Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers on Firefly 2023 wishlist

Firefly Music Festival 2022 is already over, but that hasn’t stopped fans from dreaming about what headliners they’d like to see in Woods in 2023.

“The headliners I would love to see are Greta Van Fleet, Twenty One Pilots and Yung Gravy,” said fan Taylor McCracken of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who just completed her second Firefly appearance.

Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the Dover Festival, which featured new facilities including a Ferris wheel, a tattoo vendor and a gigantic statue near the main stage.

But this year’s event also had a few shortcomings that fans would like to see improved for next year, changes they believe could help boost attendance.

Here’s a look at some of the things fans loved about this year’s Firefly, as well as some improvements they’d like to see for next fest.

Who’s on the fan’s headliner wish list?

There’s a long list of headliners and other artists that fans want to see booked for Firefly 2023.

Metallica's Kirk Hammett (L to R), Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo attend the F1 Rocks India Metallica concert press conference on October 28, 2011 in Delhi, India.  Firefly fans are clamoring on social media for Metallica to headline The Woodlands of Dover festival in 2023.

Some of the names that popped up the most among fans chatting on social media included Metallica, Harry Styles, Gorillaz, Miley Cyrus, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billie Eilish, Yung Gravy, Twenty One Pilots, Snoop Dogg, Artic Monkeys, Greta Van Fleet and Odesza, Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X.

Other big names mentioned by fans on social media include Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Blink-182 and Madonna.

Some fans said they would like to see more rock and hip-hop bands from the 80s and 90s. Firefly has a history of bringing in legacy rap bands such as Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Nelly. There were no such performers at last week’s festival.

Anna Grimm from Salisbury, Maryland wants to see Miley Cyrus and Greta Van Fleet next year. Although Miley is a pop artist, Grimm said she wants to see the festival change things up a bit in 2023.

“I would also like to see Firefly return to its roots with more indie/alternative music and less pop,” she explained.

What concerns did Firefly fans have this year?

Low attendance

This year it seemed like the crowds at Firefly were a bit smaller than last year. Ahead of last year’s event, festival organizers AEG announced they were capping the 2021 festival at 50,000 people.

Firefly organizers have been coy about releasing their festival’s attendance stats since their 2015 event, which drew 90,000 fans. That year, when Paul McCartney was a headliner, remains the highest attendance year in Firefly history to date.

The lucky attendees form a line to re-enter the 2022 Firefly Music Festival in Dover on Sunday, September 26, 2022. The threat of extreme weather has forced a temporary evacuation of all attendees from the venue.

But nine-time Firefly fan Jon Steward, from West Deptford, New Jersey, said last week he had noticed “attendance seemed much lower than in previous years”.

Firefly organizers have yet to respond to this year’s requests to participate.

Higher food prices

One problem this year was high food prices, fans said. A slice of pizza was $10 which is also the cost of lemonade. A bowl of mac and cheese was $12. Bottled water was $4.

Fans have also noted a dearth of vegetarian/vegan options this year.

“There needs to be a better variety of healthier food options out there,” said Tyler Kleinle of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “I am sensitive to fatty and fried foods. It tires me out and after a few days of eating it can trigger depression.

parking wars

The parking situation was also a bit messy this year. Fans who previously parked overnight at Dover Mall have been moved to land that may have previously been used for camping.

Overnight parking was $20, double the cost last year. This new area was poorly lit and had few attendants, making it difficult to find vehicles after dark.

Some fans struggled to find the pitch to start with because there wasn’t much signage, they said.

Fewer steps

There were five stages this year, one less than in 2021. Most of the action, however, took place on three stages (Main Stage, Pavilion and Backyard).

In comparison, there were eight stages in 2018 (Main, Pavilion, Backyard, Lawn, Porch, Tree House, Coffee House and Toyota Music Den).

Headliner Dua Lipa performs during her set on the Firefly Main Stage on Day 4, the final day of the 2022 Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Sunday September 25, 2022. Lipa's performance was nearly canceled when the threat of extreme weather forced a temporary evacuation of all participants from the site.

In pre-pandemic times, you would see popular artists performing on the Lawn Stage. Additionally, popular artists and rising stars would sometimes play two sets, with one being on a smaller stage, giving fans an extra bang for their buck.

Tricia Witkins of Monroeville, New Jersey, wants the festival to bring back the Lawn stage, which featured artists like Portugal. The man and Vance Joy.

“They removed the Lawn stage, which was the best mid-day stage. That’s where I first saw Lord Huron,” Witkins said. “[They] got rid of the Coffee Shop [too]the coolest and coolest scene where you could catch Rainbow Kitten Surprise and take a break.

Shade the situation

Firefly was traditionally held in the summer before the pandemic and has been held in September since 2021, helping fans beat the scorching heat.

At the same time, Witkins pointed out that there were few places to hide from the sun last weekend.

“Shade is nowhere to be found this year,” she said.

Reinforced security measures

Festival security at the gate seemed tighter this year, fans said.

Depending on which line you were in, some of the security people were asking fans to take off their baseball caps in order to check inside their hats for weapons. Some fans were refused entry to the festival if they wore bandanas.

The measures did not appear to be applied evenly among fans, they said.

“I saw a guy bring a bat and a goldfish box while I saw a lady having to throw her belt away because it was considered a weapon,” Witkins said.

…but there were a lot of positives about Firefly 2022

Still lots of good vibes

Fans watch Philadelphia band Snacktime perform on the Treehouse Stage on Day 4, the final day of the 2022 Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Sunday, September 25, 2022.

Music is the excuse a number of fans use to hang out at Firefly every year. But the real stars of the festival are “the people”.

Philadelphia’s Lyndsay Mercier has been to Firefly twice. Although she said she expected more spice for this year’s 10th anniversary, she still had a “magical” time.

“Somebody hand you a delicious free kiwi, put a deli sticker on your arm that says ‘hot’, hand you a little rubber ducky just because they ask you to take your picture because they like your held – the people in attendance are what sets Firefly apart from other music festivals,” Mercier said.

Dover’s Lori Jones has been to every Firefly and is happy the fans are always kind and caring to one another.

“I love the freedom to express yourself without judgement. Everyone comes together to enjoy the music and the art,” said Jones, who added that she would love to see big names like Metallica, Calvin Harris, The Cure and Pearl Jam play Firefly in 2023.

Powerful Wi-Fi connection

Phone signals and Wi-Fi connections were strong this year, much better than before the pandemic. Maybe it’s because there seemed to be less people this year. But he was still appreciated by the fans.

Faster lines, less walking

To complement the previous point on attendance, the queues to enter the festival were arguably the fastest in Firefly’s history.

The reduction in stages was seen as a blow to some, others said they liked the fact that fewer stages reduced the festival ground a bit, making it easier with a lot less queues. waiting along the way.

Andrew Stead of Perkasie, Pennsylvania has participated in eight Fireflies, but this year was very special.

“It was my first year bringing my daughter, and it was the best so far.”

Delawareonline.com will keep you updated on new developments for Firefly 2023. For more information on Firefly, visit fireflyfestival.com.

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

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