Twentysomething Goals: Firefly Music Festival 2013Posted: June 29, 2013
One of my major goals before I turned thirty (which is, admittedly, quite far off) was to go to a major, three day music festival. Then, last February, I learned about this fairly young festival (it started last year) located in nearby Delaware, Firefly Music Festival! I was already 75% sold on it just based on the distance from my house (it’s a little over a two hour drive), but when I saw the lineup, I was completely smitten. Even so, I didn’t actually decide to go and buy tickets until about a week before the festival. I wanted to find someone to go with, and while Lucas was the obvious choice to bring since the festival seemed a perfect blend of our music tastes, he had just gone to Ultra over spring break and unsure about splurging on another festival. Also, the three day passes were sold out by the time we resolved to go. Luckily, I later checked StubHub for three day passes and found two for even cheaper than the festival sold them at originally. We didn’t end up going camping, since the camping passes being resold on StubHub were exorbitantly expensive. Instead, we stayed at a small, cheap motel in South Jersey right on the Delaware border that was about an hour away from the festival.
We got there pretty late on the first day since the traffic was unbelievably horrible, but it was still a lot of fun. Highlights included Ellie Goulding, the Avett Brothers (hearing their “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” live was amazing), Calvin Harris, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Lucas is huge fan). I wore a crop top that I had made a couple years ago and sewn a bunch of fabric flowers on to along with a floral crown. Lucas wore a tribal print tank from target along with the Toyota-sponsored official Firefly bandana. We spent a little time exploring the grounds, which were really cool. They had a “hammock hangout”/”forest cinema” grove filled with many hammocks and televisions playing old movies (that’s where the floral popcorn I’m posing with was situated). There was also a hot air balloon you could ride (we were too busy at the concerts to do that, but you can see it on the left of Calvin Harris’ performance).
The second day was even better. We started off with a late breakfast at Waffle House. Lucas had never been there before, and we treated ourselves to an unimaginably large feast of eggs, bacon, toast, waffles, and their famous hash browns – we needed to fuel up for the long day ahead of us. In honor of one of the best Tom Petty songs, Lucas and I decided to theme our outfits “America,” which seemed to be a pretty popular clothing choice at Firefly. I wore one of my favorite crop tops – a red, white, and blue plaid pseudo-bustier that I got off Ebay awhile ago, as well as these short overalls (shorteralls? jorteralls?) I picked up for cheapsies at Walmart. Lucas rocked a Pepsi shirt from Target and Nantucket-red shorts I made for him from a pair of pants that were too big on him. Highlights from the second day included Lord Huron, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (although it was not as amazing as at Lawnparties, because I didn’t feel like fighting to be at the front of the huge crowd), Youngblood Hawke, Azealia Banks (who was absolutely amazing – we skipped out on MGMT so that we could be at the front of her concert even though we only knew “212,” and it was totally worth it. She was so fun.), and, of course, Tom Petty, who rocked hard despite his advancing age. We also found the silent disco hidden in the backwoods. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a silent disco is when (usually) two DJs spin records at the same time and the partygoers wear headphones that can tune into either frequency. They’re ideal for unusual locations (like the middle of the forest) and can look pretty crazy from the outside (it’s just a bunch of people wildly dancing to music you can’t hear).
The third day was possibly the best of all three. We made sure to get there early so that I could see HAIM close up, an amazing and hilarious sister act from California. We also saw Matt and Kim from pretty close up, which was a party. We caught a bit of Passion Pit, but their lead singer was losing his voice so Lucas and I decided to split to wait for our respective next bands (he went to see Zedd, while I headed for Vampire Weekend) and get a good spot. Vampire Weekend was an amazing concert, reminding me how much of their music I really love. Lucas and I then met up again to watch the end of Foster the People, who put on a great show, but were kind of a strange choice for headliner. For the third day, we went with a sort-of pastel theme. I wore an old pastel and floral skirt from my mom and peach and lavender bras from Urban Outfitters. Lucas wore an old shirt that I gradient tie-dyed pink, purple, and blue and wore one of my old necklaces as a headband. I bought some hair chalk for the occasion and colored my hair basically every color of the rainbow. It actually worked really well, but also stressed me out when it started pouring, which it did off and on all of Sunday (all I could imagine was a stream of purplish-brown running down the back of my clothes).
All in all, Firefly was a great festival, and a perfect fit for what I wanted. Everyone there was pretty relaxed, the music was generally really good, and it had a lot of cool other features (the silent disco, the hammock hideaway, the pathway with umbrellas and lights suspended over it, the arcade, the water stations, the samples). It was also definitely the right time to go – it provided a break from this lull between college and work, the bands mostly catered to an early-twenties crowd, and I don’t know if I could do all the walking, standing, waiting, running, staying up late and waking up early later on in my life, but for now, it was perfect.