101 in 1001 #93: Go to a music festival: Firefly 2014

Another day, another item checked off my 101 in 1001 list! 

Kaitlin, my roommate-soulmate from college, and I had been planning a trip to the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE since this winter...when summer and outdoor concerts seemed light-years away. Firefly's a relatively new music festival on the scene, celebrating its 3rd year this year, and has grown exponentially each year. This year, the festival played host to 120+ bands and 80,000+ fans from June 19-22, and Kaitlin, her boyfriend Max, and I were among the legions of crazies who braved it! 

I'm the kind of person who always has a vision in my head of what something is going to be like before experiencing it. To that end, I often get over-excited or married to that vision, and thus end up shocked when things aren't exactly what I had expected. Firefly, needless to say, defied all expectation. I had pictured lots of drifting around in maxi dresses, listening to The Lumineers under the shade of a tall oak tree while sitting on a blanket and casually discussing my love of music with other, like-minded fans. HA! Naive little Liz strikes again. 

Firefly was a marathon, folks. No...a triathlon of music absorption. 80,000 people on 300 acres meant that instead of relaxing in my imagined shady groves of trees, we choked on dust for 3 days straight and sweltered while parking our none-too-clean asses on dirt. The air was constantly perfumed by the stench of pot and unwashed, sweaty teenager, and the demographic tended away from floaty maxi dresses and toward "wear as little as possible without being cited for indecent exposure." It was less of a communal chill-fest and more of an all-out sprint through as many acts as we could cram in. In a word, exhausting. In a follow-up word, awesome

I'm not hating on Firefly by any means...just establishing that it was extreme in ways I hadn't expected. The opportunity to see as many amazing bands as we crammed into 4 days is rare, and I appreciated it in spite of blisters, minor sunburn, and bone-deep tiredness. The chance to experience it with my die-hard music aficionado best friend? Even better. 

Before this gets too long, here's a smattering of pictures and a list of personal highlights from the long weekend: 


-Snacking on potstickers and chilling out with Kaitlin during Amos Lee--a set in which he covered and mashed up Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies." Magic. 

-Listening to RAC from a hammock as darkness fell. Dancing our asses off to "Cheap Sunglasses."

-Braving a Porta-Potty for the first time since the age of 11 or 12--and surviving. 


-Pounding parking lot vodka-Red Bulls before entering the festival. 

-Playing "spot the preggo" with Kaitlin (There were a shocking number of hugely pregnant women there, along with families with suuuuper fresh babies. Irresponsible parenting much?). 

-Successfully identifying Max's spirit animal (a golden retriever) on my very first read. Bam. Instant friendship.

-Taking an old-timey "family portrait" with total and complete randos, who we never saw again.

-On the topic of photography, discovering Max is terrible at it. And I mean that in a loving way. 

-Strawberry lemonade that changed our lives on the lawn. 

-Taking a much-needed power nap during Iron and Wine's set.

-Discovering awesome new band Shakey Graves (take a listen if you can find their stuff, they're wonderful!).

-Dave Grohl leaving the Foo Fighters's set midway through to go get a beer...then burping it all back up right into the microphone mid-song.

-Late night Reeses McFlurry. Omg, lifechanging. 


-Max and I getting a whole hour-and-a-half of extra sleep while Kait "studied" for the GMAT (hello, Buzzfeed).

-Smallpools kicking off the day with an unbelievable set that included, believe it or not, "You Get What You Give," thus completely 100% making my weekend. 

-Lucius and MS MR's neon hairspiration (next dye job, anyone?).

-Walk off the Earth's entire set dancing like fools and suffocating in the Dust Bowl (with the cleanest Porta-Potties, to redeem itself a liiiittle...).

-Max and I making up a secret handshake to cement our mad festival cred and insider music knowledge.

-Coining the term "Peace, Love, Firefly."

-Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked Bars. Such an appropriate festival name, such a delicious afternoon snack.

-Grouplove's surprisingly excellent CoffeeHouse Stage set...including a (skip-free) cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" that got the whole crowd rocking.

-Falling in love with Johnnyswim, especially their STUNNING drummer aka my future husband.

-Dancing our faces off to Outkast (and STILL knowing all the words to "Roses").


-"Did you just say 'Aloha, bitch?'"

-Our "friend" with crazy eyes trying to buy drugs off the three preppiest-dressed people at the entire festival. 

-Misterwives being incredibly adorable and excited to be performing at Firefly.

-Jake Bugg being incredibly not excited about anything.

-Max's obsession with/raving fan excitement over the US-Portugal soccer game.

-Everything, I repeat, everything about being fourth-row for The Lumineers.

-Showering off all the grime and dirt at the end of it all. 



Thanks for the memories, Firefly 2014!