Ever been to Delaware? Not much seems to happen there, so here’s hoping this fest is a huge success. Something for the kids! Wall Street Journal:
Starting Friday in Delaware, the Black Keys, Jack White and the Killers are scheduled to headline the inaugural Firefly Music Festival, situated in a place called The Woodlands. Previous visitors to that site would know it as “RV Lot 10,” a parking zone where hundreds of motor homes hunker down during big races at the Dover International Speedway.
The rechristening of the lot, which Firefly organizers describe as a grassy 87-acre expanse surrounded by forest tracts, speaks to the challenges of getting a big, new music festival off the ground.
A few years back, ambitious summer festivals were spreading like poison ivy, as promoters tried to replicate annual destination events like Bonnarroo, Lollapalooza and Coachella—but many folded just as quickly. A major hurdle: finding a picturesque yet easily accessible location. Last week, for example, organizers of the eclectic All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals announced a September event would be relocated from Asbury Park, N.J., to a pier in Manhattan. They cited “unavoidable logistical concerns (along with a lack of available fan accommodations in Asbury Park).”
Greg Bostrom, a founder of the new Firefly festival, says his team assessed 60 potential sites, and visited 11 of them in nine different states. In Delaware, Firefly can potentially draw fans from New York and Philadelphia, but Bostrom acknowledged it would be tough to sell fans on a day trip. “We’re within two hours of everyone, but not one hour for anyone,” he says. That’s why organizers are promoting the three-day festival as “a weekend experience” with options such as a “glamping”, (aka “glamorous camping”) in a furnished tent for $1,500, not including admission price. Other potential incentives include craft beer, including an ale brewed exclusively for the festival, by Delaware-based Dogfish Head. And there will be hot-air balloons. (Note: they’ll be tethered to the ground.)