Good Life

Leave it all behind | Fans flock to Firefly

Vic Mensa performs during last year’s Firefly Festival.
Vic Mensa performs during last year’s Firefly Festival. Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival

The weekend of June 18 is going to be a big one for s’mores.

About 70,000 campers are expected to attend this year’s Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del., and between the late-night music, the early morning music and the general walking around music, it’s difficult to anticipate them getting much sleep.

The medically prescribed eight hours of shut eye will take a back seat for four days in honor of one of the mid-Atlantic’s first big music festivals, a weekend of acoustic revelry that will feature food, arcade games and Paul McCartney.

The takeaway from all of this — sleep on the ride home.

“One thing that Firefly has really focused on from day one is the festival experience,” said Christiane Pheil, director of talent and artist relations at Red Frog Events.

Which isn’t to say that they skimp on the music. This year’s lineup includes Morrissey, Kings of Leon, Steve Aoki and a slew of other artists covering genres ranging from crossover hip hop to electronic.

“We always want to make sure we’re diversifying so we’re appealing to a lot of different people,” Pheil said.

At the end of every festival, surveys are mailed out asking audiences who they would like to see perform in the future.

Nevertheless it’s tough to please everyone — especially when “everyone’ is expected to max out at about 90,000 people hailing from as many as 24 countries.

Pheil said that strategy plays a crucial role in the planning of each festival, but that they aren’t afraid to adapt if necessary, a process that involves keeping tabs on musicians that are selling new albums, bands that are reuniting and artists that are gaining momentum.

Folk, glam and electro rock musician Borns was initially booked for a smaller stage before his following swelled.

“It’s very fun to have to move them from their original stage just because their fan base has grown,” Pheil said.

And every growing fan needs at least three square meals a day. Dining options at Firefly will be far from limited, with visitors able to choose between an assortment of food trucks and local restaurants.

For refreshments, visitors can duck into The Beercade, an addition to this year’s festival that combines pinball, Skee-Ball and other feats of hand-eye coordination with alcohol.

“The arcade has been a very popular destination for people in the past and we just wanted to add another element to it,” Pheil said.

Come nightfall, campers won’t exactly be roughing it.

Amenities will be readily available at each of the two camping hubs outside the gates of the festival, including a general store for groceries, a selection of food trucks and bars.

Yoga classes will also be offered early each morning for those who need to reclaim their inner peace and tranquility.

To take a closer look at the festival’s lineup of musicians and to purchase a weekend pass, visit