Delaware’s Jea Street Jr. bridges art and activism at Firefly

Jea Street Jr. | photo by Joe del Tufo for WXPN

As the sole Delaware-based band at Firefly, Jea Street Jr. had a lot on his shoulders kicking off the festival from the South Hub as the rain subsided on Friday. Street and his all-star band did not disappoint. With a set billed as Artivism, with activism and social justice embedded in most of the lyrical content, Street connected well with a crowd that grew with each song. Continue reading →


Firefly On The Fly: Sunday sundown with Vampire Weekend, Hop Along, Car Seat Headrest, Jessie Reyez and more

Vampire Weekend | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The third and final day of this year’s Firefly Festival was a hot one for audiences and artists alike. Many people were spotted hanging more along the sides of the stage for shade and more than a few artists made comments along the lines of “It’s hot as fuck up here!” While it appeared that the daytime attendance was up on Sunday, the “Super VIP” section was lacking some Super VIPS and many were upgraded to get closer to their favorite artists. Continue reading →


Firefly On The Fly: Saturday heat from Travis Scott, Death Cab For Cutie, Tank and the Bangas, Little Simz and more

Travis Scott | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

If day one of the Firefly Music Festival was a great experience discovering new artists, day two was time for adjusting expectations. While there were plenty of highlights, some artists that have been talked up as the next big thing did not exactly deliver, while others performed strongly but were slotted on stages and at times that didn’t work. Continue reading →


Firefly Guide 2019: 20 artists to discover in the Woodlands this week

Firefly | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When it comes to the biggest bands on the bill, Firefly makes things easy — the higher-profile the artist, the fewer people the festival books playing opposite them. It’s at the more emerging artist level that things get all feeding frenzy, and that’s where we come in.

Walking around the greenery of the woodlands and seeing an artist we were only loosely familiar with beforehand playing an intimate set to a tight crowd of devotees — the people who prefer to get up, go out, and seek out music, rather than listen to whatever’s happening off in the distance at the  big stage — is our favorite part of the Firefly experience. Last year, we saw Jade Bird play a tent to maybe 50 people; the previous year, Bishop Briggs delivered a killer set in the tucked-away Treehouse Stage. Both artists are doing pretty well for themselves now.

That’s not to say that every under-the-radar musician on the Firefly lineup is going to blow up in the same way. (Or that every artist playing intimate stages or early set times is necessarily under-the-radar: our love for Philly’s Hop Along is well-documented, and they play two sets on Sunday afternoon.) But not knowing where an artist is headed, and appreciating them for what they bring to their 45 minutes onstage, is an exciting discovery in itself. Here are 20 artists we urge you to discover at the 2019 edition of Firefly.

Continue reading →


Courtney Barnett gets cerebral on the “Everybody Here Hates You” video

Courtney Barnett | still from video

Courtney Barnett released a pair of singles for Record Store Day this past weekend, which included the brand new song “Everybody Here Hates You.” The song is now available on streaming services, and it has a new video to go along with it. The Danny Cohen-directed video draws on the “it’s only in your head” line of the song by showing Barnett and her band performing onstage before taking us on a journey into the inner workings of the songwriter’s mind, pink brain walls and all. Watch below. Continue reading →


Firefly’s campground is getting a lot more chill for 2019

Firefly 2017 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Whether you’re on an inflatable mattress in a hand-me-down tent or curled up on the couch seat of a cargo van, festival camping is often…well, festival camping.

You’re probably in an open field, or a parking lot with ample green space on the islands. It’s most likely really, really dusty and dry. You might consider investing in a bandana to protect your upper respiratory tract. You’ll try to make friends with that person a couple encampments down who brought the porta-shower. And you’ll hope to whatever higher power you believe in that you don’t wind up with a spot down wind from the port-a-John enclave.

Dover, Delaware’s annual Firefly Festival already tries to make its camping experience as palatable as possible, between programming local and emerging artists on its campground hub stages, offering DJ sets for the sleepless (and keeping them a good distance away from the exhausted), and setting up general store pop ups for first aid, snacks, and other supplies. This year, according to a report in Billboard, the festival is planning even more upgrades to its camping experience so attendees can keep clean, stay relaxed, and live their best lives while also seeing a metric ton of music. Continue reading →


Travis Scott shuts out the noise of the outside world in “Can’t Say” video

Travis Scott | still from video

I’ve never ridden a motorcycle myself, but I’ve been around enough of them to know one thing for certain: they’re loud. A dozen-strong clique on motorcycles? Crazy loud.

So that speaks to the transformative nature of Travis Scott and his music — a large portion of his new video for “Can’t Stay” from last year’s Astroworld follows the lauded Houston rapper bathed in the dreamlike purple glow of the deep late night hours as he leads a group of stunt riders through empty streets and plumes of smoke. Continue reading →


London rapper Little Simz teams up with singer-songwriter Cleo Sol on “Selfish”

Little Simz | photo by Tam Cader | courtesy of the artist

London artist Little Simz has become somewhat of a hip-hop pioneer in the UK recently, a title which will only be cemented by her forthcoming album GREY Area. The album will be released on March 1 on Little Simz’s own label Age 101, and ahead of the release she’s shared a new single, “Selfish,” and its video. Little Simz will hit the U.S. festival circuit this summer, with a stop at Firefly on Saturday, June 22. Continue reading →