With a pale ale as the base, choose between grapefruit, yuzu or guava as the main ingredient! Comment below which ingredient you want featured in the #Firefly2018 Ale. Voting closes tomorrow 3/14 at midnight ET. 🍻🙌
So Many Extras
The Festival Map for 2018 hasn’t been announced yet, but if the past is anything to go by, we can only expect great things. They’ve got a Coffee House with caffeinated drinks, board games, and its own intimate music venue. There’s an on-site brewery run by Dogfish Head with tons of craft beers and even one specially made for Firefly (the fans voted on the secret ingredient, guava).
In the past, we’ve seen an arcade bar and lounge with vintage games and a farmers market with food, produce, and crafts. And of course, there’s The Hub, a meeting place filled with activities and amenities like morning yoga, food trucks, and late-night DJs for campers. The festival grounds are packed full of cool places to explore, and it’s pretty clear that Firefly is all about going above and beyond for the fans.