It’s hard to believe the last year that the Firefly Music Festival was held is the same year Lil Nas X debuted his wildly famous song “Old Town Road.”
Yes, it’s been that long.
Firefly will dust off its beloved festival for the first time since 2019 when it returns to The Woodlands of Dover from Thursday through Sunday.
Considering you Firefly fans may need to knock off a little rust, here’s a brief checklist of items to bring to the festival to ensure you’ll have a better experience before seeing headliners Lizzo, Billie Eilish, The Killers and Tame Impala.
Comfy shoes and socks
Newcomers have a tendency to want to wear cute shoes. But most people aren’t looking at your feet at Firefly. You’re going to be hiking among multiple stages, so it’s key you wear shoes that’ll protect your feet, plus socks. To be safe, you can add inserts in your sneakers for extra comfort.
And while some folks love sandals, they’re not recommended. Sandals slip off your feet and can work against you. Flip-flops can break. Your toes deserve reliable foot support, not some unreliable bottom feeder posing as a friend.
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Money and oxygen are important, but they’re pointless if you don’t have water. Pack water bottles or bring your own water bottle, as long as it’s not made of aluminum or glass (don’t ask).
You’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so you’ll need to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to camp out in front of the main stage all day to see your favorite headliner later that night. Water will be for sale at the festival, but it won’t be cheap.
This is the first year the festival is going to happen in the fall instead of summer. The forecast, per The Weather Channel, is calling for temps in the 70s during the day for all four days of Firefly, then it’s expected to drop to around the high 50s at night. And things can change. So you should be fine wearing shorts, pants, a tank or T-shirt during the day, while packing a thin long-sleeved shirt or a sweatshirt for when the sun goes down.
A few showers are forecasted for Thursday, per The Weather Channel.
While raincoats are helpful, it can feel like a burden wearing one around your waist all day if it doesn’t rain, and those jackets can take up a lot of space if you can manage to squeeze it into your bag.
The more efficient option for fighting showers is to pick up a cheap pack of ponchos. They’re lightweight, come with a hood, and can easily fit in a fanny pack.
It’s important to protect your skin from the sun. You’re going to be outside all day, so keep this liquid shield in your arsenal, just in case.
Charging stations are highly coveted, which means you’ll have to wait to use them. But you can mitigate that by bringing your own portable charger(s).
It’s inevitable your fingers are going to get dirty and your hands will get sweaty. If you have to pee, you’re going to need to touch the porta-potty door. The festival grounds are dusty and your fingers are going to be magnets for dirt.
Feel free to carry a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer with you. It’ll keep you safe, especially when it’s time to eat snacks or a meal, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely have some already anyway.
A pair of cheap sunglasses will prevent you from jacking up your eyes if it gets too sunny out there.
At the moment, Friday is forecasted to be the only “sunny” day of the festival, as Thursday is slated to have showers and Saturday and Sunday are expected to be “partly sunny,” per The Weather Channel. Yet weather predictions aren’t perfect. In the end, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best.
These will mainly come in handy for the people closest to the stage. At the same time, some folks have more sensitive ears and may need earplugs even if they’re further away from the stage. Determine what’s most comfortable for you then make that call.
Earplugs may also come in handy if you are camping all weekend. Your neighbors with the new The Killers album on repeat are a lot less fun when you are the one who wants to crash for the night.
It’s like Batman’s utility belt, but with one pouch. Some of the aforementioned items like earplugs, poncho and hand sanitizer were made to be stored in that stylish pouch. Not to mention, keeping your wallet in there might make it more difficult for pickpockets to get the best of you.
While Firefly’s website says guests aren’t allowed to bring “large backpacks,” festivalgoers still can bring a backpack. Whatever you can’t fit into your fanny pack (like a sweatshirt or multiple water bottles) will fit into your backpack like a charm.
It’s not mandatory to wear a mask at Firefly, yet it wouldn’t be a bad idea because we’re still in a pandemic and you’re going to be surrounded by tens of thousands of people.
Being fully vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t contract or spread COVID-19. The amount of viral genetic material in an unvaccinated person infected with the Delta variant is similar to infected folks who are vaccinated. The difference, however, is “fully vaccinated people will likely spread the virus for less time than unvaccinated people,” according to the CDC.
Added benefit? Festival grounds at Firefly can get dusty and wearing a mask might reduce the amount of grime that ends up on your face.
Leave this stuff at home
Unless you receive written permission from the festival in advance, per Firefly.com, guests aren’t allowed to bring any of the following into the festival grounds:
Glass bottles, aluminum bottles, knives, explosives, slingshots, weapons of any other kind, Frisbees, flags, skateboards, roller skates, hoverboards, laser pointers, drones of any kind, remote-controlled devices or remote-controlled toys, or large backpacks.
Wondering what you can eat at Firefly? Click here.
For the full festival lineup or more information, visit Firefly.com.
Andre Lamar is the features/lifestyle reporter. If you have an interesting story idea, email Andre Lamar at [email protected].