WASHINGTON — This weekend marks the arrival of the fourth annual Firefly Music Festival, unfolding June 18 to June 21 at The Woodlands in Dover, Delaware. Plenty of people from the DMV make the trek every summer, considering it’s the closest major festival — about a two-hour trip, depending on traffic.
Whether you’re a Firefly veteran or a first-timer, this year brings many new experiences to The Woodlands. Even if you’re not going, you can still enjoy Firefly from the comfort of your own home.
Many of the changes can be linked to a recent partnership between Red Frog Events and Goldenvoice, creators of the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, to help grow Firefly. And grow it did.
This year marks Firefly’s first sellout with 90,000 music fans coming from all over the world to see acts like Kings of Leon, The Killers, Gary Clark Jr. and its biggest headliner yet, Paul McCartney. In fact, the sellout was anticipated back in March when organizers announced that no single-day tickets would be available.
But if you missed out on tickets, there’s still hope to attend. This year, for the first time, StubHub is the Official Fan-to-Fan Ticket Marketplace of Firefly, offering the chance for resale.
“With the sell out and increased demand for Firefly passes this year, the demand for and accessibility of tickets on the secondary ticket market is inevitable,” says Tad Jenkins, vice president of customer experience and marketing at Red Frog Events and Firefly.
“StubHub shares a similar outlook on fan engagement and satisfaction. This partnership will help ensure all Firefly pass holders, whether purchased through FireflyFestival.com or StubHub, have a stellar experience leading up to and at the festival.”
StubHub will have a physical presence at this year’s festival as the presenting sponsor of Firefly’s acoustic stage and café, dubbed “The Coffee House.” This venue will offer the StubHub Music Experience with exclusive, intimate performances from acts such as Manchester Orchestra, Echosmith, Andrew McMahon and Broods.
Also new this year is an alternative option to pay for items purchased at the festival. Red Frog now has a relationship with Square to be the exclusive mobile payment provider for all vendors at both Firefly and Big Barrel, the country-themed festival also being held at The Woodlands a week later. This change will hopefully do away with long waits at festival ATMs and could even encourage festival goers to leave their cash at home.
Other additions inside The Woodlands this year include the Pavilion Stage, Firefly’s first tented stage, and the Treehouse Stage, where the Treehouse Sessions will take place. These sessions will feature artists already playing at the festival. Fans can win their way in via social media or line up for first-come, first-served attendance. Gamers also will enjoy the new amped-up arcade now called The Beercade, featuring a bar within the gaming area to enjoy a cold brew while they play.
For those who can’t attend Firefly, AXS TV will help you feel like you’re a part of the action — right from the couch. For the first time, the station is including Firefly to the list of festivals it broadcasts. Every act won’t be seen, so if Morrissey and McCartney are on your must-see list, you might want to check out the prices on StubHub. However, a wide variety of artists will be broadcast throughout the weekend, including Modest Mouse, Walk The Moon, Kings of Leon, Bastille and Foster the People.
The AXS TV broadcast schedule can be found here.
WTOP’s Reada Kessler is at Firefly all weekend. Follow her live updates below:
Whether you’re packing up to head to Dover or experiencing it at home, you need to be familiar with the bands. Most will know the headliners, but the festival undercard is where you can find hidden gems you didn’t know existed. It can be time consuming to do all the research yourself, but luckily others have done the work for you. If you belong to a streaming service like Spotify, playlists are painstakingly curated to give you a taste of what is to come.
There are official playlists curated by the festival, but the best come custom-made by the fans. Many of these links have been posted to the Firefly Festival Music Festival Fan Page on Facebook. Former page admin and active member Jesse Berdinka took it a step further, compiling unique playlists for each day of the festival to help fans decide which artists to see: