Firefly Festival 2017

Photo by Mary Joyce

Sun’s out, summer’s here, and festival season is finally in full swing.  Valley got to spend a full day soaking up sunlight and star-studded performances in the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware on the third day of one of the East Coast’s most popular music festivals.  Firefly 2017 was one for the books.

Before even stepping foot onto the festival grounds, the excitement of the Saturday lineup was loud and clear.  On the morning of June 17th, cars of concert goers packed the roads outside of the Dover International Speedway, all leading to the venue where thousands had already been camping out for two days.

The lineup on Saturday brought together fans of all genres, filled with performers including Galantis, Kesha, Francis and the Lights, Cashmere Cat, T-Pain, and many more.  But the most hype for the Saturday of Firefly 2017, came from this particular day’s group of outstanding headliners: Bob Dylan and his band, The Weeknd, and Chance the Rapper.

Finally making it onto the festival grounds, it was clear that this highlight of the weekend would exceed all expectations. The day began just like every Summer day should: blazingly hot, with music coming from any direction you could choose to wander in, and filled to the brim with good people and even better food.  In a glitter coated huddle, thousands walked over a blocked off highway bridge to the many stages where the real magic was about to happen.

As the variety of bands started to take their scheduled places on stage, we walked through trees sprinkled with twinkling lights and fields of thousands lounging on blankets in the sun or dancing near the many stages, all surrounded by stands of food and drinks whose variety seemed to be endless.

The music was amazing, the performances each unique and full of life in the way that each artist had intended for their set to be. For hours our schedule went as followed: eat, dance, sing, reapply sunscreen, repeat.  And, honestly, we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

When the sun set on Firefly, the mood that seemed to be at an all time high, somehow began to rise again as the lights in the trees became even brighter.  Every pair of tired legs managed to gather up the rest of their strength to run towards the performances that most had been waiting for what seemed like forever to experience.  The first of the notable, was the always classic Bob Dylan, who brought a sense of calm to the crowd that came together to hear the performance of his songs that will forever be iconic.

A bit after “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right had soothed the crowd, there was a rush to the main stage where The Weeknd was about to begin.  His performance was loud and passionate, complete with perfectly timed fireworks and a light display that took The Weeknd’s already beloved songs, and produced an unforgettable performance.  But when the lights finally dimmed after “The Hills”, there was once again a rush to another stage, where Chance the Rapper would close Saturday night at Firefly 2017.

In a crowd that was as close to never-ending as we’ve ever been a part of, Chance had every hand in the air, waving to the lyrics of the soulful songs he poured his heart out in.  Before long, red and white confetti was floating through the night sky and falling over the crowd, as the closing notes of Same Drugs brought an end to a day at Firefly that couldn’t have been any more perfect.

All-in-all the day that Valley got to spend at Firefly Festival 2017 was perfectly unforgettable, and left us with only one question: How will we ever be able wait a whole year to make it back to Firefly again?