Firefly Music Festival not returning in 2024, may come back ‘someday’

Promoter pulls plug on decade-old festival

By Brian Gilliland
Posted 2/29/24

DOVER — Promoters of the decade-old event have confirmed what had already been rampant speculation during the past week: Firefly 2024 will not happen.

“Firefly Music Festival will …

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Firefly Music Festival not returning in 2024, may come back ‘someday’

Promoter pulls plug on decade-old festival


DOVER — Promoters of the decade-old Firefly Music Festival confirmed this week what had already been rampant speculation during the past weeks. The large-scale event will not happen in 2024.

“Firefly Music Festival will not return in 2024,” Dennis Dennehy, chief communications officer of Los Angeles-based AEG Presents, majority owner of Firefly, told the Daily State News Thursday morning ahead of the official announcement.

“We look forward to powering Firefly’s lights back on someday when the timing is right, but until then, The Woodlands will continue to host new music events for years to come.”

The message is in contrast to the one appearing on Firefly’s web and social media sites since 2022, where the statement had been made, “We will see you in 2024!”.
But it was not meant to be.

Headliners Dua Lipa, Halsey, My Chemical Romance and Green Day would be the last to stoke Firefly’s lights in 2022.

The festival launched in 2012 on the grounds of Dover Motor Speedway with headliners Jack White, The Killers and The Black Keys. Over the years, the festival has also brought the likes of Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, Tom Petty and Red Hot Chili Peppers to Dover and along with it tens of thousands of people.

“AEG Presents is one of the world’s largest producers and promoters of live tours and music events. We have enjoyed more than a decade of collaboration together on the Firefly Music Festival and remain excited about the events we will continue to host in The Woodlands here at Dover Motor Speedway,” said Mike Tatoian, the speedway’s president and general manager, in a statement.

“Just like our annual NASCAR weekend, this year’s Goodguys Mid-Atlantic Nationals car show on June 7-9 and the new Phish festival, Mondegreen, on Aug. 15-18, are more opportunities to provide unique experiences and introduce new fans to our property. Our team, along with local and state tourism officials, are proud of the economic impact and awareness these events continue to bring to our community.”

Last year’s Firefly was also canceled, along with the 2020 event that was nixed due to complications from the COVID pandemic, like many other festivals at that time.

The 2021 festival was moved from its traditional summer date to September.

Since the beginning of 2024, no official statement has been made about the Firefly’s future, with rampant speculation that Mondegreen had replaced the event.

Mr. Dennehy resisted the idea the new festival was a replacement, rather it was a new chance to see new music.

Pete Bradley, president of Kent County Tourism, is among those sad to see Firefly go, but he is pleased with the efforts that Dover Motor Speedway is making to bring other events to the Woodlands — including Mondegreen.

“It’s disappointing but the positive is that AEG and Dover Motor Speedway are committed to having major events at The Woodlands, obviously as evidenced by Phish, which is great,” Mr. Bradley said. “That’s going to be in August, and they will be using that venue.

“So, that’s the positive. We had a great run with Firefly, but the positive was Phish coming on the scene. That’s a great thing. That’s going to be phenomenal.

Mr. Bradley added that Dover Motor Speedway remains a force in making Kent County a draw to tourists.

“We are really fortunate to have Dover Motor Speedway as a partner for our county,” he said. “They’re fantastic. They’ve got the car show coming June 7, it’s an inaugural event and over 40,000 people are expected.

“They also put on Gift of Lights (during the holiday season) at the Woodlands, and they’re committed to using that venue for different events — and obviously NASCAR. I think sometimes we take that for granted, but we’re so fortunate to have them as a partner. They’re really a great economic driver for us.”

Jessica Welch, director of the Delaware Tourism Office, echoed those sentiments.

“While the Delaware Tourism Office is disappointed that Firefly Music Festival will not be returning this year, we are hopeful that AEG will revive the festival in the future or consider The Woodlands for other events,” she said in a statement to the Daily State News.

“We have partnered with AEG and Dover Motor Speedway on Firefly Music Festival for more than a decade, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with these organizations for the upcoming four-day Phish festival, Mondegreen. This new festival offers us the opportunity to showcase our state to a different audience while providing a significant boost to the state and local economy.”

Features editor Craig Horleman contributed to this story.

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