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Firefly Music Festival – The Woodlands – Dover, DE – June 21 to 23, 2019 (A Concert Review)

Post Malone – Firefly Music Festival – Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE – June 23, 2019 – Photo by Isa Barnett © 2019

Firefly Music Festival – The Woodlands – Dover, DE – June 21 to 23, 2019

Although this was the first year the Firefly Music Festival was under the new ownership of AEG Presents (who also runs Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival), it was not a disappointment. The festival, which is based out of the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware, was shortened to three nights this year but that did not stop over 50,000 people from attending. This was probably due to the impressive lineup of artists – from Panic! at the Disco on Friday night to Travis Scott on Saturday night, and Post Malone on Sunday night. Around these concerts, festivalgoers can see bands from all genres – from Tyler, the Creator to Death Cab for Cutie to Zedd!

When festivalgoers want a break from concerts they can relax on the hammocks under shaded areas, go to the Nook and play with butterflies, or they can get food at any of the amazing food vendors. Next to the Nook is a calm shaded area where anyone can pick up a book and put their feet up, listening to the soft music in the distance. There are cell phone charging stations and lockers in different spots throughout the festival. Water bottle filling stations are available as well. The Bazaar has amazing vendors coming from all over the east coast selling handmade jewelry, costume jackets, and much more. People with VIP passes can get their hair cut or braided, or they can sit on Adirondack chairs and enjoy a close-up view of the performances.

Festival goers could either camp at North or South Hub each providing a small stage, food trucks, and shops with any kind of festival essential. The energy at the campgrounds was lively and energetic with everyone mingling and making friends with other campers. After concerts are over festival attendees can be found hanging out around their campgrounds until late into the night laughing and talking about their favorite performances. 21-year-old Seth, who camped at South hub with a large group of friends defined the festival as, “a trip that exceeded my expectations. Firefly is more than just the music; it’s about creating intimate and special experiences with people you have never met.” Thursday night’s pre-show performances were a little rainy, but by Friday afternoon there was nothing by clear skies.

The Friday night’s headliners were Tyler, the Creator, Panic! At the Disco, and Zedd. Tyler, the Creator’s performance was truly unique coming out in a blonde wig and keeping up with the “Igor” persona asking for his hair to be brushed on stage. The crowd was enthusiastic for him as much as Panic! At the Disco who put on an engaging show after not performing since the conclusion of their world tour in Germany. Panic! At the Disco’s lead vocalist, Brendan Urie put on a show showing off his wide vocal range and hitting every high note perfectly. The night ended with Zedd’s energetic EDM set at the Prism stage accompanied by an astonishing laser light show. Glow sticks were thrown in the air and everyone was jumping along to the beats and songs played by Zedd.

The long-anticipated performance by Travis Scott was cut short by 20 odd minutes but still left the giant crowd of people energized and excited. Concert attendees were jumping wildly and singing every lyric of one of his more popular songs “SICKO MODE,” and everyone was in awe when he rose high into the air on a platform.

On the final night of the festival, Vampire Weekend preceded Post Malone with a performance of songs from all four of their albums. Backdropped with a giant globe, Vampire Weekend put on an electrifying show forcing the crowd to go from swaying back and forth to moshing in a pit. Post Malone’s show ended Firefly with a bang. Although the production on the Firefly stage was simple, his show was exciting and high energy giving one last kick to the exhausted festivalgoers. Some of the audience could be found relaxing on the grass listening to the music while others were dancing in the crowd.

Some other notable artists were Brockhampton, whose set was made to look like an airplane. They were all infectiously high energy coming on one at a time in silver metallic jumpsuits. Walk the Moon also turned a sizable crowd closed the day as one of the last alternative bands to perform. Bishop Briggs left many festival attendees with their mouths wide open shocked by her beauty and fun spirit. Until late into the night silent discos were available. This is where the audience puts on headphones and can switch between listening to different DJs performing live. It is a surreal experience to take off the headphones and watch as people around you dance to completely different songs all at the same time.

First-time festival goer Camila described the festival as, “one of the best weekends of my life.” Her favorite part of the festival was, “the fact that there was always something to do even if it was like four in the morning you could go and just dance around at silent disco.” She also loved the lineup calling it “incredible” despite the discussion earlier in the year that some veteran festivalgoers were disappointed with the 2019 lineup.

This excitement is felt in the air at the festival. Firefly is one of the only places that you can hug strangers or dance around without any judgmental looks. The food is absolutely delicious and can conquer any craving. The hammocks and the bazaar are great places to take breaks from the concerts. The music lineup was unlike most other lineups with bands from all different genres of music. We can’t wait to see what Firefly 2020 has to offer. We hope to see you all there next year!

Tali Kamionkowski

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: June 30, 2019.

Photos by Isa Barnett © 2019

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