5 Tips to Surviving Firefly Music Festival

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.54.41 PMBy Ashley Reed, Afternoons on Eagle 97.7

Five years, over 500 bands and nearly 90,000 screaming fans. It’s safe to say that the Firefly Music Festival in Dover is the biggest, most exciting thing to happen in Delaware in a really long time. Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. Seeing all my favorite bands in one weekend, plus getting the weekend off of work of course. This year will be my third time attending Firefly. Though I still don’t consider myself a “Firefly-Pro,” here are a few tips that I’ve developed over the past couple of years.

Stay in the campground… No seriously, do it

If this is your first Firefly experience, please let me advise you to buy camping space. Not only for the convenience factor, but that’s where most of the fun happens! I’ve had a lot of friends tell me that they don’t want to camp (more money, they don’t want to sleep outside, and the best line; “Umm… no, I want to shower!” Trust me when I say, more than half of the Firefly experience is in the campground. It’s like one giant tailgate event–one BIG party! Another piece of advice, purchase two campsites. Yes, it may be a little pricier- but the camp sites are relatively small (and getting smaller each year). You want to make sure you have plenty of room for your car, your tent, your hangout space, and of course; your beer pong table.


There’s nothing more important than staying hydrated. My friends and I bring AT LEAST one case of water each and trust me, you’ll drink it. Standing outside in the heat for 4 days takes a toll on your body. Make sure that you are fueling it. Water will be used for many things around the Festival: of course, drinking, but also rinsing off, and staying cool (last year our neighbors brought a baby pool). It is particularly important to drink lots of water if you are drinking alcohol at the Festival as well.
Water can be pretty expensive once you enter the grounds, so I suggest investing in a Camelback or bringing in a factory sealed bottle. This year, Firefly has also announced that there will be more water stations around the grounds as well, so you can stay hydrated by using these refill stations.

Prepare some food

As with any concert, food inside the venue can get expensive. Especially, if you’re eating ALL of your meals inside. My friends and I like to bring hot dogs and hamburgers to cook at our camp as well (see grilling guidelines at We’ve even gone as far as to bring bacon and eggs for the morning. Other good suggestions are sandwiches, fruit, protein bars, and chips for snacking. Not only will you stay fueled during your stay, but having snacks on hand will also help you save money and help with that nasty hangover!

Be Smart

This tip has a lot of different meanings. You may have heard about the people who set a couch on fire last year? Don’t be those people. Why put yourself and others in danger? Follow the rules (more at
Keep your things at home. Think about it: 90,000 people all in the same place. Some in the camp ground while you’re in the festival. Keep your valuables at home, or lock them in your car. You can live without your iPad for 4 days.
Come prepared: Enough clothes, sunblock and a good set of walking shoes. Did I mention water?

Do your research

Everything I suggested, plus more can be found on Firefly’s website. There’s also a really awesome Facebook page made by fans to help answer any questions you may have, or even make some friends before the show. Really, they’re a great set of people; Check it out. Figure out what shows you want to see beforehand, when and where those artists are playing.

Trust me, you will have to make some compromises. Make sure your questions are answered. Again, check out the website or feel free to ask me. I’m on your radio every weekday from three to seven, 424-1234. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun. After all, that is what it’s all about. Take lots of pictures, but don’t forget to also live in the moment. See you in the Woodlands.

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