There’s a new summer festival sheriff in town, and with it came some interesting changes to Delaware’s beloved Firefly Music Festival—which kicks off its eighth year later this weekend in Dover.
Entertainment conglomerate AEG Presents (showrunners of the impossibly posh Coachella festival) took the reins after purchasing Firefly from Red Frog Events last July.
Though the bones of the festival won’t change too drastically—nor will The Woodlands itself—there are some updates and preview items of note. (Just getting acquainted with Firefly? Check out our 10 Tips for Newbies for practical advice on festival life.)
In tandem with Visit Delaware, Delaware Lottery, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, and DART Firefly is offereing a multi-city shuttle service for the first time ever, the aptly named Visit Delaware Shuttle Program.
The Delaware Beach Line will make stops at Holiday Inn Express Bethany Beach, Hyatt Place Dewey Beach and Sleep Inn & Suites Rehoboth Beach. The Wilmington Line stops at Wilmington Station (Amtrak), Hilton Wilmington Christiana and Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington-Christiana. While the University of Delaware/Newark line will stop at Embassy Suites Newark-Wilmington South and Homewood Suites Newark.
Book the Visit Delaware Shuttle here.
Firefly 2018.//photo courtesy of Firefly Music Festival
Despite Firefly skewing younger than it has in years (goodbye Bob Dylan, hello Post Malone), 90s nostalgia remains all the rage. Just check out Firefly’s new signature eatery: Saved by the Max, a retro diner inspired by the titular hangout of Zach, Kelly, Screech and the rest of the loveable goofballs from “Saved by the Bell.”
Saved by the Max will offer burgers, fries, and undoubtedly a million or so selfies.
For a slightly more refined experience, Firefly is also unveiling the Woodlands Supper Club, a six-course tasting menu curated by Philly-area chef Alex Garfinkel (of Balboa Supper Club) that spans yakatori squid, duck breast with baby aubergine, and Vidalia onion emulsions. Each dish is paired with a Dogfish Head beer or spirit.
Check out the full list of food vendors here.
RELATED: Style Inspiration for Firefly 2019
The shopping experience will be reimagined this summer as Firefly Bazaar, where you can indulge on handcrafted treasures, trinkets, and merch—and discover music, comedy and variety acts at the nearby The Roost.`
Longtime partners the Toyota Music Den is the only place to find the coveted glow-in-the-dark Firefly bandana as well as sets from up-and-coming artists. Try not to confuse it with the Toyota Paradise Park, which is where to grab a complimentary silkscreen tote (and of course, something from the Tacoma Food Truck.)
More corporate sponsors means more free stuff for you. Step into the Bai Lounge for a refreshing break with free samples and exclusive cocktails. And stop by the Pandora Sound On Lounge to get yourself body marbled and freak out all the normies.
And be sure to practice some iota of self-care during the long weekend. Partake in a little rejuvenating yoga and kickboxing at both camping hubs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Or gather your crew for intramural soccer and volleyball tournaments (or join a pick-up game, solo style). See the sports schedule here.
Firefly’s version of TED Talks, Firefly C.H.A.T.S., features local artist/activist Jea Street, a showcase on Native American Symbolism, and more.
Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23 • Dover International Speedway, 1131 N. DuPont Highway, Dover