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A Fly on the Wall at FireFly: Part 1

A Fly on the Wall at FireFly: Part 1

A Fly on the Wall at FireFly: Part 1 Event

As an avid festival-goer who’s swayed to musical acts at festivals such as Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Made in America in Philadelphia, I jumped at the opportunity to spend a day behind-the-scenes at FireFly Music Festival in Delaware. Bright and early, I got into my Mini Cooper (whom I fondly named Watson after my love for the Sherlock Holmes’ character) and made my way to The Woodlands at the Dover International Speedway to discover what makes a multi-day music festival tick. 4 days of action, 115+ musical acts, 7 stages, 5 camping areas, and upwards of 90,000 attendees per day… Cue FireFly Music Festival.

Sprawled over The Woodland’s 154 acres of Dover International Speedway’s total area of 840 acres, FireFly’s ticket sales have grown from 30,000 in 2012 (its first year) to 65,000 in 2013 and 80,000 in 2014. In an interview with Billboard, the Festival’s director, Greg Bostrom, notes that he sees FireFly becoming the “premiere East Coast music festival”. He may be right. FireFly has tripled its growth since launching. Created by Red Frog Events, FireFly’s growth prompted the company to partner with Goldenvoice to further enhance the guest experience. Red Frog’s accolades outside of FireFly include the Warrior Dash, Shamrock Fest, and the American Beer Classic. Goldenvoice’s events of merit include Coachella, StageCoach, and Hangout Music Fest. In addition to FireFly, Red Frog and Goldenvoice also partner to produce Big Barrel Music Festival. FireFly’s impressive growth is no doubt largely in part to the Festival’s stellar and expansive line-up year after year. One has to wonder however, how the Festival producers keep up with such a rapid expansion; I mean, think of all those porta potties!

From the moment that I arrived onsite, I was transported into festival game day. Upon driving into the site, I was greeted by an overturned dump truck; it had managed to clip the edge of a ditch and was now blocking a major route for vendor and artist access. Less than 10 minutes in, it was clear that I was in for an action packed day.

Wondering what else might have happened during my visit and over the weekend? Let me put it this way: the phrase, “don’t rain on my parade” should come to mind except throw some lightning into the mix, muddied fields, and thousands of paying guests (including campers!) ready to make the best out of any situation and it gets a lot more interesting. Check back for my next post, where I’ll be sharing much more about my all-day experience onsite. With both my event planning and festival-lover hats on, I took away learnings about crucial key planning players, the need for emergency preparedness, communication systems, guest experience, millennials, and more. Stay tuned!

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