With the sun beating on your glittered skin, the body–to–body contact in the crowds, and the colorful clothing you picked out weeks in advance, attending a music festival is a rite of passage. It's a monetary investment and emotional investment, allowing you to curate a friend group you want to experience the late–night headliners and early morning indie groups with. This past weekend, Street travelled to Dover, Delaware for one of the most anticipated music festivals of the summer: Firefly. And what happened over the course of the three days was definitely not what we expected.
If you decide to go to the festival with a large group of friends, an option to heavily consider is camping. With a 10’x30’ campsite that allows up to six people, you can energize and prepare for the long day ahead, while able to come home between performances to relax, refresh, and refuel yourself. Because the festival is located in Dover, chances are it might rain for minutes or hours or days on end—make sure your tent is waterproof. And then make sure again.
Our first night spent on the tarp floor, it poured over our weather cover and still managed to seep into the sides of our plastic abode. You don't want to spend the next three nights praying for expedient evaporation, mostly because it probably won't happen. There is no need to recite an entire camping packing essentials list, but do realize you’ll need at least a portable burner stove, peanut butter and jelly, and lots and lots of baby wipes. There is no running water at the festival, so say goodbye to showers.
Speaking of no showers, chances are by the time Sunday rolls around, the last thing you’ll want to do is pack your sticky self into a skin–tight crop top and mini skirt. Make sure to pack cute but loose clothes to wear in case you decide comfort is much more important than obtaining the coveted Instagram pic.
An obviously important aspect of the music festival is the lineup for the weekend. Coachella this year witnessed Billie Eilish hopping around in front of thousands and Bonnaroo holds promises of Tame Impala pulling in a giant swaying crowd, but Firefly made sure it did not pale in comparison. The main performers for the three–day weekend in the country’s first state included Travis Scott and Post Malone, as well as groups like Brockhampton and Vampire Weekend.
This brings us to the next tip we offer: do not let your excitement for big names obscure the smaller groups. Firefly has multiple stages varying on the popularity of the artist, and chances are some of the songs scattered throughout your summer playlist are going to be performed at one of them. We found that standing at the front of lesser–known artists such as Snail Mail and SALES was an intimate experience that Post Malone couldn't necessarily guarantee. It also allows for a time to calm your heart rate down and drink all the water you’re going to be sweating out at the EDM tent.
Once the sunset fades into view (the most memorable one for us being during Vampire Weekend’s set, as “Hannah Hunt” began to play) we realized it was important to fit our last meal before the acts rolled back–to–back into the night. Obviously, you'll want to stay for the entire night. Usually, following the large headliner each day, the night concludes with a DJ performance—think of one giant, neon dance party. These were my favorite moments of the entire festival, despite not being able to feel my feet (another tip: pack thick socks!).
It was during Zedd’s set Friday night that was the absolute highlight. Despite our friend group getting separated (keep your locations on, please) and the abundance of unfamiliar faces, there is something strangely intimate about jumping around next to strangers until two in the morning. Crawling back to our tent for the night, we managed to do it all over again for the next two days—only with Kygo and DJ Snake.
Highlights of Firefly 2019 include:
- Post Malone drunkenly tossing his red Solo cup at us.
- The insanely refreshing yet overpriced lemonade.
- Stopping by the Silent Disco between sets and screaming lyrics nobody else can hear.
Lowlights of Firefly 2019 include:
- Oddly–shaped tan lines.
- Seeing how dirty a Baby Wipe can truly get.
- The fact that Lizzo wasn’t performing.
Overall, would we recommend attending Firefly Musical Festival? Given that it is on a more relaxed level than other big–name festivals with the same amount of talent and excitement, coupled with the late nights and neon memories, the answer is a strong yes. Even if just for one year, it is an experience worth trying out and donning as a badge of honor on your colorful life moments board. Wear sunscreen, pack body glitter, and remember that there will be fewer times in your youth you’ll want to remember more.