Some people can go to a music festival with nothing more than the shirt on their back and a dream in their head. For me, however, the term “festival” induces nightmares of not showering, sleeping on the ground and massive, sweaty crowds in which I get trampled, and die without ever meeting Kim Kardashian. Can you tell I’m kind of an “indoor girl”?
At the persuasion of my college girlfriends that “IT’LL BE sOoOoOo FUUUUUN!”, we attended Firefly Music Festival last summer. As a Delaware native, I expected what all Firefly nay-sayers do: endless traffic, sub-par concerts, and seas of wanna-be hippies. It actually was SoOoOo fun, and I gained a new appreciation for music, friendship, living in dirt, and pride for our tiny state of Delaware at hosting such a major event.
Firefly boasts over 100 musical acts, and attracts more than 70,000 festival goers, with the number rising each year. This year, with performers like my personal favorite, Snoop Dogg, Firefly is sure to light the way for more festival newbies. Survival is key, and only the strong survive.
- Form an alliance
Firefly is such a better experience when you’re surrounded by your friends, swapping stories and bonding, and also they can help buy supplies! Make a master list of what you need –Firefly has a pretty extensive list— and decide who will bring what. Create an inventory of items you might already own, and make a plan for who will drive. Arrange a meeting spot before entering the campgrounds, and create a car train to ensure adjacent camping spots. Remember that your battery will die faster than you can say “Instagram!”, so have a back-up plan of where your group will meet. Or have that picture of Kim Kardashian’s ass to hold in the air.
- Invest where it counts
I bought the entire camping section of Target when we went, and had my own personal glamping experience. However, I suggest just splurging where it matters most, like something comfy to sleep on, lots of baby wipes, a good quality water bottle and a camp shower with hanging bag. Honorable mentions go to a solar charger for your phone, camp chairs and tables, and a big-ass tent. I mean, how comfortable do we look? Just don’t overpack. Because you THINK you’re going to have less stuff when it’s time to go, and you won’t.
- Protect yourself
Bring plenty of sunscreen, and use it ALL THE TIME. The sun is beating down on you all day long, and the atmosphere is disintegrating people! Along with sunburn, prevent dehydration. There are water stations all throughout Firefly, but it’s kind of warm and gross, so find a way to keep ice with you! Bring gallon jugs of water and your own water bottle. Last year’s dust bowl left most patrons with “Firefly Lung”, so get a cool bandana to look gangsta AF (see below).
- Think outside the band
If a true festival-head looked at my iPod (…if I had an iPod and didn’t just jam out to the radio…), they would probably call me a poser. Yes, I love Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and that song about Michelle Obama! And I admit, I went to Firefly last year solely because I like “Beverly Hills” by Weezer. But some of the coolest music I heard wasn’t in the front row of the major act, but chilling at the coffee shop without a huge crowd. Take the opportunity to check out all of what Firefly has to offer, from the yummy food trucks, to the brew houses, old school arcade and zen hammock spot.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint
We danced all night in the silent disco, woke up at 7 am every day, walked miles, hitchhiked to meet Outkast, drank from noon til midnight, oh yeah and did I mention we met Outkast at 3:30 am in the Dover Downs casino eating chicken wings? And then we left early on the last day because we were totally exhausted. Maybe had we not worn ourselves out we could have had one last epic night at our first Firefly. Enjoy every minute, have as much fun as possible, but be safe and take a day to relax, or maybe go do yoga with the bearded guys.