The Woodlands of Dover, DE hosted its fifth annual Firefly Music Festival this past weekend, and it certainly did not disappoint. From the hilarious posters and totems festival-goers brought to the body marbling at the Toyota Tent to the delicious Hawaiian stir fry, I’d say that this year’s festival left me with as many fun memories as last year’s did.
Compared to the previous year though, the lineup was a bit hard to follow-up after- I mean, come on, they had Sir Paul McCartney performing for two and a half hours! Firefly managed to pull it off, however, with having some of the biggest names as headliners for every night: Two Door Cinema Club, Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding, Florence + the Machine, Deadmau5, Blink 182 and Mumford & Sons.
Thursday had some muggy, cloudy weather, but other than that, it certainly set the premise for a great weekend. Alternative dreampop band, LANY, opened the festival with some great tunes and jokes about being the “best band playing at the worst set time” which was soon followed by Jack Garratt’s powerful and hilarious set – honestly, he is one goofy guy with one hell of a voice. Other memorable moments from Thursday not only came from Two Door Cinema Club’s amazing reunion performance but also from AlunaGeorge’s seductive dancing.
The weather was better on Friday with sunshine in the sky and in fans’ faces when acts like The Wombats, Saint Motel, Night Riots, and Vince Staples beared through the heat to give their best during their sets. And the night just got better from there on out with Tame Impala’s atmospheric vibes, Of Monsters and Men’s spellbinding and well-known songs, and Ellie Goulding’s energetic dance party. The night was left to Kings of Leon who put even higher expectations for the rest of the weekend.
In my overall opinion, I’d have to say that Saturday was by far the best day for that entire weekend. Well, let me re-phrase that. Firefly Main Stage had the best set schedule for the entire weekend. Chairlift opened the Firefly Stage that day and captivated the fans’ complete attention and love for Caroline’s insane vocal range. Chvrches then followed-up Chairlift’s set with Lauren Mayberry looking as adorable as a pocket elf, and then Chvrches’ set was followed by Catfish & the Bottlemen’s clumsy yet headbangingly awesome set. Sounds like it couldn’t have gotten any better, right? Nope, wrong. Because Florence + the Machine stole the night by attracting what I’d say was the biggest crowd of the day. Her energy on stage exuded to the crowd as she belted out her powerful voice into the full moon and elegantly pranced around with a pride flag. And for whatever energy they had left after dancing to Florence’s emotional and spiritual exorcise of a set, fans waited for Deadmau5 who brought a whole other party of his own.
I think Sunday was the recovery day as much as it was everyone trying their best to get through that very last day. The heat and humidity was a lot to take in for 3 days, but Firefly-goers pulled themselves together to give their unconditional support to acts like Elle King, The 1975, Transviolet and Grouplove. Nostalgia was definitely in the air for Blink182’s set as I surprisingly knew more Blink songs than I thought. From having a fantastic weekend, my expectations were still pretty high for Mumford & Sons and Major Lazer to close out the festival, and yet again, everything lived up to and completely passed those expectations.
I don’t know what Firefly has in store for everyone next year in terms of lineup, but they better out-do themselves because they have some pretty big shoes to fill after this year’s.
By Kiera Hood