Firefly Music Festival ready to rock Dover

From left, Firefly Music Festival attendees Rhonda Webb, Danny Reardon and Shawn White, all of Cleveland, Ohio, Dave Butler and Amy Coyle of Baltimore,  and Buddy Reardon of Cleveland have an impromptu jam session at their campsite at The Woodlands Wednesday evening. (Delaware State News photo by Dave Chambers)

From left, Firefly Music Festival attendees Rhonda Webb, Danny Reardon and Shawn White, all of Cleveland, Ohio, Dave Butler and Amy Coyle of Baltimore, and Buddy Reardon of Cleveland have an impromptu jam session at their campsite at The Woodlands Wednesday evening. (Delaware State News photo by Dave Chambers)

DOVER — At least for this weekend, Dover will be the largest city in the state.

Firefly Music Festival organizers announced last week they had hit the sold-out mark of 90,000 attendees.

18dsn Firefly Campers 005

The campgrounds at The Woodlands were active Wednesday evening with campers starting to arrive in Dover for this weekend’s Firefly Music Festival.

“It’s grown exponentially every year. It’s crazy that only four years ago we kicked this thing off,” said festival director Greg Bostrom of Chicago-based Red Frog Events.

“It’s year four; I’m excited to continue to improve the event,” he added. “I’m excited to continue to grow the experience that we’ve put together and I’m excited for more and more people to be involved.”

“I’m certainly excited for the line-up. I think it’s one of my favorite lineups that we’ve had.”

When the Firefly Music Festival kicks off this evening when gates open at 5 p.m., 16 acts are set to take the stage starting at 5:30 p.m., including the Dover-based hip-hop group Cypher Clique.

In the three days that follow, more than 100 groups are set to play across seven stages on the sprawling Woodlands at Dover International Speedway.

The lineup includes headliners Paul McCartney, The Killers and Kings of Leon.

When it comes to Mr. McCartney, it’s hard to think of anyone who embodies the title “living legend” more, Mr. Bostrom said.

Mr. McCartney is set to play at least two and a half hours — a first for the festival — beginning at 10 p.m. Friday.

“I think the biggest thing for Paul McCartney is that if Firefly is a good play for Paul McCartney to look at, any artist

Firefly Music Festival Director Greg Bostrom is excited to see the growth of his festival in its fourth year. (Special to the Delaware State News photo by Gary Emeigh)

Firefly Music Festival Director Greg Bostrom is excited to see the growth of his festival in its fourth year. (Special to the Delaware State News photo by Gary Emeigh)

in the world should consider Firefly as a great opportunity for them as well,” Mr. Bostrom said.

“… I think everyone on site has grown up with a lot of Beatles songs and Wings songs and Paul McCartney songs,” he added. “It’s going to be hard to find someone on site who doesn’t know, five, six, seven of his songs.”

As the Firefly Music Festival grows, Mr. Bostrom said organizers will continue to assess the demand and “take it as it comes.”

“We’ll let the situation dictate what happens with the event. We’re certainly open to doing more than one weekend.

As we showed with Big Barrel, we’re open to doing different genres and formats.”

“Something we’re always going to look at is the individual experience and we never want it to feel different than it does now,” Mr. Bostrom added. “We don’t want it to feel more crowded than it does now. We’re going to be very conscious about not overcrowding the festival.”

A few days after campers check out at Firefly, a new festival from the same promoters will arrive in Dover — Big Barrel County Music Festival. Organizers last week predicted attendance numbers to reach 35,000 there.

Together, the events could generate $90 million to $100 million in economic impact, organizers said.

Although Firefly is sold out, organizers announced a new partnership with StubHub this year to make it “the official secondary marketplace to purchase four-day passes.”

Firefly fan Chris Harris of Smyrna topples the wooden tower during he and his fellow music festival campers’ game of Giant Jenga.

Firefly fan Chris Harris of Smyrna topples the wooden tower during he and his fellow music festival campers’ game of Giant Jenga.

StubHub will also be the presenting sponsor of Firefly’s acoustic stage and café, “The Coffee House.”

Among other changes, organizers added two new stages this year — the Pavilion Stage and the Treehouse Stage.

“We learn every year, we listen to the fans, we listen to the things that they want us to continue to do, and change,” Mr. Bostrom said.

“I’m just excited that we had the opportunity to change a lot of those things that we came in and wanted to do.”

The Arcade, a popular attraction, also got an upgrade. Now it’s “The Beercade.” Mr. Bostrom said organizers are “taking a concept that worked well for them and “continuing to invest in the idea, continuing to improve it.”

“I think you’ll see a lot of that with Firefly this year,” Mr. Bostrom said.

Firefly will also make its network debut this year on AXS TV, which is available on Verizon FIOS, DISH Network and Direct TV.

It is not available on Comcast in Kent and Sussex counties.

AXS will show select sets from artists throughout the weekend. Mr. McCartney’s show will not be broadcast.

For a schedule, visit www.axs.tv/festival/firefly.

After tonight’s activities, gates open at noon Friday through Sunday.

TODAY

5:30-6 p.m. Cypher Clique Backyard Stage
5:30-6:15 p.m. Young Rising Sons Lawn Stage
5:30-6:15 p.m. Jack Novak Pavilion Stage
6-6:30 p.m. Josh Noren Coffee House
6:30-7:15 p.m. Hey Rosetta! Backyard Stage
6:30-7:15 p.m. Kill Them with Colour Pavilion Stage
7-7:45 p.m. Panama Wedding Lawn Stage
7:15-7:45 p.m. Young Rising Suns Coffee House
7:30-8:15 p.m. Nick Catchdubs Pavilion Stage
7:45-8:30 p.m. Grizfolk Backyard Stage
8:15-9 p.m. Ryn Weaver Lawn Stage
8:30-9:15 p.m. Solidisco Pavilion Stage
9-10 p.m. Twin Peaks Backyard Stage
9:30-10:15 p.m. Sweater Beats Pavilion Stage
9:30-10:30 p.m. Jungle Lawn Stage
10-10:30 p.m. Grizfolk Coffee House
10:45-11:45 p.m. X Ambassadors Backyard Stage
10:45-11:59 p.m. Tycho Pavilion Stage
11-11:59 p.m. The Kooks Lawn Stage

FRIDAY
12:15-1 p.m. The Hunts Lawn Stage
12:15-1 p.m. Styles & Complete Pavilion
12:30-1:15 p.m. Phoebe Ryan Backyard
12:45-1:30 p.m. Fiance Forest Stage
1-1:45 p.m. Clean Bandit Firefly Stage
1-1:45 p.m. Wild Party Porch Stage
1:15-1:45 p.m. Stetson Rose Coffee House
1:45-2:30 p.m. LE1F Backyard Stage
1:45-2:30 p.m. Eau Claire Pavilion
2-2:45 p.m. Knox Hamilton Lawn Stage
2:30-3:15 p.m. Cheerleader Forest Stage
2:30-3:15 p.m. Craze Pavilion Stage
2:45-3:15 p.m. Falls Coffee House
3:15-4:15 p.m. Manchester Orchestra Firefly Stage
3:30-4:15 p.m. Echosmith Lawn Stage
3:30-4:15 p.m. Logic Backyard Stage
4-4:45 p.m. Jon Bellion Backyard Stage
4:15-5 p.m. Mother Mother Forest Stage
4:15-5 p.m. Colony House Porch Stage
4:15-5 p.m. Goshfather & Jinco Pavilion Stage
4:15-4:45 p.m. Cody Simpson Coffee House
5-5:45 p.m. DJ Mustard Pavilion Stage
5-5:45 p.m. Sylvan Esso Backyard Stage
5-6 p.m. Walk the Moon Lawn Stage
5:45-6:30 p.m. Captain Kidd Forest Stage
5:45-6:45 p.m. Cage the Elephant Firefly Stage
5:45-6-15 p.m. Cheerleader Coffee House
6-6:45 p.m. Bear Hands Porch Stage
6:45-7:45 p.m. AWOLNATION Lawn Stage
6:45-7:45 p.m. Big Data Backyard Stage
6:45-7:45 p.m. Odesza Pavilion Stage
7:45-8:45 p.m. Chiddy Bang Porch Stage
7:45-8:45 p.m. Glass Animals Forest Stage
7:45-8:15 p.m. Manchester Orchestra Coffee House
7:45-9 p.m. Morrissey Firefly Stage
8:30-9 p.m. Echosmith Coffee House
8:45-10 p.m. Modest Mouse Lawn Stage
9-10 p.m. Kygo Backyard Stage
9-10 p.m. Run the Jewels Pavilion Stage
10-12:30am p.m. Paul McCartney Firefly Stage
12:30-2 a.m. Zedd Backyard Stage
1-2 a.m. How to Dress Well Pavilion Stage
1:15-2 a.m. Marian Hill Forest Stage

SATURDAY
12:30-1:15 p.m. Intergalactix Backyard Stage
12:30-1:15 p.m. Vindata Pavilion Stage
12:45-1:30 p.m. Joe Pug Lawn Stage
1:15-2 p.m. Kingsize Forest Stage
1:15-2:15 p.m. Andrew McMahon
in the Wilderness Firefly Stage
1:15-1:45 p.m. Knox Hamilton Coffee House
1:30-2:15 p.m. BRONCHO Porch Stage
2:15-3 p.m. The Griswolds Backyard Stage
2:15-3 p.m. Manila Killa Pavilion Stage
2:30-3:15 p.m. Milo Greene Lawn Stage
3-3:45 p.m. Lizzo Forest Stage
3-3:45 p.m. Whyel Pavilion Stage
3-3:34 p.m. Phoebe Ryan Coffee House
3:15-4 p.m. Skylar Spence Porch Stage
3:45-4:45 p.m. Gary Clark Jr. Firefly Stage
4-4:45 p.m. Zella Day Lawn Stage
4-4:45 p.m. John Bellion Backyard Stage
4:45-5:15 p.m. Andrew McMahon
in the Wilderness Coffee House
4:45-5:30 p.m. Halsey Porch Stage
4:45-5:30 p.m. Night Terrors of 1927 Forest Stage
4:45-5:30 p.m. SNBRN Pavilion Stage
5:30-6:15 p.m. Betty Who Backyard Stage
5:30-6:30 p.m. Sturgill Simpson Lawn Stage
5:45-6:30 p.m. Jayceeoh Pavilion Stage
6:15-7 p.m. Zola Jesus Forest Stage
6:15-7:15 p.m. Matt & Kim Firefly Stage
6:30-7:15 p.m. Elliphant Porch Stage
6:30-7 p.m. Cruise Coffee House
7:15-8:15 p.m. Alison Wonderland Pavilion Stage
7:15-8:15 p.m. Dirty Heads Backyard Stage
7:15-8:15 p.m. Spoon Lawn Stage
8:15-9:15 p.m. The Wind and the Wave Forest Stage
8:15-9:15 p.m. Vacationer Porch Stage
8:15-9:30 p.m. Foster the People Firefly Stage
8:15-8:45 p.m. Betty Who Coffee House
9:15-10:15 p.m. Kid Cudi Backyard Stage
9:15-10:30 p.m. Sublime with Rome Lawn Stage
9:30-10:30 p.m. The Chainsmokers Pavilion Stage
9:30-10:30 p.m. Kid Cudi Backyard Stage
10:30-12 p.m. Kings of Leon Firefly Stage
12-1:15 a.m. Steve Aoki Backyard Stage
12-12:45 a.m. Matoma Pavilion Stage
12-2 a.m. Lettuce Forest Stage
1-2 a.m. Rustie Firefly Stage

SUNDAY
12:30-1:15 p.m. Cardiknox Backyard Stage
12:30-1:15 p.m. Filibusta Pavilion Stage
12:45-1:30 p.m. Client Liaison Lawn Stage
1:15-2 p.m. Prinze George Forest Stage
1:15-2:15 p.m. Cathedrals Firefly Stage
1:15-1:45 p.m. Jeffrey James Coffee House
1:30-2:15 p.m. BORNS Porch Stage
2:15-3 p.m. Max Frost Backyard Stage
2:15-3 p.m. Shaun Frank Pavilion Stage
2:15-3:15 p.m. Generationals Lawn Stage
3-3:45 p.m. Falls Forest Stage
3-3:45 p.m. Snakehips Pavilion Stage
3:15-4 p.m. VERITE Porch Stage
3:45-4:45 p.m. Cold War Kids Firefly Stage
4-5 p.m. Bahamas Lawn Stage
4-5 p.m. Benjamin Booker Backyard Stage
4:30-5 p.m. Max Frost Coffee House
4:45-5:30 p.m. Dizzy Wright Pavilion Stage
4:45-5:30 p.m. PHOX Forest Stage
5-5:30 p.m. BORNS Coffee House
5-5:45 p.m. Bad Suns Porch Stage
5:30-6:30 p.m. Broods Backyard Stage
5:45-6:45 p.m. Hozier Lawn Stage
5:45-6:45 p.m. RJD2 Pavilion Stage
6:30-7:15 p.m. Hey Rosetta! Backyard Stage
6:45-7:45 p.m. Raury Forest Stage
6:45-8 p.m. Bastille Firefly Stage
6:45-7:15 p.m. Bahamas Coffee House
7-8 p.m. Citizen Cope Porch Stage
7:30-8 p.m. Broods Coffee House
8-9 p.m. Snoop Dogg Lawn Stage
8-9:15 p.m. Empire of the Sun Backyard Stage
8:15-9:15 p.m. Tove Lo Pavilion Stage
9:15-10:45 p.m. The Killers Firefly Stage
10:45-11:59 p.m. The White Panda Backyard Stage

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