Wondering what to pack for the 2015 Firefly Music Festival? Here is a look at logistics: getting ready, coping with traffic, etc.
Before you leave – plan your travel strategy
After some traffic logjams during prior festivals, Firefly organizers aim to smooth things out in 2015, adding 12,000 feet of new roads in and around the festival grounds, instituting 24-hour check-in for campers on Wednesday and Thursday, and boosting the shuttle fleet to speed the transfer from parking lots to the festival gates. Electronic signs will be placed at primary exits and along the route to the festival as a guide to motorists wondering where to turn.
But the most important tool for travelers who want to avoid traffic jams is awareness. Before approaching Dover itself, be sure to monitor traffic conditions via the DelDOT app, DelDOT’s traffic radio station (WTMC 1380-AM; also accessible through the app); or Traffic Webcams (http://www.deldot.gov/information/travel_advisory/). The app features real-time alerts about delays and accidents, allowing fans to choose alternate routes in time to avoid tie-ups.
Organizers expect the busiest traffic days on Friday and Saturday of the festival. If an incident (or heavy traffic) creates problems at the primary Firefly exit along Del. 1 (Exit 104), traffic will be routed south to Exit 95, allowing motorists to approach the festival from the south on U.S. 13. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to stay clear of U.S. 13, unless directed by organizers.
For the many travelers who use Del. 1 to reach the Delaware beaches, it’s also a good idea to be aware of peak Firefly arrival times and plan accordingly by checking the DelDOT app and Traffic Cams. If you’re a beach-goer who typically returns home on Sundays, be aware that that day is also when many Firefly fans will be heading home – it’s better to leave early in the day rather than late Sunday night.
For more details on how to get to the event and where to park, visit the Firefly Music Festival transportation page.
Expect lots of walking (think comfy shoes), and lots of sun (think loose clothing, reusable water bottles and lots of sun tan lotion). And, of course, be wary of the ever-present chance of summer downpours (ponchos are perfect). Sunglasses are a must, and it’s a wise idea to tote a few washcloths, for sweat-mopping and spill-wiping.
Once inside the festival gates, day-trippers and weekend campers alike will find it fairly easy to function without resorting to offsite excursions. Most areas are well marked, porta-potties and water bottel refill stations are plentiful, and attractions conveniently integrated into the flow from stage to stage.
“It’s pretty well organized, that’s for sure,” said Karen Blakely, 24, of Waterbury, Conn., during a break in the action at a recent Firefly. “No matter which stage you go to, you can get a good spot.”
Getting around the Festival
In most cases, the start of the next show is no more than a 10-minute walk away, and it’s nearly always possible to enjoy the music in relatively uncrowded surroundings if a journey into the mosh pit is not your cup of tea.
Of course, when you’re in a crowd of thousands, accidental separation from friends is always a possibility, making Firefly’s “Meet Me” booths handy landmarks to remember. Plenty of other prominent attractions could serve as temporary refuges from the outdoor action, from the Dogfish Head Brewery pub, to The Arcade.
You may even find yourself spending a lot of your time in what has practically become an emblem of the Firefly experience – the campgrounds where festivalgoers have turned their cars and their sites into little homes-away-from-home.
“We can pop in to hear some music, then we can pop right out and come back here,” said Connecticut resident Francesca Lafferty, 20, as she took a break at the campsite she shared with friend Mike Lambert at a recent Firefly Festival.