For young people, especially college students, summer is synonymous with music festivals. With the season quickly approaching, students are becoming increasingly excited and prepared for their festival adventures. From the elaborate outfits to the decadent food trucks to the flashy modern art pieces, music festivals have completely revamped the music industry.
University students are planning to attend Delaware’s own Firefly Music Festival. The festival’s 2018 lineup is stacked with performers like Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and more.
“It looks like such a fun atmosphere where everyone is super happy all the time,” Drew Mulcahy, a sophomore education major, says. “Artists from all over the place come, and people all over the country know about it, and it’s just in small little Delaware, which kind of gives us a name.”
Last year, the festival organizers expected an attendance of around 90,000, bringing a young, vibrant crowd into Dover, Delaware. The festival also gives an opportunity to local restaurants and businesses to provide foods and other services, in addition to the many other sights the festival prepares.
Cullen Robinson is a sophomore communications major at the university. He has been an avid attendee at Firefly for years, and looks forward to camping out at the festival and attending the entire weekend this year, including early admission on Wednesday. He still wears his bracelet from last year’s Firefly Music Festival on his wrist to illustrate his dedication.
“Firefly does a really good job of having other things to do,” Robinson says. “At the campsites, they have volleyball courts, they do yoga in the morning and they have a bunch of stores that sell cute little knick knacks.”
Firefly has a coffeehouse, a brewery, markets, a place for concert goers to hang out in hammocks, face painting, a silent disco and even a treehouse. It also provides campgrounds for attendees who want to sleep at the festival overnight.
Kelly James is a junior public policy and women and gender studies double major. Like Mulcahy, this will be her first time attending Delaware’s Firefly Festival.
“I feel like I’ve been in Delaware way too long to not have gone to Firefly,” James says. “I really like the artists that are performing, and I feel like the price for all the people that you’re going to see is just so worth it. It’s definitely my scene.”
Festival wear is also a very big part of the Firefly experience. Last year, Teen Vogue released an article on the 20 best Firefly looks, bringing even more attention to the state of Delaware. These looks include floral crop tops, headbands, combat boots, hats and vibrant jewelry.
“During the summer, there’s not a lot of time where a bunch of people our age get together in one area like we do in college,” Mulcahy says. “So it’ll be a nice little vacation for us in a place that is close.”
Festivals have become more of a destination than a concert. Festivals like New York City’s Governors Ball even provide payment plans to help concert goers afford the experience, like a vacation. At a big music festival, you can find endless food and drink, places to sleep and shopping.
The festival is almost sold out, with weekend passes on sale for $329 and single day passes for $119. But according to many students, it’s worth it. The festival’s motto is “Not your typical festival. One weekend. One woodlands. One community.”
“I feel like people should experience a music festival if they can.” Robinson says. “It’s so cool to me that you can go to this kind of place, and meet all of these new people, and it’s just so inclusive. If you can go, you should.”
Firefly Music Festival will take place from June 14-17 at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway.