Firefly Music Festival

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Firefly Music Festival
Location(s)The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway
(Dover, Delaware)
Years active2012–present

Firefly Music Festival is a music festival produced by Red Frog Events alongside Goldenvoice, that was first held on July 20–22, 2012, in Dover, Delaware. Firefly takes place in The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, a 105-acre (42 ha) festival ground, over the span of three days. Many nationally known musical acts have performed at the festival, with over 100 performances held over the course of the festival in 2016.[1] The festival producers have been working together to establish the event at the current venue with the hopes of having "an open-air festival on the East Coast with plenty of outdoor camping".[2] In past years the festival has included up to seven stages; The Porch Stage, The Lawn Stage, The Backyard Stage, the Treehouse, The Coffee House, The Pavilion and The Firefly Stage.[3] In 2019, the festival had six main stages (The Firefly Stage, The Prism, The Lawn, The Hideaway, Treehouse, and The Roost), two sponsor stages (Bud Light Dive Bar, Toyota Music Den), and one stage in each camping hub (North Hub Beach Club, South Hub). Firefly offers three different passes options; general admission, VIP, and Super VIP.

Musical acts[edit]


The headliners for the 2012 festival included Jack White, The Killers, and The Black Keys. Each performer played as the final act for a separate night of the festival on The Firefly Stage, the largest stage at the event. Other notable acts included Death Cab for Cutie, John Legend, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, and The Flaming Lips. Although Passion Pit was listed as a musical act for 2012, their performance was cancelled due to lead singer Michael Angelakos seeking ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder. Yeasayer was chosen as the replacement for Passion Pit's performance.

The 2012 schedule (artists listed from earliest to latest set times):[4]

  • Friday, July 20
  • Saturday, July 21
  • Sunday, July 22


The headliners for the 2013 festival included Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.[5][6] Other notable acts included Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Avett Brothers, Calvin Harris, and Passion Pit.

Imagine Dragons was scheduled to be the only returning musical act between the 2012 and 2013 Firefly Music Festival. However, due to a scheduling conflict they had to cancel their performance and were replaced by Jim James.[7] The Lumineers and Earl Sweatshirt were also scheduled to perform, but cancelled for medical reasons. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite replaced The Lumineers while Schoolboy Q replaced Earl Sweatshirt in the lineup.[8]

The 2013 schedule (artists listed from earliest to latest set times):[9]

  • Friday, June 21
  • Saturday, June 22
  • Sunday, June 23


On January 14, 2014, the lineup for 2014 was announced via the official Firefly YouTube channel. The headliners for 2014 included Outkast, Foo Fighters, and Jack Johnson with other notable acts Imagine Dragons, Beck, The Lumineers, Pretty Lights, Arctic Monkeys, Weezer and Broken Bells. Girl Talk, Twenty One Pilots, and Imagine Dragons returned for their second year performing at the festival.

The 2014 schedule (artists listed from earliest to latest set times):[10]

  • Thursday, June 19
  • Friday, June 20
  • Saturday, June 21
  • Sunday, June 22


On February 17, 2015, the 2015 lineup was announced via the official Firefly YouTube channel. The headliners for 2015 included Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon and The Killers. The schedule of performances and locations were released on a date closer to the festival. Due to a severe thunderstorm on Saturday night of the 2015 festival, Kings of Leon had to cancel their performance and the festival grounds were temporarily evacuated. Charli XCX also had to cancel her Thursday performance, citing "personal reasons" in a statement.

The 2015 schedule (artists listed from earliest to latest set times):[11]

  • Thursday, June 16
  • Friday, June 17
  • Saturday, June 18
  • Sunday, June 19


The 2016 lineup was released on November 18, 2015. Headliners included Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine, and deadmau5. Two Door Cinema Club served as the Thursday night headliner.

The official alphabetical 2016 lineup was as follows:


Headliners included The Weeknd, Muse, Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper and Bob Dylan. Glass Animals served as the Thursday night headliner.

The official alphabetized 2017 lineup was as follows:


The 2018 Firefly Music Festival continued to be a four-day event starting June 14 and lasting through June 17 with headliners that included; Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Amillion the Poet, SZA, Martin Garrix, and Justin Caruso.[12]


The 2019 Firefly Music Festival returned to being a three-day event starting June 21 and lasting through June 23 with headliners that included: Panic! at the Disco, Travis Scott, and Post Malone. Other major performers included Kygo, Tyler the Creator, Vampire Weekend, DJ Snake, ZEDD, Death Cab for Cutie, Brockhampton, Courtney Barnett, TLC, Lykke Li, Lauren Daigle, Alison Wonderland, King Princess, Jessie Reyez, and Tank and the Bangas.[13]

Crowd surfing at the finale of a Blink-182 concert


In addition to musical acts, The Firefly Music Festival offers other activities. An arcade tent is set up, which houses arcade and video games. Attendees can design their own pair of Toms Shoes and have an artist paint the design. With the purchase of the custom pair of shoes, an additional pair of Toms is sent to a child in need, through the Toms One For One Movement program. The Hammock Hangout is a shaded area in which you can sit or lay down in a hammock. The Pathway is a wooded path that connects the two "halves" of the festival. Each year, The Pathway has a theme, and as of the 2017 festival, fans get to choose what that happens to be.

The Thicket is another attraction at Firefly, where attendees can participate in a silent rave. For everyone with headphones on, however; the Thicket music filled, with DJs playing music that can only be heard through the headphones. The Coffee House offers a multiple café-style vendors, and music performances throughout the day.

In its first year, Firefly featured hot air balloon rides over The Woodlands. The rides are no longer offered to Festival goers, but the hot air balloon remains as an iconic symbol of Firefly.[14]

Firefly partners with Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery to have The Brewery, an onsite beer bar. The bar serves Firefly Ale, a microbrew Dogfish Head Pale Ale makes specifically for the festival.

Firefly also offers various charging stations, where attendees can charge electronic devices.

Starting in February 2015, there is also an annual unofficial weekend long fan get together in Dewey Beach, Delaware. Called Winterfly, the event is un-associated with Goldenvoice or Red Frog Events, but features live music, and group activities such as a private tour of the Dogfishhead Brewery and charitable auctions that benefit local music programs.


A number of lodging options exist at the festival. Attendees of the festival can choose to camp in a tent or RV in what Firefly calls The Grove. Additionally, attendees can choose "glamping", a portmanteau of the words "glamorous" and "camping". Some glamping options provide private, air-conditioned tents, beds with sheets, access to private and air-conditioned showers and bathrooms, access to a private food lounge, as well as food and snack vouchers for inside the festival.

After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, event security worked with the Dover Police Department, Delaware State Police, DelDOT and the Kent County Department of Safety to create security plans. Walk through metal-detectors were installed at points of entry, with bomb detection dogs also posted at each entry.[15]


Firefly Music Festival promotes itself as a sustainable and environmentally friendly festival, with its program Sustainable Beats. A part of this program includes carbon footprint offsetting with ticket purchases. Attendees of the festival have the option of donating to the carbon footprint offsetting program when purchasing their tickets online, which allows each attendee to offset 440 pounds of carbon dioxide. The festival matches each of these donations up until the festival is completely carbon neutral. In 2012, this program offset over 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide.[16] Additionally, water refill stations are found throughout The Woodlands, reusable water bottles are sold at the concert and encouraged to concert attendees, and the festival participates in a waste diversion program to reduce the amount of trash from the festival that ends up in a landfill.[16]


Firefly and Red Frog Events have partnered with St. Jude's Music Gives to St. Jude Kids program to "enlist artists large and small, emerging and established, to join St. Jude in the fight against childhood cancer."[17] This program includes having a tent for donations at the event, having meet-and-greet events with various performers at the concert, and other ways of fundraising for the program. In 2012, Firefly attendees raised over $4.6 million for Music Gives to St. Jude Kids.[17] In addition, Firefly partners with Bud Light, Jack Daniel's, Tito's Vodka, StubHub, AXS TV, Cupcake Vineyards, Alex and Ani, Fye, Dogfish Head, Camelback, El Jimador, and Garnier. As of 2015, Sirius XM's Alt Nation has broadcast multiple Firefly performances throughout the festival.


  1. ^ "2016 Lineup". Red Frog Events.
  2. ^ MCKINLEY, James. "A New Pop Music Festival in Delaware". Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  3. ^ "Festival Map". Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "Speak into My Good Eye Firefly Festival Releases Day-By-Day Lineup Schedule For Inaugural Event". Speak into My Good Eye. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Mehalick, Mike. "Firefly Music Festival Unveils 2013 Lineup Headlined By Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers". Speak into My Good Eye. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  6. ^ Mehalick, Mike. "The Postal Service Playing Firefly Music Festival 2013?". Speak into My Good Eye. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "News & Updates". Red Frog Events.
  8. ^ "Speak into My Good Eye The Lumineers + Earl Sweatshirt Pull Out of Firefly Music Festival". Speak into My Good Eye. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  9. ^ "Firefly Music Festival | Welcome". July 13, 2013. Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  10. ^ "Schedule | Firefly Music Festival | A Premier Music Experience". July 3, 2014. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "2015 Schedule | Firefly Music Festival". June 27, 2015. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Firefly Music Festival releases daily band schedule". delawareonline. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  13. ^ Josephine, Peterson (December 10, 2018). "Panic! At The Disco, Travis Scott, Post Malone: Firefly 2019 lineup announced". Delaware News Journal. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  14. ^ "Attractions". Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "Bomb-sniffing dogs, metal detectors ratchet up Firefly security measures". delawareonline. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Green". Red Frog Events. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "St. Jude". Red Frog Events. Retrieved March 20, 2013.

External links[edit]