Nightlife at the 2014 Firefly Music Festival

Insight and advice if you plan to experience Firefly after dark.

At night, the feeling of community is greater. 

At night, as the sun sets and the lanterns and lights that hang from the trees across the Woodlands begin to glow, concertgoers bask in the glory that is Firefly at night. There’s something more magical about a festival after dark. At night, the feeling of community is greater. No matter who you are or where you’re from, when that song you both love comes on, it’s totally normal to scream together and high-five or even hug. At night, dancing of all sorts is acceptable. You can go wild, jumping up and down with your hands in the air, or you can shake your head to the beat. At night, you can cozy up beneath the stars on a blanket with friends to enjoy the music of your favorite rock bands. At night, anything goes.

Firefly’s night shows can be put into two categories. The first is family-friendly. This is your classic, alternative rock, sit-on-a-blanket-and-sing-along kind of show. For me, this was the Foo Fighters. A great, great band, but not the kind a teenager wants to throw her hands in the air for. Advice for festivalgoers: Catch your breath at these shows. Sit on a blanket with your friends, grab some snacks, and jam out to the lyrics you probably already know.

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The second kind of show is the one that draws so many teenagers and young people to festivals like Firefly. At 1 a.m., when it feels like you can’t possibly dance anymore, a DJ starts blasting mash-ups or remixes and suddenly, your feet and your hands and your whole body are pulsing with the music. So far, Cash Cash and Girl Talk have wowed Firefliers, and tonight, Outkast and Pretty Lights will come on late (so late that it’s morning) with much anticipation from the crowd. This dance music comes with awesome strobe lights and exciting effects. Glow sticks seem to fall from the sky (but really, from the Firefly crew) and the beat is so strong you can feel it in your heart. Shows like these are what make being dead-tired the next morning so worth it.

With two nights down and two more to go, the nightlife thus far at Firefly has been more than satisfactory. For those looking forward to arriving for the night concerts of Days 3 and 4, I’ll offer one last piece of advice: Don’t get separated from your friends. If you do, good luck finding them in the giant mosh pit of raging music-lovers who unite at night beneath the glowing lights and the common goal of making every minute count.

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