Last year’s inaugural Firefly Festival was the dirty little secret of 2012’s festival season. It managed to go relatively unnoticed, despite the fact that it boasted an incredibly strong lineup and atmosphere to rival any of the major US fests. So, it was a little hard to know what to expect for the second go-around this weekend in Dover, DE. Sometime during the third hour of waiting in standstill traffic on Highway 1 South, however, it was pretty obvious that word had gotten out. Everything from the size of the campgrounds to the number of attendees had almost doubled in size. Rather than having bit off more than the still-fledgling festival could chew, the weekend once again proved to be a resounding success.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, and Foster the People rounded out the top of the bill. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking – but what these headliners lacked in the hip department was made up for by an above average list of mid/lower level acts. Combine that with a serene, evergreen-lined setting, gracious staffers, and ample shade and you’ve got a festival with the potential to stick around. The folks who put on Firefly are clearly in it for the long haul, and they rose to the occasion with flying colors.
I actually lost count of the number of bands who took time out of their sets to specifically note how well they had been treated by the festival staff. It was something you don’t see too often, and bodes well for many Fireflys to come. Perhaps it was the shady oak tree around every corner, or the area of woods devoted solely to hammocks, but Firefly’s stress-free temperament cannot be overstated. Especially after the mud-covered clusterfuck that was Governor’s Ball earlier this month, it was hard to disagree with Firefly’s not-so-modest tagline: “The East Coast’s premiere music experience.”
Photography by Yetunde Dada.