BEST BETS: Firefly Music Festival from A to Z

The Firefly Music Festival explodes in full today with gates opening at noon today through Sunday. (Submitted photo)

After a Thursday night at the Firefly Music Festival, which saw Dover’s own Amillion the Poet making his Firefly debut, the mega music event explodes in full today with gates opening at noon and the tunes going strong until 2 a.m.

Those hours repeat on Saturday with a noon start also on Sunday but wrapping up at midnight.

Eight stages, plus music in the campgrounds, will turn Dover into the East Coast hub of concert activity for this, the seventh year, with more than 60,000 scheduled to attend.

As has been the custom in this space for many of those years, we offer an alphabetical trip around the grounds to fill you in on who’s coming and what’s doing.

A — The English rock band Arctic Monkeys will headline tonight’s action on the main stage starting at 11.

Also here in 2014, the show will be the first one for the group in three years. In December 2016, lead singer Alex Turner confirmed to BBC Radio that the band’s hiatus had ended and work had begun on their sixth studio album.

On April 5, the band announced the name of the forthcoming album, “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” which was released on May 11. The new album has more pianos with a toning down of the guitars.

Australian singer Betty Who will perform at Firefly on Sunday. (Submitted photo)

B — Pop singer-songwriter Betty Who is playing the Backyard Stage at 5 p.m. on Sunday. She will be performing fresh off a European tour and her first independent EP in five years, called “Betty Pt. 1” comes out today.

Australia born and Los Angeles based, her sophomore album, “The Valley,” yielded a string of international hits, including “I Love You Always Forever.”

Betty Who also plays the Toyota Music Den Sunday at 2:30.

C — Electronic dance music trio Cheat Codes plays in the Pavilion tonight at 11.

Cheat Codes is best known for its Platinum pop song with Demi Lovato, “No Promises,” currently nearing 400 million plays on Spotify. Since the 2017 hit, the group has gone on to release “Feels Great” featuring hip hop act Fetty Wap, “Put Me Back Together” featuring Kiiara, “Balenciaga” and “I Love It” ahead of their debut EP titled “Level 1,” which was released June 8.

D — Dining options will be plentiful at Firefly.

Firefly headliner Eminem is bringing his pop-up eatery Mom’s Spaghetti to the Woodlands. Debuting at this year’s Coachella Music Festival in California, it is inspired by lyrics from his 2002 hit song “Lose Yourself.”

The menu will include throwback spaghetti with or without meatballs or try the s’ghetti sandwich.

In addition to Spicy Pie’s large slices of pizza, this year’s Firefly will also include the introduction of Just Squeezed with their signature lemonade and Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co. with sandwiches and sides. Also making their first appearance at Firefly, Shake Shack will be serving up ShackBurgers, ‘Shroom Burgers and crinkle cut fries all weekend.

For those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, Taiyaki NYC’s unicorn floats and Big Mozz x Cookie D’s fried mozzarella sticks and cookie dough balls are an option.

Firefly will also have numerous vegetarian and gluten-free choices

E — The Real Slim Shady, Eminem, loses himself at Firefly at 11:15 p.m. Saturday.

His latest album “Revival” was released Dec. 15. In January, the single “River” came out, which featured Ed Sheeran. It became Eminem’s eighth consecutive album to top the U.S. Billboard 200 with 197,000 copies sold in its first week. As a result, he became the first musical act to have eight entries in a row debut atop the chart.

He also becomes the second Oscar winner to perform at Firefly, joining Thirty Seconds to Mars lead singer Jared Leto, who played in 2017. Emimen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2003 for the tune “Lose Yourself” from the film “8 Mile.”

F — California indie pop band Foster the People is back for another year for two turns tonight. They will perform on the main stage at 8:15 and do a DJ set at 12:30 a.m. in The Treehouse. Foster the People performed at Firefly in 2013 and 2015.

The Grammy-winning group known for the hit “Pumped Up Kicks” released their its album “Sacred Hearts Club” last year.

In March, the band provided vocals on “Ride or Die” by The Knocks. Recently, the group has had success with the song “Sit Next To Me”, reaching over 50 million streams on Spotify.

G — Dutch DJ Martin Garrix spins a set on the Backyard stage Saturday night starting at 12:30 a.m.

In February, Mr. Garrix released his second collaboration with David Guetta and his third with Brooks with the song “Like I Do”.

He was ranked No. 1 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list for 2016 and 2017.

Mr. Garrix headlined the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Games in South Korea. He was the closing act of the night.

Electronica duo Hotel Garuda plays Firefly Saturday night. (Submitted photo)

H — With more than 25 million streams on SoundCloud alone, electronica band Hotel Garuda plays the Pavilion Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

DJ/producer duo Killa and Candleweather have garnered critical acclaim from major media outlets like Billboard, Harper’s Bazaar, and Complex. Their remixes for artists like Lorde and Lana Del Ray, combined with their hit singles “Smoke Signals,” “Till It Burns Out,” and “Dancing On The Moon” played a major part in putting them on the map.

I — Iced cold beer will be in full supply throughout Firefly.

This year’s Dogfish Head Firefly Ale features ingredients chosen by fans.

The official craft beer of the festival since 2012, this year’s Firefly Ale mashup is brewed with guava puree and coconut flower nectar, and is full of tropical fruit notes with a subtle sweetness.

This year the brewery will feature new enhancements to the Dogfish tent, including a SeaQuench Ale Shade Station for folks to kick back between shows, a Dogfish merchandise shop and 19.2-ounce cans of 60 Minute IPA and SeaQuench Ale.

J — The longtime Arizona rock band Jimmy Eat World hits the main stage today at 6:15 p.m.

Around since 1993, the group has released nine studio albums, the last eight featuring the current lineup of lead guitarist and lead vocalist Jim Adkins, drummer Zach Lind, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Tom Linton and bassist Rick Burch.

Their breakthrough came with the release of several singles from the 2001 “Bleed American” album. Four singles from the record charted within the top 20 positions of the Alternative Songs chart, with “The Middle” reaching the No. 1 position.

K — Like Foster the People, The Killers are playing Firefly for the third time, having played the inaugural year of 2012 and also in 2015.

The Las Vegas rock band most recent album “Wonderful Wonderful” was released in September of last year.

It was their first studio album in five years, since “Battle Born” in 2012, and their fifth consecutive studio album to top the UK Albums Chart. It was also their first album to top the Billboard 200.

L — Recent Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar closes out the main stage Sunday at 9:15 p.m.

The California rapper and songwriter has won 12 Grammy Awards. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016.

His 2017 album “DAMN,” won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music, making Mr. Lamar the first non-jazz or classical artist to win the award.

His 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly” debuted to rave reviews and later a host of awards. The album debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 chart selling 324,000 copies in its first week and established Spotify’s global first-day streaming record with 9.6 million.

M — Mike D, a founding member of the seminal hip hop group the Beastie Boys, will put on a DJ set Saturday at 10 p.m. on the Backyard stage.

Following the death of co-founder Adam Yauch in 2012, Mike D has been working in the studio with Firefly band Portugal. The Man as a producer and also produced English punk outfit Slaves’ second studio album, “Take Control,” which was released in 2016.

N — Hailing from the small town of Strattford, Vermont, singer/songwriter Noah Kahan performs on the Porch stage Saturday at 4 p.m.

As a senior in high school, he began writing with songwriters like Dan Wilson (Adele), Scott Harris (Shawn Mendes), Chris DeStefano (Carrie Underwood) and more.

Instead of college, he left home to work with Lorde and Khalid’s producer Joel Little on his debut EP. The two recorded six songs together for his 2018 “Hurt Somebody” EP, which includes his breakout hits, “Hurt Somebody” featuring Julia Michaels and “Young Blood,” and it has over 60 million streams to date.

O — Odesza, the Washington-based electronic band, will be the official final act to play Firefly. Their set is scheduled to run from 10:45 p.m. to midnight Sunday.

In 2016, “Say My Name” gained the duo their first Grammy nomination. “A Moment Apart,” their third studio album, was released in 2017, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200, while topping the Top Electronic/Dance Albums Chart. It was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album, with “Line of Sight” also nominated for Best Dance Recording, at the Grammys in 2018.

The duo was also nominated in 2017 for Producer of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards.

Tunes can be heard throughout The Thicket on the Firefly grounds. (Delaware State News file photo)

P — The aforementioned Portugal. The Man plays the Lawn stage at 10 p.m. Saturday and then comes back for a DJ set at 12:45 a.m. Saturday in the Treehouse.

The Alaskan rock band won the “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” category for their song “Feel It Still” at the 2018 Grammys. Another song from the same album “Woodstock,” entitled “Live in the Moment” reached No. 1 on the U.S. Alternative chart.

Q — Get some peace and quiet in The Nook. Formerly the Hammock Hangout, you can bring your own hammock and set up shop. There will also be new seating options and a giving library, where folks are encouraged to bring a book and take a book to read while relaxing in between sets.

R — The Regrettes, led by 17-year-old Lydia Night, kicks off things on the Backyard stage today at 1:45 p.m.

The punk-driven pop band just appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to perform their new song, “Come Through,” off their latest “Attention Seeker” EP. This summer, they also play the Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo festivals.

S — Soul singer SZA is scheduled to play the Backyard stage Sunday night at 8.

We say “scheduled” because in recent weeks she has tweeted that her vocal chords may have suffered severe damage but she is still on the lineup.

SZA’s debut studio album, “Ctrl,” was released in 2017 to universal acclaim from music critics. It debuted at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 and was eventually certified platinum.

In January, she featured with Firefly act Kendrick Lamar on the track “All the Stars,” which was released as the lead single to the soundtrack of the movie “Black Panther.”

Born Solàna Imani Rowe in St. Louis, it will be a homecoming of sorts as she spent a brief period attending Delaware State University, majoring in marine biology before she dropped out.

T — Deep in the heart of The Woodlands, you’ll find a dance party in The Thicket where you can expect to see renowned DJs. Put on a pair of headphones and get ready to dance the day or night away.

U — For an extra $79, festivalgoers can buy a Spruce Up pass giving them additional amenities to freshen up in the festival and the campgrounds.

Spruce Up passes allow access to private lounges with air-conditioned restroom trailers and mirrors along with a fast pass to the showers.

V — It looks like it will finally be a decent weekend weather wise, so why not bring a bit of the beach with you.

Delaware Tourism will have two sand volleyball courts in the North Camping Hub. The courts will feature four-team tournaments and prizes from Delaware Tourism as well, from Koozies to T-shirts.

Firefly campers play sand volleyball on the courts in the North Camping Hub on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

W — Rap legend Warren G starts the main stage off on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The innovator of the G Funk sound is the subject of a new documentary coming to YouTube, called “G-Funk!”

The film gives an intimate behind the scenes history of the creation of the classic sound in the ’90s, with archival footage and interviews with those who were there and those who were inspired by it.

X — Lil Xan, the California rapper, is the last Firefly act tonight, playing in the Pavilion at 1 a.m.

He is best known for his platinum hit “Betrayed”, which peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2017.

Y — Can’t be at the festival? Yahoo! has you covered.

Starting at 5 p.m. today, the website will stream Firefly performances from Portugal. The Man, Lukas Nelson + Promise of the Real, Chromeo, Vance Joy, alt-J, Lord Huron, Rag’n’Bone Man and more.

Z — Jeremy Zucker, who performs today at 3:15 in the Pavilion, is a rising singer, songwriter and producer who’s eclectic sound blends indie electronica with R&B and hip hop undertones.

He recently released his latest EP, “glisten,” on May 4, which features lead singles, “all the kids are depressed” and “better off” with Chelsea Cutler.

Tickets are still available for the weekend or single days at FireflyFestival.com.

Now Showing

New this weekend in theaters is the animated “Incredibles 2 3D,” the comedy “Tag,” a remake of “Superfly” and John Travolta as “Gotti.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is “Pacific Rim Uprising,” the religious film “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” the horror movie “Unsane” and the romantic tearjerker “Midnight Sun.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.