Firefly Music Festival 2018 returned to Dover, Delaware, June 14-17. After seven years Firefly is still the largest music festival in the northeast. This year over 70,000 people attended the festival and it is looking like the largest year yet. Firefly featured a very diverse lineup with some really big headliners such as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, and The Killers. Other incredible acts included Foster the People, Portugal. The Man, Odesza, and Martin Garrix.
The festival takes place in the Woodlands at Dover Downs Racetrack. Many festivalgoers camp at the festival as it is convenient and a really great experience. There are over a dozen camping options from Wednesday arrival, Thursday GA, Group, VIP, and even pre-setup souvenir tents. Those who camped out on Wednesday had access to the festival from the side closest to the main stage. All other camping required people to come in through the main entrance. This year, Firefly implemented a few changes to camping by requiring camping wristbands and also by searching cars. With safety always being a growing concern at festivals, the increased measures are an added peace of mind. Within the campgrounds, there are “Hubs” that have showers, bathrooms, medical tents, food and clothing vendors, and small stages for pre-festival performances.
In the festival grounds, there are eight stages; the Firefly (main), the Backyard, the Lawn, the Pavilion, the Porch, the Toyota Music Den, the Treehouse, and the Coffeehouse stage. At the Firefly stage, headliners Eminem, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, and Kendrick Lamar closed out the festival each night with some ~killer~ performances. It is the largest stage and it brought in such big crowds that even Eminem said the crowd was one of the largest he has ever seen. Over at the Backyard stage Portugal. the Man, alt-J, Logic, and EDM artists Big Gigantic, Chromeo, Martin Garrix, and Odesza captivated music fans from all genres. The Treehouse, Coffeehouse, and Toyota Music Den were home to smaller, more intimate, sets.
EDM at Firefly
While Firefly is a mixed genre festival, there is typically a good mix of EDM artists. This year’s EDM headliners were Chromeo, Big Gigantic, Martin Garrix, and Odesza. Having such big names at the festival brought in a large crowd of EDM fans. Massive crowds flocked to the Backyard Stage late each night to catch their sets. The Pavilion Stage is the main EDM stage and it hosted acts such as Two Friends, Kasbo, Cheat Codes, San Holo, and Whethan. There was a good mix of EDM genres and fans were thrilled.
In addition to all the shows, there were so many things to do at the festival, along with some great vendors. Firefly has an air-conditioned arcade filled with retro video games. There is also a silent disco with two DJ’s you can flip between. Dogfish Head Brewing Company, a local Delaware favorite, has a beer tent in the festival that you can visit. Additionally, there are two hammock hideouts in the woods filled with Eno’s to relax in and shade yourself from the sun.
Over the past five years, this festival has grown so much. It started as a small festival with only 30,000(ish) attendees its first year and has nearly tripled in just seven years. People now come from all over the country for Firefly. The festival brings in better acts each year and the acts from earlier years have grown so much they’re headlining. The festival is a good blend of different genres so it’s perfect if you love a little bit of everything. Firefly partners with St. Jude to raise money each year to fight against childhood cancer. Firefly works its hardest to be environmentally conscious and leave The Woodlands as beautiful as before.