One of the best things about representing brands at the music festival is that generally you are having so much fun that it rarely even feels like work. This has definitely been my experience working with Toyota over the last two years at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE.
In case you are not aware of what Firefly is, here’s a little explainer from Wikipedia.
Firefly Music Festival is a music festival produced by Red Frog Events alongside Goldenvoice, that was first held on July 20–22, 2012, in Dover, Delaware. Firefly takes place in The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, a 105-acre (42 ha) festival ground, over the span of three days. Many nationally known musical acts have performed at the festival, with over 100 performances held over the course of the festival in 2016. The festival producers have been working together to establish the event at the current venue with the hopes of having “an open-air festival on the East Coast with plenty of outdoor camping”. In past years the festival has included up to seven stages; The Porch Stage, The Lawn Stage, The Backyard Stage, the Treehouse, The Coffee House, The Pavilion and The Firefly Stage. In 2019, the festival had six main stages (The Firefly Stage, The Prism, The Lawn, The Hideaway, Treehouse, and The Roost), two sponsor stages (Bud Light Dive Bar, Toyota Music Den), and one stage in each camping hub (North Hub Beach Club, South Hub). Firefly offers three different passes options; general admission, VIP, and Super VIP.–Wikiedia
Since Firefly is located basically in the middle of nowhere, at the Dover International Speedway, we camp out at the site, just as does most of the attendees. Unlike last year, I was able to get my buddy Joseph to come and work on our team so we were able to be camping buddies.
Unfortunately for many of my fellow coworkers, it became really cold at night and the first night there was actually a rain storm the at took out many tents. Thankfully, our little tents held up just fine and Joseph and I went to Walmart on the second day to get a few things to make the rest of our time more a bit comfortable.
For the first couple of days, I was working in the Toyota music tent. I absolutely loved this because I’m a huge live music buff and I didn’t get a chance to work in the tent last year. Last year, I was in the Toyota activation on the other side of the festival near the main stage where we gave out freebies and ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, that was fun too but I was enjoying the change. Plus, this time I was able to work with some new faces and faces I hadn’t see in a while.
My favorite performance by far in the den was Shaed, who performed “Trampoline.” I love the high energy of the audience mixed with the transcendental vibe of the performance. It was a beautiful experience.
Despite having a blast working in the music den, I had to ask to be moved back to my post from the previous year because I started getting migraines. If you know anything about the pain of migraines, you know they don’t mix with loud music. They certainly don’t mix with loud music coming out of massive speakers that you are standing next to for 8 hours a day. Thankfully, the managers agreed and I was able to be moved.
The best thing about being at my old spot was that this time my friend Joseph was working there too. We went working directly together but he was close enough for a quick laugh here and there. One thing about doing any type of gig work is that having people who make the work fun around you is everything.
One of the best things about working at Firefly is that most of the brand activation shut down around 8pm and don’t open back up again until 10am the next day. That means you get plenty of time to actually go out and enjoy the evening performances.
The performer that I most wanted to see and that I most enjoyed was Post Malone. I’m a huge fan of his music. I find him to be an extremely creative songwriter and almost everything that I’ve ever heard from him I like. His song, “I Fall Apart” speaks volumes to me because when my ex and I broke up, I felt like I couldn’t breathe for a long time. When he performed it at Firefly, I was completely absorbed by the song. It was like everyone in the crowd was pouring out their pain into a massive vat of commiseration. Talk about a cathartic moment!
The Firefly Music Festival is a wonderful event. The atmosphere is high energy and everyone is on cloud 9. I’m not sure that I will work it again as I’m not doing, as many promotional gigs these days. However, I know I will definitely be attending again at some point. I have to admit that I didn’t take a lot of photos and videos at this event this year. I spent most of my time having way too much fun. Next year, I promise I’ll do better. LOL