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Right here’s a sentence I by no means thought I’d kind: Delaware is cooler than it appears. Justify that assertion, you demand? Nicely, okay. For one factor, it’s America’s first state, which looks as if it ought to rely for one thing. The state has no gross sales tax (which is rad), nevertheless it does have Capriotti’s, the sub store that principally invented the Thanksgiving sandwich (aka the Bobbie, which is even radder). Principally, although, Delaware’s coolness quotient is pumped up by the existence of its largest music competition: Firefly.
Feeling that competition itch proper about now? You may scratch it at StubHub, the web ticket-selling market that has the within line on the summer time’s finest and brightest music festivals. Proper now, you’re simply a few clicks away from scoring three-day passes for units from Travis Scott, Panic! On the Disco, Vampire Weekend, and extra, in addition to tenting passes that’ll flip a protracted weekend right into a music-filled odyssey price running a blog about (keep in mind blogs?).
(Purchase: Tickets to Firefly Music Pageant)
01. Vampire Weekend (and Everybody Else from the Aughts)
Vampire Weekend, photograph by Debi Del Grande
Between Vampire Weekend’s third No. 1 report in a row and final month’s sold-out weblog rock lovefest in Lengthy Seashore, it feels fairly secure to say that we’re within the grips of a minor outbreak of aughts-derived indie nostalgia. Attendees at Firefly can get their repair after which some; along with catching certainly one of Vampire Weekend’s handful of American competition dates in help of Father of the Bride, they’ll additionally catch units from acts together with Dying Cab for Cutie, Dashboard Confessional, and a resurgent Ardour Pit (who’s at present within the midst of a yearlong celebration of the 10th anniversary of debut album Manners).
02. Publish Malone within the Headliner’s Slot
Publish Malone, photograph by Lior Phillips
Nicely, this present day’s been written within the face tattoos ever since Publish Malone outdrew nearly everybody throughout his late-evening look at Lollapalooza final yr. Now, it’s formally come to cross: the person whose trend sense we as soon as in comparison with “these previous sq. mirrors you received for popping balloons at a mid-’90s carnival” has formally reached competition headliner standing. After adjusting to life on the high of the invoice at Bonnaroo the weekend prior, you possibly can wager the person behind songs like “Rockstar” and “Psycho” shall be able to ship … no matter it’s he delivers to Firefly’s awaiting followers.
03. Rad Girls? Rad Girls
Courtney Barnett, photograph by Philip Cosores
The ladies of Firefly produced lots of the data that wound up on our High 50 Albums of 2018; in a single weekend, you possibly can catch standout types together with the confessionalism of Snail Mail (No. 22; Lush), the agitated Aussie rock of Courtney Barnett (No. 27; Inform Me How You Actually Really feel), and the dreamy Swedish pop of Lykke Li (No. 48; So Unhappy So Attractive). Throw in extra units from acts like Hop Alongside, Rubblebucket, and the legendary TLC, and also you’ll quickly uncover far more highly effective feminine voices than the competition’s high line would recommend.
04. Saturday’s Small-Textual content Hip-Hop
Saba, photograph by Heather Kaplan
Travis Scott and BROCKHAMPTON will get the lion’s share of the hype (and rightly so; I imply, have you ever heard Iridescence these days?), however beneath these big-font acts lies a boatload of rising hip-hop expertise that we’re jazzed to see in any setting (competition or in any other case). In case you’re planning your Saturday, we propose you achieve this round units by Chicago’s personal SABA (proprietor of our No. three report of 2018), Baltimore beat tinkerer JPEGMAFIA, and British provocateur Little Simz (whose single “Boss” ought to be permalocked into your pump-up playlist from now till doomsday).
05. Firefly Eats (And Then Some)
Saved by the Max
Each competition has meals and drinks, however not each competition has Saved by the Bell-inspired cheeseburgers. That’s proper: after high-profile stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, the vaunted Saved by the Max pop-up restaurant will make its one and solely competition look of 2019 at Firefly. If that’s not your definition of tubular (Zack Morris mentioned tubular, proper? It’s been so lengthy), the competition’s different eating choices could be; plunk down $99 for a reserved seat on the Woodlands Supper Membership to discover a country spin on haute delicacies by Philadelphia chef Alex Garfinkel, or discover a strong vendor record that features competition favorites comparable to Depraved Maine Lobster, Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co., and Island Noodles.
06. Unique Dogfish Head Beer
Firefly Ale by Dogfish Head
Whether or not you could have a brew from time to time or spend nights out min-maxing your Untappd account, it’s fairly laborious to show down the chance to strive a beer that’s impressed by the music competition you’re at present attending. Such is the temptation at Firefly, the place attendees can pattern pours of Firefly Ale from the brewmasters at Delaware’s legendary Dogfish Head Brewery. Impressed by the competition’s laid-back vibes (in addition to English-style pale ales), the official beer of the Firefly obtained a tropical replace final yr due to a fan vote that noticed coconut flower nectar and guava puree added to the standard combine. What’s in retailer for the 2019 version? We all know simply the place to search out out.
07. Firefly After Darkish
Firefly Woodlands After Darkish
With a reputation like Firefly, you would possibly anticipate the competition to have one thing additional particular in retailer for the hours after the solar goes down. If that’s the case, you get full marks; Firefly’s grounds mimic the bioluminescence of the fest’s namesake bug in enjoyable (and generally breathtaking) methods. Sling your hammock up in The Nook for a cushty view of the headliners’ laser exhibits, or amble into the woods amidst the light-up artwork of The Pathway, which results in the untold treasures of the Firefly Bazaar (a brand new addition for 2019).
08. Glowstick Set
Talking of precise fireflies: one of many competition’s most enduring fan-led traditions entails the impromptu mild swarm created when hundreds of attendees all bust out their very own glowsticks throughout the identical set. (It’s the form of spectacle that prompted Deadmau5 to declare Delaware “the glowstick capital of America” throughout his 2016 set.) This being an natural form of flash mob, there’s no full consensus on which performer will get the respect this yr; a fast peek on the competition’s subreddit means that early contenders embrace Zedd, Kygos, and DJ Snake, so be ready.
09. See Delaware Proper
Go to Delaware Shuttle Program
A part of Firefly’s simple charms come from its tenting tradition, however the competition gives one other added bonus for anyone concerned with exploration exterior of the competition grounds. For simply $49, festivalgoers can snag limitless weekend rides from the Go to Delaware Shuttle Program, which runs to and from places together with the guts of Wilmington, the campus of the College of Delaware, and the state’s southern seashores of Rehoboth, Dewey, and Bethany. Whether or not you’re trying to find college-town allure or a sandy Atlantic getaway, these buses (which run a number of instances all through every competition day) are a simple technique to broaden your lodging choices and switch a easy competition journey right into a statewide journey.
10. Study Some Music Historical past
Johnson Victrola Museum
Okay, so it’s most likely a stretch to say that with out the Victrola, there’d be no Publish Malone, nevertheless it’s not a stretch to say that the final century of in style music would possibly’ve seemed very totally different if not for the efforts of Dover’s personal Eldridge Reeves Johnson. Earlier than heading to the competition on Friday or Saturday, pay homage to the person who made data doable (or, at the least, in style) with a go to to the Johnson Victrola Museum. Admission is free, which makes it a simple technique to find out about Delaware’s pre-Firefly musical historical past.
Purchase tickets to Firefly Music Pageant right here.