First Firefly folks descend on Dover

 

University of Delaware students, from left, Mallory Davis, Jacklyn Rind, Taylor Regan and Matt Oliver hang out in the Firefly RV camping area on Wednesday at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway. (Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery)

University of Delaware students, from left, Mallory Davis, Jacklyn Rind, Taylor Regan and Matt Oliver hang out in the Firefly RV camping area on Wednesday at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway. (Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery)

DOVER –– Although the music doesn’t start until 5 p.m. Thursday, that didn’t stop music lovers like Joel Fouschee of Hamilton, New Jersey, from showing up to the Firefly Music Festival days in advance.

“I got here about 10:30 last night,” he said Wednesday afternoon, the first day those with Premier Camping access could get on the parking grounds.

“I wanted to get here in time to get a good spot for the bus.”

The bus he spoke of is an Army green painted school bus he found on Craig’s List a year ago.

“This is the first festival I’ve brought the bus to because I’ve been working on it for a year more or less but this is my third Firefly and I usually stop at a few other festivals each summer,” he said.

The bus was already been a big attraction at the entrance of the camper lot Wednesday, catching a lot of attention.

“There’s already been several people that have come up to me asking about the bus and it’s only about 2 o’clock

FIREFLY DOS AND DON'TS The following are not permitted on the grounds of the Firefly Music Festival: Outside food or beverage items Alcohol or flasks Ice or ice packs Coolers Glass containers Illegal substances, drugs, or drug paraphernalia Totems, rage sticks or flags over 12 feet tall. Any of these items that are deemed unsafe or inappropriate, or are being used for purposes other than intended, may be confiscated on site. Illegal or unauthorized vending Knives or weapons of any kind Slingshots Animals or pets Flammable lanterns or fire of any kind Fireworks or any types of explosives Skateboards, scooters, or personalized motor vehicles Bicycles inside the festival Umbrellas of any size Tents or canopies Chairs or stools of any type Wagons or carts of any type Sports balls Eye drops Outside cans or cups Professional cameras (indicated by a detachable lens) Professional video or audio recording devices Lasers or pointers Chains, chain wallets or spike jewelry Instruments, megaphones, horns or noise makers Soliciting Metal aerosol containers including sunscreen, pepper spray, bug repellent, or spray paint (non-flammable are permitted) Drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) The following are permitted: Cigarettes and e-cigarettes GoPros Unlimited ins and outs Digital and point & shoot cameras Cell phones Cell phone charger Sunscreen lotion Empty refillable, plastic or aluminum bottles and CamelBacks Small blankets Non-aerosol bug spray Strollers Hula hoops Selfie sticks

FIREFLY DOS AND DON’TS
THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT PERMITTED ON THE GROUNDS OF THE FIREFLY MUSIC FESTIVAL:
Outside food or beverage items
Alcohol or flasks
Ice or ice packs
Coolers
Glass containers
Illegal substances, drugs, or drug paraphernalia
Totems, rage sticks or flags over 12 feet tall. Any of these items that are deemed unsafe or inappropriate, or are being used for purposes other than intended, may be confiscated on site.
Illegal or unauthorized vending
Knives or weapons of any kind
Slingshots
Animals or pets
Flammable lanterns or fire of any kind
Fireworks or any types of explosives
Skateboards, scooters, or personalized motor vehicles
Bicycles inside the festival
Umbrellas of any size
Tents or canopies
Chairs or stools of any type
Wagons or carts of any type
Sports balls
Eye drops
Outside cans or cups
Professional cameras (indicated by a detachable lens)
Professional video or audio recording devices
Lasers or pointers
Chains, chain wallets or spike jewelry
Instruments, megaphones, horns or noise makers
Soliciting
Metal aerosol containers including sunscreen, pepper spray, bug repellent, or spray paint (non-flammable are permitted)
Drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle)
THE FOLLOWING ARE PERMITTED:
Cigarettes and e-cigarettes
GoPros
Unlimited ins and outs
Digital and point & shoot cameras
Cell phones
Cell phone charger
Sunscreen lotion
Empty refillable, plastic or aluminum bottles and CamelBacks
Small blankets
Non-aerosol bug spray
Strollers
Hula hoops
Selfie sticks

now,” he said.

Other campers played it a little more low key like the Powell siblings –– Alisha, Alexis and Adam along with their friend Caitlin Woods, all from Chichester, Pennsylvania.

“We bought the tickets on a whim and it’s part of a birthday celebration we were planning for the week,” Alisha said.

The four decided to play their first Firefly safe and arrived on Wednesday afternoon in a rented RV for the weekend instead of roughing it in a tent.

Wednesday night, a Firefly pre-party was planned with DJ sets and a screening of the new Showtime cable series “Roadies.”

The festival will officially kick off Thursday with a New Orleans-like second line parade leading patrons into the festival gates at 5 p.m.

Thousands descended on the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway Wednesday, some of the earliest arrivals coming in around 7 a.m.

“We wanted to be here even earlier, but someone wasn’t ready to go on time,” said 11-year-old Gwen Schaefer of Lancaster, Pa.

She and her dad, Anthony, are ready for their second Firefly and were killing time playing catch with a neon green oversized Frisbee.

“We play a lot of games to keep busy, just the two of us, and even with new people we meet,” Gwen said. “Everyone is so nice here and it’s fun getting to know new people and seeing all the bands too.”

The friendly people are what keeps others coming back.

A group of 20-somethings were back for a third year.

“We’ve all known each other since high school or earlier and this is a good place to hang out and spend some time together,” said John Carson of Dover.

“And it’s all the different people you see,” said Talia Armutcu, also of Dover. “Here there’s only good vibes and everyone is really chill.”

Not only are the people chill, this year’s temperatures are too. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the mid-70s with possible rain Thursday and Friday.

If rain does roll in, precipitation is expected to be less than half an inch, with hopefully dryer grounds than last year.

The 2015 festival started with ankle-deep water in some areas, only worsened with a thunderstorm Saturday night, bringing more rain and forcing organizers to call it a night several hours earlier than scheduled.

But Firefly organizer Red Frog reports some improvements have been made this year to improve drainage and prevent standing water at future events.

Bug off

A pest that typically comes with heavy rains, especially resulting standing water, is the mosquito but Firefly’s mosquito control provider, Wilmington-based Mosquito Ranger, doesn’t anticipate any reduced effectiveness of the repellent.

Joel Foushee from Hampton, N.J. places a flag on top of his RV on Wednesday at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway.

Joel Foushee from Hampton, N.J. places a flag on top of his RV on Wednesday at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway.

“Last year we saw significant rainfall and didn’t have any problems,” said Mosquito Ranger owner and operator Rick Yates.

“The repellent we use has a sticking agent so regardless of the conditions, you can expect coverage lasting between 10 and 14 days.”

The trees surrounding the Woodlands and the grassy areas within the grounds were sprayed by a team earlier this week with NaturaLawn products. All the products used are organic and include ingredients like peppermint and rosemary oil.

“The main goal of our service is to deny the bugs a place to land and the formula we use confuses and repels the mosquitoes, denies them a place to land and stops new larva from hatching,” Mr. Yates said.

This is the fourth year Mosquito Ranger has provided its services at Firefly.

Thursday at Firefly

The headliner Thursday will be Two Door Cinema Club, an Irish indie rock band, who will take The Backyard Stage at 10:45 p.m.

Only four stages will be open today — The Backyard, The Lawn, The Pavilion and The Coffeehouse.

DJ Felix Jaehn will play an hour set starting at 11 in the Pavilion.

The three-piece alt-pop band Lany, on The Lawn, and the psychedelic folk group Twin Limb, in The Coffeehouse, will kick things off at 5:15 p.m.

Other highlights include Jack Antonoff, of Bleachers and fun, performing a half-hour acoustic set in The Coffeehouse at 10 p.m.

Gates will close at midnight.

Four-day and one-day passes are still available only at fireflyfestival.com.

 

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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