Guest Author: Stephanie Aronson
Firefly may seem like your typical mainstream festival at first. It’s a city festival in Dover, DE with headliners this year of Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine, Kings of Leon, and Deadmau5. But if you look closely, this festival has some gems hidden inside.
Apart from the headliners, there were some acts that really blew me away. Tame Impala took the Backyard Stage through an incredible psychedelic journey Friday night. Ludacris’ Friday night set was rescheduled to an early afternoon Sunday time slot and boy did he pack the Lawn Stage out! I have never seen so many people arrive at a festival in the early afternoon and that was all because of him. Earth, Wind & Fire kept the energy up Sunday night and I boogied on down to one of my all-time favorite songs, “September”. Nostalgia hit strong when Blink-182 hit the main stage and played us all of our 1999 and early 2000s favorites. And I FINALLY got to see more than two songs of M83! It’s been a long time coming and I’m thankful Firefly could provide me with what I’ve been needing for so many years.
Now, it’s not always ALL about the music and the best non-music attraction was definitely the Beercade provided by Bud Light! Tucked away between the Porch Stage and the Treehouse was a bar and free arcade with all of the childhood games we used to (and still) love like Pac-Man, Skee Ball, and Dance Dance Revolution. The added benefit of it being an enclosed, air-conditioned (at least I think it was) tent made it even more enjoyable.
One really neat thing Firefly did this year was the use of sign language interpreters on the main stage! During performances I would look to the right side of the stage (in front of the ADA platform) and there they were, bobbing along while interpreting the song lyrics. I hope to see this starting to become more of a trend at other festivals in the near future.
There were also video screens at the three biggest stages. I usually only see these at main stages so this was especially amazing to be able to enjoy seeing the performers on the other stages without getting too lost in the massive crowds. This made that Ludacris set that much more awesome as I’ve never really been able to see how expressive he is when he raps.
The incentive-based recycling program provided by Global Inheritance was an awesome way for anyone to get involved with the festival and it was incredible seeing people get so into it. Check them or other similar programs like this out at your next festival!
All-in-all, I was overly impressed with Firefly, it exceeded all of my expectations and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for 2017 and the years to come.