DOVER, Del. – The four-day Firefly Music Festival contributed more than $68 million to the regional economy and created the equivalent of 579 full-time jobs in 2014, according to a study released today.
In addition, state, local and federal tax contributions as a result of the June 19-22, 2014 event at Dover International Speedway totaled $9.9 million.
The study was conducted by the Center for Applied Business and Economic Research, part of the Alfred Lerner College of Business at the University of Delaware, and was commissioned by a partnership between Dover International Speedway, event promoter Red Frog Events and the Delaware Tourism Office, a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office.
As part of the study, 900 festival-goers were interviewed about their purchases from on-site vendors and off-site businesses, both enroute to the festival and during their time in Dover. An additional 5,000 on-line survey responses were included.
“As Firefly has grown, so has its impact on our state,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. “We look forward to having Firefly continue to bring fans and economic activity to Delaware for years to come."
The $68 million in spending for goods and services throughout the economy that Firefly generates averages out to more than $850 per guest, with approximately 80,000 attending the 2014 festival. The figures reflect in part Firefly’s substantial and rapid growth since its debut in 2012, when about 30,000 fans attended.
In addition to the money that Firefly helps inject directly into the economy, the 579 full-time-equivalent jobs it helped create before, during and after the event came with total additional wage and salary payments of more than $23 million.
“When we launched Firefly in 2012, we had the lofty goal of making it one of the largest music festivals in the country. As we head into our fourth year, we’re excited to see it make the economic impact we hoped it would,” said Greg Bostrom, executive director of Firefly Music Festival. “It’s great to bring joy to tens of thousands of festival goers each year and help strengthen the economy in the process.”
“Bringing an event like Firefly to Delaware, of course, helps put our state on the map in the music world,” said Mike Tatoian, chief operating officer of Dover Motorsports, Inc. “But the economic numbers this study has yielded prove that the festival’s reach goes far beyond just the entertainment business.”
The top business sectors impacted by Firefly include food service and drinking establishments; retail stores; security services; building maintenance and repair services; and hotels and motels.
“It’s also important to note that the impact of Firefly reaches far beyond the immediate economic benefits,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “By hosting 80,000 people from all 50 states and 24 foreign countries, Delaware gains visibility, and its appeal as a destination is enhanced.”
Firefly Music Festival returns to the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway on June 18-21, 2015. For more information, visit www.fireflyfestival.com.
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About Red Frog Events
Red Frog Events is an event production company that pioneered the experiential entertainment industry and has been recognized for its award-winning company culture. Since 2007, the company has developed innovative brands including the Warrior Dash obstacle race series, Firefly Music Festival, American Beer Classic, and EventSprout.com. Red Frog has been named one of Forbes' "Most Promising Companies in America", has appeared consecutively on Inc. Magazine's "Fastest Growing Companies" list, and was awarded Business of the Year by the US Chamber of Commerce, among other honors. In recognition of its philanthropic efforts, the company was selected as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital "Corporate Partner of the Year" and to date has raised over $10 million of a $25 million dollar fundraising commitment.
About Dover Motorsports, Inc.
Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) is a leading promoter of NASCAR sanctioned motorsports events whose subsidiaries own and operate Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. and Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tenn. The company also hosts the annual Firefly Music Festival on its property each summer. Produced by Chicago-based Red Frog Events, the four day event features more than 100 bands on seven stages in The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway. For further information, log on to www.DoverMotorsports.com.
About the Delaware Tourism Office
The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.
Sr. Director of Communications
Dover International Speedway
Public Relations Director
Red Frog Events/Firefly Music Festival
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
Delaware Tourism Office
Director, Center for Applied Business & Economic Research
University of Delaware