For five years running, the Firefly Music Festival has presented Delaware with the chance to show itself off to a younger generation of tastemakers. From beers to bands to beaches, the best that our state has to offer is on display during this four-day fest.
Here are six hometown heroes to look for at this year’s festival.
1. As long as Firefly’s existed, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has been there—providing a shady (and air-conditioned) oasis filled with cold draft beers, swag giveaways and TV screens. The signature Firefly Ale debuted in 2012; it has a citrusy aroma and crisp finish. The music junkies at Dogfish also offer their Namaste variety, the flagship 60-Minute IPA and others from inside their dedicated pop-up pub.
2. With a satellite location mere yards away inside Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, it only makes sense for Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House to have a presence inside Firefly. The fish house has served up hot and crispy fish and chips, blackened shrimp po’ boys, and boozy fishbowl cocktails at festivals past.
3. Besides Dogfish Head, few purveyors are as synonymous with Delaware as the legendary Grotto Pizza, which has also been a Firefly mainstay since the beginning. Dave Grohl’s go-to pizza joint in the First State will be back again serving cheese, pepperoni, veggie and Hawaiian pizza by the slice.
4. Visit Delaware has been key throughout Firefly’s history in providing outreach and helpful info to festival-goers—where to find hotel vacancies, updates on traffic and more—and in urging them to consider Delaware’s other attractions. This summer the tourism office is meeting Firefliers where they are, by sponsoring a suite of volleyball courts in the campgrounds.
5. A spinoff of Delaware indie-pop faves The Spinto Band, Wilmington’s Teen Men is the lone local act appearing on Firefly’s lineup. The band combines catchy Spinto-like hooks with dreamy synthesizers, along with interactive homemade visuals like arthouse videos and collages.
6. Undoubtedly the true MVPs of any outdoor music festival: the showers. Wilmington’s own Speakman shower-and-bath company has pledged over 400 ‘Reaction’ showerheads to Firefly. The low-flow showerheads reduce water waste by 20 percent while maintaining a superior showering experience—allowing campers to wash the funk off themselves in an earth-friendly way.