Firefly 2018 Preview: What's New, Weird and Cool This Year

Here’s your guide to festival hacks, food highlights (Shake Shack, anyone?) and must-visit vendors.


When the 7th annual Firefly Music Festival kicks off tomorrow, it’ll do so with another wacky and intriguing roster of vendors, exclusive swag and eye-popping art installations.

We talked to the crew at Red Frog Events to uncover some of the cool new features and attractions you can check out between sets.

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  • Yes, they made “mom’s spaghetti”—everyone’s favorite meme-able lyric from Eminem’s Oscar-winning anthem “Lose Yourself”—into a real thing. To commemorate his most recent album, “Revival,” the Detroit rapper teamed up with Michigan’s Union Joints to create a Mom’s Spaghetti pop-up shop in Motown. And yes, they actually serve spaghetti (with or without meatballs) and “s’getti” sandwiches. Hang on, it actually gets weirder: You can upgrade your order to “spastic style for a mysterious upgrade to be revealed at the festival. Don’t lose yourself.
  • Burger baron Shake Shack will make its Firefly debut this summer—a few years after the growing chain opened its first Delaware location in in Newark.
  • Local faves Grotto Pizza and the Roaming Raven are back on the bill.
  • Instagram celebs may find themselves in line for a “unicorn float” from New York confectioners Taikaki, famous for its crispy, fish-shaped waffle cones. The unicorn float is a Taro-flavored slush served in, you guessed it, an adorable inflatable unicorn pool floatie.
  • Check out the full list of food vendors on Firefly’s website.

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  • Dogfish Head is back, and they’ve brought some friends. The air-conditioned oasis of beer is getting a bit more crowded this year: Delaware’s own Rainbow Records will join the noted vinyl enthusiasts at Dogfish with a full-fledged record shop. A live jukebox of sorts will allow customers to spin their newly acquired discs for all their duly impressed friends and passers-by.
  • Dogfish Head brewers will also debut a newly tweaked Firefly Ale, featuring ingredients voted on by fans. They landed on guava puree and coconut flower nectar, which impart tropical fruit notes with a subtle sweetness and citrusy tart. The brewery will also serve 19.2-ounce cans of its flagship 60 Minute IPA, and SeaQuench Ale, and a lineup of Dogfish Head Distilling Co.-inspired cocktails.
  • Dogfish will also lease one of its wings to the Firefly beer-cade, with retro pinball, skee-ball, and other air-conditioned amusements.
  • Aviator Nation, the trendy Venice Beach designer who’s created merch for Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, will unroll a fresh batch of Firefly-inspired gear.
  • Check out the Poster Guy for limited-edition commemorative screen prints and posters.

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  • The official and much-coveted Firefly bandana is back, and only at the Toyota Music Den.
  • The first 300 people to line up at the gates on Thursday afternoon can join an exclusive TED Talk, featuring a mix of Firefly staff, artists and other music industry experts, about how music impacts people around the world. It’s an intimate engagement from the Treehouse Stage.
  • Want free shower passes AND the chance to break a world record? Festival sponsor Irish Springs will host an insane stunt in an attempt to set the world record for the most (clothed) people taking a shower at the same time. (In addition to the big group shower, participants also get actual, presumably more private shower passes.)
  • Pay close attention to the Pathway between stage areas—the new fan-voted art installation will have two very distinctive daytime and nighttime looks. “It will really truly come to life at night,” Mezzano says. Fans voted for ‘constellations’ as the theme. Other art installations “will be full of color and larger than life,” she says.
  • When you’re packing up your gear on Sunday (or Monday morning), you can leave supplies—camping or otherwise—behind for Code Purple, a local outfit that supports the homeless community. To do so, just grab a wristband from organizers.

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