STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Looking at the top destination music festivals across the country, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival is quite green at just four years young.
But the four-day musical event, now at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, has grown quickly by reining in top-notch headliners, learning quickly from growing pains and appealing to more than one type of music fan.
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Organizers of Firefly announced earlier this week that they were expecting upward of 90,000 people to attend the festival that kicked of Thursday and runs through Sunday, June 21.
Paul McCartney, The Killers, Kings of Leon, Morrissey, Snoop Dogg and Hozier are just some of the names responsible for that draw, which is a pretty impressive, putting the fest right up there with the Coachellas, Bonnaroos and Lollapaloozas of the country.
Firefly has grown rapidly in popularity and attendance, with 2015 the second that spans over four days, after the first two were limited to three. The expansion is in no small part due to Red Frog Events partnering up with AEG acquisition and Coachella Music and Arts Festival organizers, Goldenvoice. It’s allowed the fest to go after even bigger artists than before, making this year the most anticipated yet, as the joint venture was announced last September.
McCartney, who turns 73 the day before his Friday headlining show, has never played Delaware — not with The Beatles, not with Wings and not solo. To land him was quite the coup for this year. And having that old-school and new-school vibe, with up-and-comers Empire of the Sun and Cage the Elephant, just a few more names rounding out the headline slots, expect the demographics of the audience to be at all points in the spectrum.
There’s also a wide range of artists filling out the bill, including EDM stars Steve Aoki and Zedd, indie rockers Manchester Orchestra and Cold War Kids, guitar standout Gary Clark Jr., and up-and-coming acts like Broncho, Panama Wedding and Dover’s own hip-hop outfit, Cypher Clique.
Spread across a ridiculous seven stages, the music officially begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and just after noon the following days.
At press time, general camping tickets were still available, as were passes for the festival itself, with “Last Chance” and VIP four-day running $349 and $699, respectively. There are no single-day tickets being offered this year. For those who drive, there will be free day parking available onsite.
The final lineup for Firefly, complete with stage times for each day, was released early this week. It can be found at www.fireflyfestival.com, but here are five acts, in addition to the obvious like Macca and Snoop Dogg, Rock Music Menu recommends not missing:
Friday — Wolf Alice — 2:45 p.m., on The Porch Stage
Friday — Manchester Orchestra — 7:45 p.m., at The Coffee House
Saturday — Zola Jesus — 6:15 p.m., on The Forest Stage
Sunday — Citizen Cope — 7 p.m., on The Porch Stage
Also, it’s worth noting that McCartney will be performing at the Wells Fargo Center Sunday, June 21, while Morrissey will be doing the same the night before at The Academy of Music.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out his blog at out sister publication www.delcotimes.com