Spark of Success: Firefly Music Festival 2014
DOVER, DEL. — Two years ago, this correspondent had the opportunity to see the beginnings of what is now one of the largest music festivals on the east coast as a volunteer at Firefly Music Festival. At that time, there were a total of four stages and about 40,000 festival-goers. In the two years since, the event has nearly doubled with over 80,000 festival-goers, 7 stages, and a fourth day of music.
This year, the festival started on Thursday evening with headliners RAC and Local Natives. Local Natives are a seasoned act, and as usual they gave an outstanding performance. The emotion of “Columbia” and “Airplanes” was almost palpable, as the band’s silky harmonies slide over the crowd.
On Friday, New Politics give an energetic performance, and Portugal. the Man followed with a continuous show of sensational jams. As for the headliners that night, the Foo Fighters gave a solid rock show along with nostalgic stories from 20 years as a rock band.
Saturday was packed with an exorbitant amount of awesome bands. This correspondent caught some outrageously good acts: Lucius, Wild Child, and Cage The Elephant, all did an excellent job. Most notably, Cage The Elephant, with lead singer, Matt Shultz, being full of energy, asking the crowd to match his dance moves and dance as weird as possible.
One of the most anticipated acts of the festival, OutKast, was also on Saturday. They played a set full of hits, including “Ms. Jackson,” “Roses,” and “So Fresh, So Clean,” to a very pleased and energetic crowd. The show proceeded smoothly and the thousands of festival goers seemed happy and satisfied.
Vance Joy played a lovely set early Sunday, and even though he forget the lyrics to “Snaggletooth,” we can all forgive this fault because of his adorable Aussie accent.
If you had not got your fill of music from noon to midnight when the headliners ended, the music continued well into the night with DJ’s such as Pretty Lights, Cash Cash, and Big Gigantic, providing dance and electronic tunes. If any of those did not suit your style, there was always the silent disco where music was pumped through personal headphones. A favorite late night DJ was Gregg Michael, who is more popularly known as GirlTalk. GirlTalk put on an excellent show full of fun mashups, people dancing on stage, and a whole crowd of people partying and dancing.
To say the amount of music and people was overwhelming would be a bit of an understatement. The bands were excellent and always started right on time, but unless you got there at least 45 minutes early, you were not going to be very close to most of the acts playing. With over 80,000 people attending, it was difficult to find space or a good view at times. The festival grounds were large, and there was always an act playing, even when one was in the camp area music was blasting from “The Hub” and other campers tents. The grounds were also covered in dust, and with the thousands of people there it was hard not to breath in the dust that was scuffled up by thousands of excited feet.
If the acts themselves were not entertaining, then the amount of colorful people there could always suffice. Girls were adorned with flower headbands, crop tops, and any bohemian fashion you could imagine. Most guys were either shirtless, wearing a tank-top, or covered in body paint. There was never a dull moment with hula-hoopers, dancers, or drunk party-goers having a good time.
After four days of dust, sweat, and no showers, it was time to go home. Overall, the festival was a great opportunity to see incredible bands at a reasonable price, to hang out with old friends, and met new ones along the way. For those planning on attending the festival in 2015, remember to bring lots of sunscreen, be ready to sweat, and enjoy the continual chorus of music surrounding you.
Did you go to Firefly this year? Tell me about your experience in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich