DOVER—By Day Three of Firefly Music Festival, people walked a little slower and the sun shone a little hotter, but the music kept coming.
A young group of friends started the Dover festival together with five people, but only two were spotted walking into the front gates late Sunday morning.
“We all just kind of dispersed after a while,” said Erin Silva of Smyrna, who was camping with the group. She was hanging with friend Nicolette Natrin of Milton Sunday.
Weary festival goers push forward on the last day of Firefly.
DFM News talked to some attendees on the final day of the inaugural Firefly Festival.
Silva lost her voice on “Day One,” she said happily. “It was a downward spiral from there.”
They came into Firefly Friday optimistic for their first festival experience and said it didn’t disappoint.
“Every band is really getting everyone into the shows,” Natrin said. “Everyone is very friendly.”
They rattled off some of their favorites from the weekend, including The Killers, Modest Mouse, and Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires.
“Charles Bradley was the best by far,” Natrin said. “That was a surprise because I didn’t know who he is. But spiritually, really it was the best.”
Swinging with friends in the Hammock Hangout, Mike Salach of West Chester said he also discovered a band over the weekend.
“Walk the Moon,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that at all. I didn’t really know them that well, and that was an amazing concert.”
Some hiccups at the festival included a late John Legend, who arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport just two hours before his set Friday evening. Thanks to a police escort, Legend made it onstage in time.
After Passion Pit abruptly canceled its Saturday spot earlier this week, along with some other tour dates, Brooklyn band Yeasayer stepped in to fill the void with a great set of music.
Getting in and out of the festival was relatively easy for non-campers. Traffic on Route 1 noticeably slowed Saturday at the Kent County line, but that could have been the usual beach traffic as much as Firefly. Leaving the parking lot at the end of the day proved a little slower.
David Iobst drove down from Bear all three days with his brother and friends.
“Good food, good beer, good times,” Iobst said. He said he was glad Dogfish Head Beer was available at the festival and that sound issues were addressed at the Firefly Stage early into the festival, before The Killers hit the stage Saturday night.
His brother Kekou Iobst drove down from Allentown, Pa., for the weekend. “This has been a really good experience,” he said, adding he will definitely return next year if the musical lineup is as strong as this year’s.
Kekou lobst’s girlfriend, Crystal Horninger, also from Allentown, said she was grateful for the mild weather Friday and Saturday.
“I was actually loving the nice drizzle that we had, because it’s been so hot the last few weeks,” Horninger said. “Today is probably going to be sticky and tough in the crowd.”
While the early part of the weekend was rainy and cool, it wasn’t uncommon to see some of the performers themselves taking in the low-key festival. Michael Franti was spotted in a soccer game in the artists’ area after a bouncy set. When he was finished he took some time to greet fans and sign autographs in front of the stage.
Members of The Felice Brothers also wandered around before making a five-hour drive home to Palenville, N.Y.
The lone Delaware-based band playing the festival, Lower Case Blues, kicked off the music Sunday at The Porch stage and attracted a healthy crowd for their 30-minute set.
Red Frog Events estimates a crowd of 30,000 at the festival this weekend with nearly 1,500 volunteers working, according to Lauren Shield, a spokeswoman for Red Frog.