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Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware: Day One 6/21/2013
  by: SteveKane - Broomall, PA
started: 06/27/13 9:26 pm | updated: 06/27/13 9:26 pm
Firefly Music Festival is a three-day excursion in the wooded area by the International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Attended by nearly 40,000 people nation-wide, it has been proven to be an event sought out by many. The ability to camp on site is what draws the crowd and separates Firefly from festivals along the East Coast. With grade-A acts and top-notch performances, Firefly Music Festival continues to reign while expressing its joyous and lively development. This past weekend was the second annual Firefly Music Festival in its history to much success and critical praise. The weekend went impressively smooth with the countless volunteers supporting the festival, their work is more admired than appreciated. Music fans all alike had something in store for them this past weekend at Firefly Music Festival, proving to be a versatile event to be enjoyed by even the most fickle of listeners.

Check out the gallery of Firefly Music Festival: Day One here.

The venture from Philadelphia to Dover is a simple ride down I-95 to DE-1 South, to Exit 95 leading to US-13 South. Leaving early Friday morning traffic the ride took two hours, a generous amount compared to some traveling from far and wide throughout the US. Parking was by the International Speedway, where many pitched tents directly next to their cars. Friday morning saw a good portion of festival attendees setting up their camping space for the weekend. The communal aura throughout the morning was true, people have been waiting for Firefly Music Festival since the very first event held last year. As gates were opened at 12 noon, the lines of people in the marquee were ecstatic to walk through the entrance for the first day of festivities.

In terms of land, Firefly Music Festival is held in a vast wooded area approximately 87-arces large. With four main stages, there is always music to be heard and a band to see. Also throughout the park are a numerous concession stands, an arcade, a coffeehouse, two hammock lounges, a 'headphone disco' space and a silent-film cinema area. With so much to do and see, Firefly Music Festival is entertaining and engaging from start to finish. A fantastic way to spend a weekend's vacation with friends or family camping in Dover, Delaware while catching incredible music.

First band to start off the festival was Tyler Burkum's band Leagues, playing at the first stage visible upon entrance entitled 'The Lawn.' Once the crowd started heading in, they instantly heard the sounds from the band and were drawn to the immense stage. After which California-Alternative group The Neighbourhood opened the 'Main Stage'. From The Lawn to the Main Stage, a wooded path way is decorated with colorful umbrellas and lights, with mist machines to cool people from the excessive heat. Next were Chicago's JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, opening the most distant stage entitled, 'The Backyard.' JC Brooks' groovy vocals and the energy of the backup band enlightened the first day crowd at Firefly, waking people up to the power of music.

Opening the in-between stage called 'The Porch' on Friday was Wilmington's own The Spinto Band. Providing catchy guitar-driven melodies the band showed their skilled ability to the newly immersed first day crowd. Next were London favorite's Django Django playing on the festival's Main Stage. Django Django's set riveted and rocked the audience, playing hits such as "Default" proved that the band had a distinct following during the first day. Afterwards Austrailian Indie-Rockers Atlas Genius played 'The Lawn,' arriving nearly 8 minutes before their set due to traffic. Even still the band consisting of brothers Michael and Keith Jeffery played to a packed crowd with intent passion and an instilled ability leaving many impressed and in awe. Next playing The Backyard was Columbus, Ohio two-piece Twenty One Pilots, inspiring the audience to join along with singing and clapping with an intense energy.

Philadelphia's own Dr. Dog then took the Main Stage. "Delaware's largest boombox!" said lead singer and guitarist extraordinaire Scott McMicken. The band proceeded to play an amazingly faithful performance of "Shadow People," leading the crowd to a song-along in complete unison. English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding then took The Lawn stage and dazzled the crowd with her delightful array of songs, proving to be a genius musician and rock singer. Many were left staggered and astonished by the musical ability of Ellie's playing, a definite highlight on the first day of Firefly Music Festival Friday, June 21st.

Setting up next on The Porch stage was New York based psychedelic pop-sensation Foxygen. "We'll be right out to play for you guys!" said frontman Sam France before the band started their set. Beginning their performance with "On Blue Mountain," Sam France delved into ballistic hysterics running on and off the stage and climbing the rafters with supreme agility and spontaneity. Transforming the song to a transcendental reverberation between band and audience, Foxygen started their fantastic array of melodic jingles strong full of wisdom and musical prowess. "I'm sorry I'm crazy and messed things up for a while, but now we're back!" Sam France said genuinely, then proceeded to converse about being an alien. Foxygen founding member Jonathan Rado played guitar with utmost brilliance, sending the audience waves of profound sonic capacity. The band continued to play a faithful version of smash hit, "Shuggie" allowing the crowd to willfully sing along with all their might. Foxygen finished their set with the title track from their latest album, "We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic" beautifully guiding the crowd through space and time with provision and guile. "That was one of the best band I've ever seen" said an audience member after the exhilarating performance.

Public Enemy then entertained The Backyard stage with an ultimate set. Flavor Flav stormed the stage wearing clocks and crown and started with a fun version of "Don't Believe The Hype!" During the same time on the Main Stage were The Avett Brothers, providing authentic folk music to the crowd of loyal fans. The atmosphere in Dover, Delaware was one of excited openness and enjoyment shared between the attendees. This camaraderie added to the overall anticipation between each act and performance. All were fans of music, excited to hear each upcoming act.

Closing The Lawn stage was popular DJ and Electronic Artist Calvin Harris. An incredibly large crowd gathered before the stage to witness the mesmerizing light show and propelling sounds of Harris' set. The almost full moon lit the darkened sky while Firefly's iconic hot air balloon took off and stayed aloft. It was a perfect setting for the acclaimed electronic artist, with nearly thousands enjoying the music. Hitting a plateau and sending the crowd to the point of surreal singing and dance. On The Backyard stage during this time was Brooklyn's popular indie rock group Grizzly Bear, playing many tracks from their latest release Shields.

Last and therefore the greatest of the first night acts of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware were the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Main Stage. Leading up to their set people waited and gathered up close to get a good spot to see the Los Angeles rock band. After the anticipation hit an all-time high, Bass player Flea walked out on stage starting a powerful version of "Around The World." The crowd went in an uproar, singing along to nearly each song. Next was a great rendition of the recent hit, "Dani California." Many made the festival just for the appearance of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and with good notion. The band were on their game. During the encore, Flea crawled out on stage on hands and knees to a blistering loud crowd chanting for more songs eventually finishing the set with "Give It Away."

Day one of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware ultimately went fantastically smooth with very little delay or interference. With a lineup suitable to stay the entire weekend, it's no surprise the amount of people set up camp by the first day. An enduring adventure for many, Firefly Music Festival will see the continuance for years to come. Day one proved that although the festival may have some growing pains being experience in its 2nd year of running, it's strong enough to hold balance between a popular weekend festival and show. They say first impressions last a lifetime, and the first day of Firefly was no exception. Anticipating to see what the rest of the weekend had in store, campers called it a night and stayed in their pitched tents and RVs waiting for the sun to rise and do it all again for the second day, Saturday June 22nd.

Check out the gallery of Firefly Music Festival: Day One here.

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