The fields were alive across the Dover International Speedway with the sounds of sweet music. Firefly 2015 is in the books and it was bigger and better than ever. In it’s 4th year, the festival is still getting started but acted like it’s been a veteran on the scene with a vast lineup of talented artists topped with Sir Paul McCartney. Campers rolled in Wednesday and dealt with some muddy conditions – Saturday night had to be cut short as strong storms moved in, forcing the cancellation of that night’s headliners Kings Of Leon – but that didn’t hamper anybody’s spirit.
My wife and I arrived Friday afternoon to catch the start of Walk The Moon’s set. They are riding high on the charts with their very catchy tune, ‘Shut Up and Dance’, and made the most of their 60 minute set keeping everything up tempo and ending it with their hit song. We then moved on to peruse the grounds and hitting one of my favorite spots, The Brewery. Dogfish Head creates a special brew for this event – appropriately named the Firefly Ale, a refreshing English-style pale ale. Delicious! Friday night’s headliner was Sir Paul, so we grabbed our Fireflys and went to secure our spot by the main stage. Just before Paul, Morrissey hit the stage for his set and opened with his hit ‘Suedehead’ and ripped through 16 songs from his more recent catalog. The crowd of 90,000 that was spread around the festival grounds quickly headed for the main stage to catch the Beatle and at 10:00pm, Sir Paul and his band emerged on stage and opened with Birthday as Paul’s 73nd birthday was the day before. Macca blistered a 2.5 hour set full of Beatles, Wings and cuts from his latest record and really set the tone for the rest of the festival.
The heat was on for Saturday as we headed to down to the festival site at 12p. The crowd was pretty light early on and a good majority of the McCartney crowd missed a great main stage set from Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. Australian pop-rock band, The Griswolds, electrified the crown at the Backlawn stage with a set full of tune from their album, Be Impressive. Phoebe Ryan packed the StubHub Coffeehouse with a soulful, pop set that featured her hit Mine. Phoebe just released her video for her single, Homie – Check it out!
The artist that really blew me away and turned me into a fan was Betty Who. I didn’t know much about Betty other than that she had a catchy tune in Somebody Loves You and had opened up for Katy Perry. I noticed her catching Phoebe Ryan’s set and I thought about checking out Betty’s gig a few hours later – I’m sure glad I did. The fun, energetic Who commanded the stage and had the crowd dancing and singing along – even if they didn’t know the words. The only problem I had was that her set wasn’t long enough! She is definitely one to keep an eye on in the pop scene as I can see big things for her.
Saturday was cut short due to the storms so we had headed back down Rt. 13 to Hampton Roads. Firefly is definitely one of the best music and festival experiences that I’ve ever had. If you have never gone and thought about going – you really need to get up and go. It’s quick drive and I saw a lot of 757ers there – it seems that I see more and more each year I do and there’s no doubt that the camper caravan will be twice as long next year.