Firefly Music Festival was the first camping festival I attended, in 2016. I went with a handful of friends and we camped on a 30-person lot. I had so much fun at this festival, I’d been dying to go back! Last summer I was still broke from living in France, but this summer I was committed to going again!
I paid for a 6-person camping site, because I thought some friends would be joining. Note to self, you probably should not spend money on a shared camping site unless your “fellow campers” actually buy their festival tickets as well. As we got closer and closer to the festival weekend, it was clear that the 6-person lot would be inhabited by only my boyfriend and myself. More room for us, suckaz!
It was actually really fun to be at the festival as a couple. It meant much less coordinating between people and it was nice to have some time alone (in the middle of thousands of people). We chose the sets that we wanted to see and explored or lounged in between them. Firefly Fest always has hammocks scattered about in the woods or in stands. Despite there being such a high supply of hammocks, the demand is outrageous so you have to really stalk out the empty hammocks or just wait until someone leaves. Firefly must have a partnership with Eno Hammocks, because all the hammocks I saw hanging had their logo. We brought our own hammock to hang, but ended up using the ones they already had up.
This year, I learned that I absolutely cannot “hang” like I used to. I stayed longer at Firefly in 2016 and had significantly more energy throughout the whole weekend. Our first night at Firefly this year, I couldn’t even stay up for the 12:30am performance! That being said, I don’t remember the sets going as late as they seemed to this year. There was a set from 1:00-2:00am on both Friday and Saturday!!! Clearly I am not hip anymore. We even used the pedicabs to get to the festival and back to our campsite each day because we were too lazy to walk! The pedicabs are pretty awesome, they saved us a lot of time and some of the drivers decorate them.
It was a really hot weekend to be camping in the middle of a field. Thankfully, I borrowed a HUGE shade tent from my dad to have at the campsite. There’s no way we would have lasted without it! Everyone around us had easy to set up, pop-up canopies for shade. I swear it took us over 45 minutes to set up this shade tent. No joke, we pulled in next to our camp-neighbors at the same time yet they’d assembled all their tents and cracked a beer before we even figured out the logistics of how to set up the shade tent. Fail! I swear, the only time the wind blew the entire weekend was when we were trying to put together this insane 12×12 tent. The main issue was that the tent would blow away any time we made progress or got ready to stake it to the ground! One quick gust of wind and our tent was lifting off like a kite. I must say, we were great entertainment for our neighbors. They were invested enough to mutter in unison “Dangg, sorry guys” when our tent toppled over, just not invested enough to help us out haha.
Making friends with your camping neighbors is one of my favorite parts of a camping festival. Everyone is in a great mood and there to enjoy the music. We took turns playing music from our speaker or listening to our neighbors play music from theirs (you’ve got to preserve your battery when you only have one solar power charger!). We attracted a lot of passersby with our hookah. One neighbor approached us with a beard died purple and a face full of glitter, offering us some whiskey and a bottle of Arizona Iced Tea to chase.
One of my favorite moments at Firefly Festival was when we discovered a small concert by accident. We wandered into an area that turned out to be the TreeHouse stage! With the smaller crowd, the performance was really intimate. I hadn’t heard of Kat Cunning prior to this performance, but her set was amazing and she has beautiful voice. She reminded me stylistically of Florence and the Machine. Her encore song was a cover to Every Girl by Lil’ Wayne, which was fantastic.
All in all, it was a spectacular weekend and I can’t wait to go again! Here’s some more pictures from this magical festival: