DOVER — On the heels of a day of bad weather and after a year-and-a-half spent mostly inside, the thought circling at Firefly Music Festival’s roller rink was “why not?”
“It’s very exciting to be here,” Michelle Palmieri said Friday while taking a break from skating. “The rain yesterday was not great but not terrible. I’m looking forward to what’s happening next.”
Firefly’s rink, in the North Hub Beach Club, gave Ms. Palmieri the opportunity to try out roller-skating — an activity that gained popularity throughout the pandemic, in part because of whimsical videos skaters posted to the app TikTok. The hobby offered a way to get outside while staying socially distant, too.
Ms. Palmieri was attending Firefly for the first time, traveling from northern New Jersey.
Though she bought roller skates earlier this year to try out with friends, she said she never got around to it. But she was happy to give it a whirl at Firefly on Friday, despite falling a few times.
The highlight of the festival for Ms. Palmieri thus far was seeing Missio, an American alternative electronic duo that performed Thursday night.
She said seeing the band was part of the reason she bought tickets to Firefly, and its performance secured her as a fan.
Between discovering new bands or finally seeing a longtime favorite perform after a year-plus without live music, the roller rink was a space to pass the time and connect with other festivalgoers.
Ms. Palmieri’s friend, Sarah Gregory, shared the sentiment of linking up with other attendees and said, “My soul feels most alive being around people.”
While Ms. Gregory, visiting from Charlotte, North Carolina, left the skating to others, she said she was enjoying the atmosphere of the festival.
Nineteen-year-old Morgan Pickett, from Connecticut, stopped at the rink while waiting for shows to begin. She said she used to figure skate and thought roller-skating might be fun to try.
Ms. Pickett is camping for her first visit to Firefly. She said the North Hub offered “good vibes,” with a waterslide (new for 2021), beach volleyball and food, among other attractions.
Amanda Mason, a 25-year-old from New Jersey, was enjoying her inaugural visit to the North Hub, even though it’s her fifth time attending the festival. She’s camping again this year and figured she would try roller-skating for the first time when she saw the rink.
“It’s always a good festival, and it’s nice to have stuff like this to do,” Ms. Mason said, adding that she was pleased she didn’t need to pay extra to skate.
New Yorker Justin Wyatt, 21, commented on the diversity of musical genres at the gathering, saying he liked that it offered visitors a chance to hear music they might not have otherwise listened to.
Hana and Nikk Bonneau, both living “van life” at Firefly and having come from Washington, D.C., were enjoying day two of the event, despite the rain that canceled some early Thursday shows.
Mr. Bonneau said he liked the intensity at the shows Thursday. Both he and Ms. Bonneau were at the roller rink in the midafternoon Friday to relax when there weren’t many bands on stage.