Inaugural Firefly Festival concludes in central Delaware

Now that the first Firefly Music Festival is history, the question is: will it be back?

Crowds of 30,000 or more packed a concert field on the grounds of Dover International Speedway over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They enjoyed performances by a wide variety of national and regional acts including The Black Keys, The Killers, Jack White, Death Cab for Cutie, John Legend, Modest Mouse and many more.

“Even some of the performers talked from the stage about how great the event was,” said Delaware Tourism Office spokesman Peter Bothum.

“Delaware – who would have thought?” Killers frontman Brandon Flowers exclaimed during the band’s performance.

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The Tourism Office heavily marketed the festival, and social media outlets were abuzz over the weekend with photos and comments.

The crowd, according to organizers, included music fans from 48 of the 50 states as well as from several other countries.

“From all accounts, it seemed like everyone really enjoyed it,” Kent County Tourism Director Cindy Small said. “We heard a lot of favorable comments made about Delaware itself.”

The Delaware Tourism Office projected in advance that the Firefly Festival would generate about $12.6-million for the local economy.

“We heard about a lot of hotels booking up – New Castle County, Sussex County and Kent County,” Bothum added.

Small said the festival came at a welcome time for the local business community, in between the spring and fall NASCAR visits to Dover. Also, she believes most in town would like to see Firefly return.

“I think what this has done is it’s shown the capability that the folks at Dover International Speedway have not only to manage a NASCAR event but also to manage a music festival,” Small said.

Billboard Magazine reviewed the festival, calling the event “surprisingly devoid of on-site hiccups” for the first year festival.

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