It’s a common refrain from folks who have just experienced Firefly, the three-day music festival in central Delaware that's becoming one of the nation’s premier rock events:

“Is it too early to get tickets for next year?” 

Firefly Music Festival 2013Once they’ve been to the Firefly Music Festival, it becomes an annual ritual for its many fans, partly because of the stellar lineup – the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Petty are headliners this year – and partly because of the free-wheeling and fun atmosphere that pervades this 87-acre site situated centrally on the Mid-Atlantic coast. 

In one corner, there’s the wildly popular TOMS Style Your Sole center, newly expanded for 2013, promising to “hook you up with the coolest pair of shoes you can dream up.” Customers who buy a pair on-site get the chance to work with their expert artists to customize their “one-of-a-kind kicks.” In another section, campers and their more-pampered brethren, the “Glampers,” create their homes-away-from-home in a woodsy setting.

Hammock Hangout Firefly Music FestivalYes, it’s the music – always the music – that brings tens of thousands to the Firefly Music Festival, but it’s also the attractions, the abundance of offbeat diversions, that keeps them coming back. Just take a look at this year’s special features: 

-- Last year’s shady refuge for the weary – the “Hammock Hangouts” – are back and bigger than ever.

--Another returning feature is The Arcade, where free access to vintage electronic games gives festival-goers a chance to while away their time between acts.

--Once the sun sets, check out The Pathway, a forest clearing filled with light shows and video displays, guaranteed to “put your neighborhood Christmas-lighting enthusiast to shame.” 

Dogfish Head Brewery Firefly Music Festival--Even hard-core festival die-hards have to eat (and maybe imbibe), and there’s plenty to satisfy here, including brews from Delaware’s legendary Dogfish Head Brewery, vino at The Vineyard wine garden, and plenty of expanded dining options this year. 

Of course, all this diversionary glitter is merely a sideshow to the music, which this year’s Firefly Music Festival delivers some of the edgiest indie talent in the world, including: 

Vampire Weekend
Foster the People
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Passion Pit
Kendrick Lamar
Grizzly Bear
Alabama Shakes
The Avett Brothers
Edward Sharpe
The Magnetic Zeros
Public Enemy
The Walkmen
Dan Deacon
Toro y Moi
Action Bronson
Azealia Banks
Wild Belle