Kings of Leon, Killers to headline Firefly Music Festival

Rockers Kings of Leon will headline this summer's Firefly Music Festival at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway. (Submitted photo)

Rockers Kings of Leon will headline this summer’s Firefly Music Festival at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — After weeks of anticipation, Firefly Music Festival officials announced the 2015 lineup on Tuesday.

Rock bands Kings of Leon and The Killers are among the acts set to headline the festival in June.

But when organizers released the list, the top slot was blurred — the third headliner will be revealed at a later date, they said.

In the video that announced the lineup, question marks replaced the name of the final act.

The good news is that Kings of Leon and The Killers will be joined by a formidable cast of supporting acts.

The lineup features Morrissey, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People, Bastille, Modest Mouse, Zedd, Hozier, Empire of the Sun, Kid Cudi, Steve Aoki and nearly 100 more acts performing across seven stages.

Other notable performers include Charli XCX, The Kooks, Matt & Kim, Spoon, Cage the Elephant, Run the Jewels, Gary Clark Jr., Sublime with Rome, Cold War Kids and Citizen Cope.

At least for now, though, the big announcement did dash one persistent rumor — music icon Paul McCartney isn’t on the list.

Tickets will go on sale “at a later date,” organizers said.

Firefly Music Festival is set to return to The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway from June 18 to 21 for its fourth year.

“2015 marks Firefly’s fourth year and we’re bringing our best lineup to date,” festival director Greg Bostrom said in a press release.

“We’re looking forward to revealing our third headliner as well as to June while we prepare to give fans the most memorable weekend of their summer.”

Rumor mill

Rumors have been flying for months about the Firefly lineup.

It all started in January, when a user on the online message board Inforoo said that Paul McCartney, The Killers and Kings of Leon were slated to headline the festival.

Then, on Jan. 23, Twitter user EDMsecrets leaked a lineup with same headliners — Paul McCartney, the Killers and Kings of Leon at the top of the list.

The same day, festival organizers promised they would release the lineup the next week, bumping up their original plan to announce it in early February.

By Jan. 30, they posted on their Facebook page that they were waiting on final approvals, promising it would be “worth the wait.” Finally, around 8 a.m. Tuesday, a lineup showed up on the Firefly Music Festival app that included Paul McCartney. It was quickly deleted.

When the official lineup was released, it was nearly identical to the one leaked by EDMsecrets, with a notable exception: the place for Paul McCartney is now blank.

“We announced the lineup today as is in order to allow fans to plan and see who we have heading to The Woodlands,” said Firefly spokeswoman Lauren King Tuesday evening.

“We are awaiting a final approval to reveal the third headliner. We want to be respectful of everyone’s time who is involved and we’ll reveal as soon as we’re able. We’re incredibly excited about this year’s lineup.”

For now, fans are left waiting to see whether Mr. McCartney will complete that list of headliners.

Excitement high

“I’m very excited. The rumor is that blurred headliner will be Paul McCartney. Even without it, I think there will something for everyone to like,” said Jesse Berdinka. Mr. Berdinka, who grew up in Milford, manages the 4,000-plus-member Firefly Music Festival Fan Page on Facebook.

Mr. Berdinka, who lives in Pennsylvania now, said most fans are just relieved to have the lineup so they can start making plans.

“I think most people are just excited to get the list and have it confirmed,” he said.

“Most of the reaction on the Facebook page has been really excited. Especially those middle card and undercard acts people have been really excited about.”

This year’s lineup includes a pair of Delaware acts — Newark-based indie pop band Fiance and Dover’s own hip-hop trio Cypher Clique. The group consists of Michael Thomas, Jamal James and Daryl James.

Sturgill Simpson, an American country music singer-songwriter, is booked to play at both Firefly Music Festival and Big Barrel Music Festival.

The country festival Big Barrel, which is produced by Firefly’s organizers, Red Frog Events, is set for June 26-28 in its inaugural year at the Woodlands.

The Firefly lineup offers a mix of genres, from hip-hop duo Run the Jewels to blues artist Gary Clark Jr. For Mr. Berdinka, that’s what makes it stand out.

Among the acts that he’s looking forward to are Run the Jewels, the “up and coming” six-piece alternative folk band PHOX, Canadian musician Bahamas and singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon.

As for the Paul McCartney rumor, “Here’s the way to look at that,” he said. “This is one of your only chances in your life to see one of The Beatles play. I mean that is a monumental thing,” he said.

The Killers also headlined the inaugural Firefly festival in 2012 with Jack White and The Black Keys.

The first year, Firefly attracted 30,000 attendees. That number jumped to more than 80,000 in 2014, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing festivals.

In late 2014, Red Frog Events partnered with Goldenvoice, the creators of Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, to produce and promote Firefly.

“Firefly fans have been incredibly anxious for the 2015 line-up, and so far, Facebook comments seem pretty positive, with the exception of no news as to whether Paul McCartney is one of the headliners,” said Cindy Small, the executive director of Kent County Tourism.

“There’s still a mega-lineup…Firefly is more than just the music. It’s an experience wrapped around the sound and we have confidence that Red Frog Events will not disappoint.”

Attractions aplenty

Popular attractions, including the Dogfish Head Brewery tent, the Coffee House and the Hammock Hangout, are set to return to the Woodlands this year.

An updated version of the arcade, “The Beercade,” will also make its debut, and organizers promise more announcements are coming.

Select Firefly performances will be broadcast live on AXS TV.

And for the fourth year, fans can support the work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through a variety of on-site donation opportunities.

For more information about ticket sales, fans can download the official Firefly app or subscribe to emails through FireflyFestival.com to be notified in advance of the announcement.

Winterfly coming

If you can’t wait for June, Mr. Berdinka is organizing Winterfly, a get-together for music festival fans Feb. 27 to March 1 in Dewey Beach.

The event includes a bonfire Friday on the beach, a private Dogfish Head brewery tour and a party at the Starboard Restaurant on Saturday. An auction, which includes two tickets to Firefly, will benefit the music program at Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences in Georgetown.

For more information, visit the Winterfly Facebook page.

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