Firefly offers fans more than just music

DOVER — Nothing goes better with live music than great food — and nobody likes dancing on an empty stomach.

“It’s needed,” said Shelbi Davis from Savannah, Georgia. “All of the walking around and singing along to the music during a performance takes a toll. You have to recharge.”

The Firefly Music Festival has a variety of options for attendees to satisfy not only their hunger, but also places to unwind as well.

Most fans were drawn to Saved by the Max, a nostalgic replica restaurant of the high school hangout in the popular 1990s teen series Saved By The Bell.

“I knew I had to walk in as soon as I walked past it,” said Dover native Anthony Henderson. “This is what I grew up on. It was just something I had to do.”

The pop restaurant has the same red lockers from Bayside High School, Zach Morris’ bedroom, nostalgic merchandise and paraphernalia from the show.

People can order food and drinks from the Malibu Sand Beach Club, which was the location where the show’s characters worked during the summer.

The menu isn’t just burgers and fries. The menu, created by a Michelin star chef, has themed dishes like “Mac & Screech” and “The Kelly Kapowski” Monte Cristo sandwich.

“The food is pretty good,” Ms. Davis said. “I was really surprised.” I didn’t know much about the show. I think I watched a few reruns before, but the setup is cool. Nothing really beats being comfortable while you’re eating, especially during a festival.”

Steve Harris, the operating partner for the Chicago based pop up shop Saved By The Max said providing a different experience for festival attendees is what it’s all about.

“We love Delaware,” Mr. Harris said. “Everything has been really well run. It’s been a great time. People have really been receptive to us.”
Mr. Harris said the idea came about from his friend and partner Derrick Berry.

Music is the main attraction, but the food isn’t far behind.

“He’s a fan of the show,” Mr. Harris said. “He wanted to make a replica of the show’s restaurant The Max, but didn’t know how to go about it. “He anonymously made a Facebook event page for Saved by the Max in Chicago and it went viral.

The event page eventually made its way to the Today show and Time magazine and that’s when NBC reached out.
“NBC honored us and let us use the likeness of the characters and themes from the show,” he added.

The pop up restaurant opened in 2017 and after a year long run in Chicago Mr. Berry uprooted the pop-up and placed it a the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea avenue in Los Angles.

Mr. Harris said he’s been grateful for the pop-up restaurant’s success at Firefly.
“We’re thankful for reruns and things of that nature for keeping Saved By The Bell still relevant for ones that may have not known about the show,” Mr. Harris said.

“The nostalgia look is what really draws people eyes and the Instagram aspect of it connects with younger generations because they’re able to take cool looking photos. We’re happy where that place where people can physically recharge in between shows.”

First time Firefly attendee Sway Nayla was surprised about how much energy he exerted throughout the day.
“I had no clue it would be like this,” the New Jersey native said. “I work out and I’m still tired with all the constant walking and attending all the performances.

But instead of eating the usual hotdogs and fries to satisfy his hunger he tries to eat fruit to help him recharge.

“You have to treat your body right,” Mr. Nayla said. “My friends and I drink a lot of water to help refuel. My friends and I went to Fresh Juice and it was a different alternative from what we normally have. They sell different fruits that you can drink out of.

“I had a huge pineapple and it felt like I was in Hawaii, especially when it was hot outside. It helped cool me down. Usually festivals don’t offer drinks or food like that so I was pretty surprised when we found out about it.”

Mr. Nayla said he needs all the energy he can get it for certain performers.
“For someone like Travis Scott you need to be energized,” Mr. Nayla said.

He’s a high-energy performer. He has a mosh pit and everyone is jumping around. You can’t do that on an empty stomach.”

“But I can’t wait for it,” he added. I’m really excited to see him. This is my first time here and it’s been awesome. Just getting a chance to watch some of your favorite artists perform, or becoming fans of the some the less known bands is really fun to be a part of. I’m having a blast.”

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