Firefly Festival adds $68 million to Delaware economy

 Thousands enjoy a performance at the 2014 Firefly Music Festival. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Thousands enjoy a performance at the 2014 Firefly Music Festival. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

80,000 music fans contributed more than $68 million to Delaware’s economy according to a University of Delaware study released today.

The four-day Firefly Music Festival created the economic activity equal to 579 full-time jobs. That’s the findings of a study released Wednesday by the Center for Applied Business and Economic Research at the University of Delaware.

“We’re excited to see it make the economic impact we hoped it would,” said Greg Bostrom, executive director of Firefly. “It’s great to bring joy to tens of thousands of festival goers each year and help strengthen the economy in the process.” 

The $68 million impact averages out to more than $850 per guest. The event also resulted in $9.89 million in state, local and federal tax contributions.

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“As Firefly has grown, so has its impact on our state,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “We look forward to having Firefly continue to bring fans and economic activity to Delaware for years to come.”

Attendance at the festival has surged since its inaugural event in 2012 when roughly 30,000 people attended. Organizers hope that growth continues as they plan for Firefly 2015. 

For Delaware Tourism Office director Linda Parkowski, the Festival has an ongoing impact on the state’s economy beyond the four days the festival is held. “By hosting 80,000 people from all 50 states and 24 foreign countries, Delaware gains visibility, and its appeal as a destination is enhanced.”

Firefly will return to the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway on June 18-21. The list of performers has not yet been revealed, but if previous years are any indication, that announcement should happen within the first few weeks of January.

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