Firefly Music Festival gives people the chance to be with tons of people again


It was in the Dover Woodlands on Thursday where Brian Gannon of South Jersey was reintroduced to some normalcy.

“This is the first time that we have participated in a big event since the whole COVID situation began. So it’s nice to be around people again and see new faces, ”said Gannon, 33, masked and seated in a bus full of music lovers, as he was transported from Dover Mall to his Firefly Music Festival campsite on Thursday evening.

People are enjoying Firefly's first night on Thursday 23 September 2021 at the Woodlands in Dover.

Like a lot of people in The Woodlands, this was Gannon’s first time at Firefly. He and his fiance arrived on Wednesday, and everything was fine. Until Thursday rolled around.

“We thought we had a head start on the game and then the storm hit this morning and it was crazy wind and rain,” Gannon said. “It just collapsed our whole tent; all of our supplies are soaked.

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Fellow Firefly, Tina Hoffman, 20, of Philadelphia, was well prepared for the downpours. Hoffman looked chic in her yellow raincoat, with matching boots and hat, a fashion statement she said was inspired by the character of the same name in the stop-motion horror film “Coraline” from 2009.

Soaked 20-year-old Tina Hoffman from Philadelphia looks stylish in a classic waterproof outfit at the campgrounds of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

For some Firefly music lovers, however, Hoffman’s outfit gave off a “Curious George” vibe. “I didn’t even realize it,” she said. “But I was like ‘Yeah, I’m kind of like Curious George.'”

The 20-year-old came to Firefly on a mission: “I’m super excited to see The Killers, it’s going to be fun; and Megan Thee Stallion.

Devon Orsini, 22, of Woodstown, New Jersey, waited outside the festival entrance with two other Firefly newbies, while anticipating the performance of headliner Billie Eilish later that night.

Billie Eilish performs on the Firefly Stage at the Firefly Music Festival's opening night premiere on Thursday 23 September 2021 at the Woodlands, Dover.

In previous years, an artist the size of Billie Eilish wouldn’t play Firefly on a Thursday night. While the festival has featured big names in the past Thursday, like Chromeo and Two Door Cinema Club, Eilish is unique as she is arguably the biggest player in this year’s lineup, which includes headliners The Killers, Tame Impala and Lizzo.

Orsini said Eilish broke the mold on Thursday for good reason.

“They played it tonight to attract more people. Over the past two years, [Firefly hasn’t] had a lot of really good people, ”said the 22-year-old Firefly newbie. “The last time I think they had awesome lineup was probably in 2017, 2018.”

Festival goers enjoy Billie Eilish on the first night of the Firefly Music Festival on Thursday 23 September 2021 at the Woodlands in Dover.

Eilish’s star power is powerful. But not powerful enough for the “Happier Than Ever” artist to eclipse how excited Gannon is to see rap legend Nelly on Sunday, the last day of the festival.

Gannon, 33, grew up listening to Nelly in the early 2000s, an artist who had a great influence in popularizing Southern rap with commercial hits like “Country Grammar”, “Air Force Ones” and “Hot in Herre” “.

“It was something different. It was like a party atmosphere, ”Gannon said of Nelly’s music.

Redveil performs on Firefly's first night at the Treehouse Stage on Thursday 23 September 2021 at the Woodlands, Dover.

His music is like soul food to the new Firefly participants.

“It’s like that commercial for Campbell’s Soup where the kid walks in and he looks like a snowman, and his mom sets this cute steaming bowl of Campbell’s Soup in front of him. And that melts all the snow, and it gets that smile and warms up, ”Gannon explained.

“When Nelly’s music starts you start to jump on it and it warms you up from the inside. “

For more information on the festival, visit

Andre Lamar is the reporting / lifestyle reporter. If you have an interesting story idea, email Andre Lamar at [email protected]

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