Firefly Music Festival 2016 Review

Festival experience with tips and advice for future Firefly Music Festival attendees.

Firefly Music Festival fifth anniversary: review and advice for concert-goers.

Photo courtesy of Caitlin Kennedy.

After four days of musical performances, endless dancing and time well-spent with friends at the fifth annual Firefly Music Festival, it was time to leave the Woodlands, our home for the past four days, and head home. As we packed up our campsite on Monday morning, we reminisced on our action packed weekend. The one thing on everybody’s mind was how we couldn’t wait for next year, because we were definitely coming back. However, next year we would know how to do Firefly a bit better, after learning from our first experience.

This year, the Firefly Music Festival in the Woodlands of Dover, Del. celebrated its fifth anniversary with headliners Mumford & Sons, Florence and The Machine, Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding, and Major Lazer. You could feel the excitement in the air as thousands of excited fans wandered throughout the festival grounds on their way to concerts. Each attendee had their own agenda of which artists to see that day.

“Firefly was one of the best weekends of my life and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys listening to music, especially if you also like camping,” said Ava Rooney, who also attended Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2015. “Seeing an artist live is one of my favorite activities because I love being able to feel the loud music and the bass pumping through my body. The best part is when the artist first comes on stage and the entire crowd goes wild. My favorite act was definitely seeing A$ap Rocky front row, with Disclosure and Tame Impala tied for second.”

“I loved being able to see some of my favorite artists perform so close together,” said Will Swain, whose first festival experience was at this year’s Firefly Music Festival. “My favorite performance of the entire festival was Mumford & Sons for sure. They unexpectedly released a new album on the Friday of Firefly, and it was so cool to hear it live for the first time.”

I went to Firefly in a group of seven friends, and we purchased two camping passes to accommodate all of us. On one of our lots we set up our seven-person tent and on the next lot we set up our canopy tent, which I highly recommend even if you only have one lot. The extra shady space to relax in our lawn chairs was nice to have to keep us cool on the hot days. Our site was about a two-minute walk to the closest arrangement of porta-potties the festival had set up within the campgrounds, and this one also had a water spigot.

“My biggest recommendation for anyone interested in Firefly is to use the water spigot as a free shower,” said Rooney. “The cold water definitely saved me.”

Food for seven people among four days at a music festival can get a bit pricy. I recommend bringing a small propane tank grill and a couple frozen burgers, hotdogs or veggie burgers to hold you over while you’re spending time at your campsite. My friends and I had a cooler full of dry snacks, which helped keep the bugs out of our food. I recommend bringing granola bars and sandwich materials or cereal for a breakfast, but you could take it a step up like we did. Make sure to not forget the small skillet, and bring enough eggs for the four days to start off the day.

Staying hydrated throughout the day is one of the most important rules. Definitely don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle or a hydration backpack a Camelbak. There are several water refill stations around the festival grounds, so be sure to take advantage of them and fill up for free in between concerts.

At the end of the festival I learned that although we had a game plan going in with our schedule of concerts to see each day, it was hard to follow. We ended up having an amazing time, so it’s alright if you miss that one concert, because there are so many other concerts to enjoy!

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