A Recap of Firefly Festival 2015

Published On June 30, 2015 | By Zoe Hannah | Music
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Photo Creds: Firefly/Joe Papeo

Without a doubt, the music is the best part about Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival. This year’s lineup offered something for everyone’s music tastes, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from kicking it to groups they hadn’t heard before or genres that they didn’t think they liked…

Gary Clark Jr. absolutely killed the blues game, as complimented by another of the genre’s modern talents, Benjamin Booker. Booker and his band were fucking incredible. He performed right as the sun was setting and sent his entire audience into a closed-eyed, hands-up, dancing marathon. I’d listen to that set a thousand more times if I could.

Steve Aoki drew in one of the largest crowds all weekend – and this was after rescheduling his performance due to the storm. His DJ set on Sunday had everyone within earshot jumping and screaming his name. (Yes, screaming his name.)

Paul McCartney and The Killers, Friday and Sunday’s headliners, respectively, drew in what must’ve been the entire population of the festival at the Main Stage. Paul closed out the first dry day of the festival with his own tunes and a bunch of The Beatles hits, including “Hey Jude.” As the third and final show on the last day of the hot, muddy festival, The Killers should’ve had a tough time getting everyone to dance. But, of course, they didn’t – the group sang nostalgic melodies that reminded everyone that the weekend’s trials and tribulations were all worth it.

And a bit about those trials and tribulations – Dover, Del. was hit with heavy rain on Wednesday night, causing the campgrounds and festival site to be infiltrated with mud. Particularly by the bathrooms, pits of mud tested the endurance of shoelaces and festival goers alike. Shoes were lost, but memories were made, and we all know that it was worth it.

fireflyThe rain eased up until Saturday night when a severe thunderstorm caused the festival to close early. Perhaps in a panic themselves, the festival organizers from Red Frog Events who announced the inclement weather sent musicians and attendees into chaos. Sublime with Rome was simply cut off in the middle of their set, only hearing about the announcement as the storm was happening. When he tried to apologize to his fans, Rome’s mic was cut off. He attempted to rally everyone together, but the storm was simply too dangerous – high speed winds, lightning, and torrential rain threatened the safety of the performers and the ticket holders. Needless to say, Saturday night’s cancellation was chaotic and simply disappointing. In what looked like a scene from the newest apocalypse movie, thousands of festival goers headed back to their campsites (which, apparently, they should’ve evacuated, but that was only communicated through social media and thus left many campers in their tents through the storm).

But the storm was simply a blip in a weekend full of sunshine, dancing and laughing – so back to the music. (Steve Aoki and The Chainsmokers were the only acts that could reschedule after Saturday’s cancellations, so shout out to them for hanging in there and putting on kickass Sunday shows.)

Sylvan Esso helped to kick off Friday’s lineup with smooth, synth-y hits like “Coffee.” Her chunky platform boots kicked into the air multiple times as singer Amelia Meath grooved to DJ Nick Sanborn’s undertones.

Later in the day, Modest Mouse boldly played their hit “Lampshades on Fire” early on in their set, leaving the rest of the show to deeper hits that everyone loved. With the stage lights dancing – along with a huge audience and the performers, themselves – their show was truly surreal.

As one of the biggest names afirefly4t the festival, Snoop Dogg’s crowd began rolling in 30 minutes before he even came on stage on Sunday evening. The audience jammed to Citizen Cope while they waited for the rapper and marijuana king to start performing. Obviously, as soon as he started, Snoop requested a blunt from the crowd, lit up on stage with a festival goer, and then proceeded to rap verses of his greatest hits, including Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” He sent the audience off to The Killers’ show with a clip of a Bob Marley track.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to describe the entirety and the essence of Firefly in a short review – you just have to experience it for yourself. And Red Frog Events has already announced Firefly’s 2016 dates… Check them out on the festival webpage, and start planning for next summer!

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