Darkroom contributors Kaitlin Newman and Andrew Windham were on the scene at this year’s Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware. Artists at this year’s event included Grizzly Bear, MGMT, Matt and Kim and more. VIEW PHOTOS.
By Kaitlin Newman
Firefly Music Festival kicked off its second year over the weekend featuring 73 artists over three days and four stages.
Doubling in size since its 2012 inauguration, 65,000 attendees turned out to see veteran acts like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and new favorites including Vampire Weekend, Ellie Goulding and Baltimore’s own Dan Deacon.
“I thought that Tom Petty clearly enthralled the crowd and the he plucked a heartstring with the people in the audience by playing all his hits,” said Brian Haack, 21, of Parkville, Md. “I felt his band had an amazing atmosphere and talent was evident in every song.”
Giving a nod to summer festivals of ’60s past, some attendees wore flower crowns and colorful clothing and shared the peace sign with strangers that became friends. For three days, colorful quilts and flower children dotted the green landscape in the middle of Dover.
“Firefly was undoubtedly the best musical experience I have had up to this point,” said George Tzomides, 23, of Baltimore, MD. “The wide variety of musical genres appealed to any palate and the overwhelming number of other festival activities made for three days of non-stop entertainment.”
Covering more than 250 acres at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, festival goers enjoyed featured food trucks, free water stations sponsored by Klean Kanteen, a hammock hangout, an arcade, a brewery and a vineyard.
For many, the festival was a time to enjoy summer with loved ones and friends.
“Our friend is moving away to Philly, so we all came down together,” said Hannah Suits, 19 of Connecticut. “This is a huge success and has been an incredible experience.”
With the success of this year’s festival, Firefly organizer Red Frog Events and Dover International Speedway have reached a ten-year agreement granting Red Frog Events exclusive rights to The Woodlands as a music venue.
The festival will return to The Woodlands June 20-22, 2014. A limited quantity of pre-sale tickets for the 2014 festival will go on sale June 26 at FireflyFestival.com.
“Firefly fans showed great enthusiasm this past weekend and we’re pleased to announce our return to The Woodlands in 2014,” said Firefly Music Festival Director Greg Bostrom.
“We had 30,000 fans here last year and, thankfully, they all went and told their friends what a great experience it was,” Bostrom added.
Kaitlin Newman is a Baltimore City based photojournalist with a love for antique film cameras, cats, motorcycles and Chipotle burritos. She is currently a student at Towson University and can often be found loitering in small coffee shops.
Andrew Windham is a Baltimore City photojournalist who specializes in documentary and street photography. An alumni from Stevenson University, Windham is interested in revealing the extraordinary aspects of society.