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Calling All Songwriters: Win a chance to play at Firefly Music Festival

Amos Lee | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Philly fave Amos Lee was featured in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project in 2003 | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

On Monday, February 29th, the annual Philadelphia Songwriters Project Songwriting Contest will open its doors once again.

Every year the Philadelphia Songwriters Project accepts over 200 submissions from young Philly area songwriters for their competition. After the judges narrow the artists down to the top 10-15, a showcase will be held at Ardmore Music Hall on Sunday, May 15th to pick a final four. The final four will then be brought on the road for a summer tour with the final winner getting an opportunity to play at Firefly down in Delaware in June. Continue reading →

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Firefly Music Festival: Morrissey, Spoon, Zella Day, Sturgill Simpson, and more

Crowd during Matt & Kim's set | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.deltufophotography.com/
Crowd during Matt & Kim’s set | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.deltufophotography.com/

Photographer Joe del Tufo has been at Firefly. Despite the evacuation of the grounds last night due to dangerous weather, most of the weekend has been clear. Rockers Kings of Leon, Steve Aoki, and several other bands were unable to perform. Check out some of the photos of band that did get to perform by del Tufo. Continue reading →

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Camping, Crowd Surfing and Covers: A recap of the Firefly Music Festival

The Pathway at Firefly Music Festival | photo by Tom Beck
The Pathway at Firefly Music Festival | photo by Tom Beck

The hardest part of camping at Firefly was being forced to reconcile my love for music with my longing for basic hygienic practices.

The only bathrooms were Porta-Potties, there was no place to wash your hands or brush your teeth (okay, yes, there were handwashing stations but they almost never worked), and it cost $5 to shower in a communal group of phone booth sized stations that were only accessible after you waited in a long line.

Firefly attendee (and my camping neighbor) Cassidy Clauss plays Stump | photo by Tom Beck
Firefly attendee (and my camping neighbor) Cassidy Clauss plays Stump | photo by Tom Beck

But once you get past that, the whole thing was a life-changing experience. I finally realized why so many people buy tickets to music festivals even before the lineups are released – because there’s so much more to them than just the music. Not only did I listen to four days worth of great live tunes, but I hung out with cool new people, watched a World Cup game with thousands of Firefly attendees who also happened die-hard U.S. soccer fans, and was introduced to an outrageously fun hammer-flipping drinking game called Stump, which all of you reading this should try some time. (NOTE: This sounds ridiculously complicated and possibly injury-conducive, but for a festival campground scene, it seems about right. -ed.)

All tree stumps and hand tools aside, the most important part – the music – was great. Or at least what I managed to see. With so many acts going on at times that often overlapped, I couldn’t manage to see every band I wanted to, but did manage to see most. Courtney Barnett was amazing, and probably my favorite performance on Thursday. She seemed genuinely stunned that so many people showed up to see her play, but she totally made the best of it. Her performance was highly energetic with lots of running around and jamming to the music onstage. Bad Things were another band who were great to see live, even if most of the audience consisted of teenage girls shouting about how great Shaun White is. But in reality, the band is much more than White. In fact lead singer Davis LeDuke turned out to be a fantastic front man, and did a phenomenal job getting the crowd into the music, which proved to be a tough task considering that most people were just there to witness Shaun White.

Airborne Toxic Event violinist Anna Bulbrook crowdsurfs | Tom Beck
Airborne Toxic Event violinist Anna Bulbrook crowdsurfs | Tom Beck

The Airborne Toxic Event’s Firefly performance was my fourth time seeing them live, so I new what to expect.  Of course, they were also amazing and played an energetic live set that include a cover of “I Fought The Law” and a stage dive by violin player Anna Bulbrook.

As far as the bigger acts go, the only one that left a bit to be desired was the Arctic Monkeys, who sounded flat throughout the majority of their performance. Apart from playing their first big hit, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor,” they struggled to get much energy going for virtually every other song on the set list, and as a result, were probably the biggest let down of the festival. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to their set.

Beck absolutely killed it. I wasn’t as big of a fan as I was for many of the other acts, but his performance stood out, from a Michael Jackson cover of “Billie Jean,” to an awesome bluesy harmonica solo and spectacular dancing skills, Beck was simply on Saturday night, leaving fans chanting “one more song” after the performance, literally wanting more. Unfortunately, Beck never came back onstage for an encore, but the amazing performance totally made up for it. He’ll definitely be an artist to watch for at next month’s XPoNential Festival.

Bad Things singer Davis LeDuke and drummer Lena Zawaidah | photo by Tom Beck
Bad Things singer Davis LeDuke and drummer Lena Zawaidah | photo by Tom Beck

Friday night’s Foo Fighters performance was the band’s first in a while, but they showed no rust playing not only their own music, but a few classic rock covers during their encore, which included Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure,” The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You,” and Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love.” In fact, covers seemed to be a bit of a theme throughout the festival; apart from covers by the Foo Fighters and Airborne Toxic Event, I saw several others, including San Fermin ending their set with an amazing version of The Strokes’ “Heart in a Cage,” Jack Johnson performing “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly along with Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released,” and a snippet of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” towards the end.

It wasn’t until Jack Johnson’s set when I realized how perfect his music is to be the last headliner of the festival. His chill vibes and summery music was a perfect send off to the highlight of my summer. I think it’s fair to say that I’ll definitely be buying a wristband again for next year’s Firefly Festival.  I’m already counting down the days.

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Firefly Music Festival Day Four: Childish Gambino, The Lumineers, Phantogram, Weezer and more

Childish Gambino | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Childish Gambino | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

We’re finally getting the ringing out of our ears, the dust out of our sinuses, have caught up on sleep and made our way through a final round of photo edits from Firefly 2014. So much action on the fourth day, from Liverpool based singer and songwriter Dan Croll kicking it off with bright and breezy African-influenced pop jams to Childish Gambino bringing the show to a close with an absolutely dynamite performance. In between, we were duly impressed by Swedish electropoppers NoNoNo, alt rock icons Weezer, cerebral dance band Phantogram, Philly singer-songwriter Casey Alvarez and more. Check out a roundup of our best photos from day four below.

Silent Disco | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Silent Disco | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Dan Croll | Photo by John Vettese
Dan Croll | Photo by John Vettese
Philadelphia Songwriters' Project winner Casey Alvarez | Photo by John Vettese
Philadelphia Songwriters’ Project winner Casey Alvarez | Photo by John Vettese
Casey Alvarez fans | Photo by John Vettese
Casey Alvarez fans | Photo by John Vettese
Broken Bells | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Broken Bells | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

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Firefly Music Festival Day Three: Beck, Imagine Dragons, Outkast, Cage the Elephant and more

Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/ Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/[/caption]
Day three of the Firefly Music Festival brought out more big names like Imagine Dragons, Outkast, and Beck, who returns to town on July 2th for the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. Below, check out the highlights from yesterday’s performances.

Outkast | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Outkast | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Beck | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Beck | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Imagine Dragons | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Imagine Dragons | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Third Eye Blind | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Third Eye Blind | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/

Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
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Firefly Music Festival Day Two: Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Band of Horses, Girl Talk, Bleachers and more

Foo Fighters | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Foo Fighters | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/

Yesterday we wrapped up our second day at Firefly Music Festival, which was best described by one word: ROCK!!! Here’s some of our photo highlights from day two.

Band of Horses | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Band of Horses | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Arctic Monkeys | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Arctic Monkeys | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
American Authors | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
American Authors | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Young The Giant | Firefly | Photo by John Vettese
Young The Giant | Firefly | Photo by John Vettese
The Jezabels | Firefly | Photo by John Vettese
The Jezabels | Firefly | Photo by John Vettese
Airborne Toxic Event | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Airborne Toxic Event | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

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Firefly Music Festival Day One: Courtney Barnett, Amos Lee, Local Natives, Phosphorescent and more

Courtney Barnett | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Courtney Barnett | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

The 3rd annual Firefly Music Festival is taking place this weekend at Dover, Delaware and we are there to capture all four days of live music. Last night, the festival opened with performances from Amos Lee, Local Natives, Courtney Barnett, Phosphorescent, Parade of Lights and more.

Amos Lee | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Amos Lee | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Phosophorescent | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Phosphorescent | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tuf | joedeltufo.com
Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Matt Sucich (playing Firefly Music Festival this Sunday)

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You love to discover great music and we love to share it. This week, we have been debuting 3 new Folkadelphia Sessions for you to fall in love with. We’re going to focus on songwriters of varying styles – each come to the art of crafting a song in different ways, but the results are equivalently enriching for the body, heart, mind, and soul.

On Sunday, you heard from Nashville based Holly Williams, channeling her family’s legacy and carving her own musical path – stream & download the songs (all culled from her latest full-length The Highway) from that session here. On Tuesday, you learned about Daniel Sheron’s project Balto and the sincere songs hewn from own experiences – stream & download the session here.

Now we’ll hear from New York located singer-songwriter Matt Sucich (which, by the way, is pronounced “SUE-SITCH”).

Last year, Sucich released an excellent collection of songs in an album called Layers (where you can also find the studio recordings of our session tracks). What quickly becomes apparent is that Sucich is a songwriter in the classic New York cafe sense – I can imagine him spilling his heart out to a spellbound seated audience in an intimate candlelit room. He draws you in; the music is comfortable, easy to try on, and the voice is trustworthy, a pleasure to listen to. Once you’re hooked, you discover Sucich has serious storytelling chops. We can’t wait to hear what he shows us next.

In addition to last year’s full-length, a brand new limited seven-inch is available featuring the “House of Cards,” as well as a single “My Only Problem With You.”

Matt has two upcoming area appearances – the first comes this weekend at Dover, DE’s uberfest Firefly Music Festival, where Matt plays on Sunday, June 23rd, and the second comes at Newton Square, PA’s cafe/venue Burlap and Bean Cafe, where Matt plays on September 14th.

On this Sunday’s radio show, we’ll be premiering Nashville instrumental guitarist William Tyler‘s Folkadelphia Session.

 

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Firefly Music Festival announces daily lineup, single day tickets available now

vampire weekend Firefly Music Festival has announced its daily lineup of bands that you can check out here. The festival is June 21-23 in Dover, Delware. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing on Friday, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on Saturday evening, Foster The People, Passion Pit and Vampire Weekend on Sunday. Single day tickets are also now available here. WXPN will be at the festival broadcasting live and we look forward to seeing everyone!