Last year I attended my first ever music festival and had the time of my life. I saw amazing acts, participated in fun activities, and more! So obviously, I had to go back this year. And go back I did.
I’m not sure if this year was better or worse than last year, but I certainly experienced it differently. Firstly, this year it wasn’t just me and my friend Ciara. My sister Carolyn and Ciara’s friend Shelby came too. We got what’s called carefree camping, which is where they put up a tent for you. It also includes two blow-up mattresses. While it was nice to not have to put up a tent, I don’t think we’ll do it again next year. We couldn’t have the car right by us, so we had to bring all of our stuff and store it in the tent with us. Still, we had a pretty good location and I didn’t mind out stay there.
We also didn’t sit up front all day waiting for the headliners. (Well, I didn’t. Ciara still did a couple days.) This way I was able to walk around the venue more and see more acts. It was nice to spread out a blanket and relax on the lawn. Sure, I didn’t get to see as many acts up front, but I was okay with that. I felt like I had more freedom.
Overall, I felt a lot more prepared this year. I was less worried about getting dehydrated, thanks to moving around in a nice breeze. I even got drinks a couple nights (a Mr. Brightside and OMG it was so good (I’ve got ingredients, if you’re curious)). Whether it was jamming out in the front row or lounging in the shade for six hours, I had such a blast this year and, once again, am already looking forward to next year.
Just as with last year’s post, I’m going to organize the rest of my thoughts by category. That makes it easier to talk about specific events and different acts I saw. So anyway, here we fucking go:
Artists/Bands I Saw: On Thursday, I saw Chicano Batman and Chromeo. On Friday, I saw The Regrettes, Lights, Flint Eastwood, Foster the People, and Arctic Monkeys. On Saturday, I saw Middle Kids, Royal Blood, Lil Wayne, The Killers, and Eminem. On Sunday, I saw Betty Who, MGMT, and Kendrick Lamar.
Front Row Experiences: This year I only saw Flint Eastwood and The Killers front row. I’m going to get into The Killers more later, but Flint Eastwood was fantastic. A self-described “angry Wendy’s girl,” she put on such a lively show. She performed on a small stage, so the set was really intimate. She really knows just how to pump up the crowd. She also sounded great live. I already liked her music, but her set really solidified me as a fan.
Artist(s)/Bands(s) I Anticipated the Most: Once again, my answer is Flint Eastwood and The Killers (especially The Killers). And neither of them disappointed.
Best Performance: Unequivocally, The Killers. Holy shit, they were so good! Brandon Flowers’ voice and stage presence is godly. What’s more, the whole band seemed genuinely happy to be there. They played all their hits (yes, including “Mr. Brightside”) and seemed as enthusiastic to play them as when they were new. Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about how charming Brandon was. If I were to go straight for anyone… no, I’m kidding (mostly). They also brought up an amateur drummer to play a song with them. Even though a part of me was jealous, I was mostly happy for the guy (and the crowd seemed to agree, chanting his name in support). This show was genuinely one of the best I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad I was able to witness it from mere feet away.
Worst Performance: Chicano Batman. They were… yeah, they were not good. And that terrifying laugh they did at the end of their show? Nightmare fuel. If ever I have sleep paralysis, I know it’ll just be that laugh played on a loop. I shudder to think of it.
Biggest Surprise: The Regrettes. I was interested in them before, but wasn’t really a fan of the vocal style. But they really put on a good show. In my oh-so-humble opinion, they are the heir apparent to Paramore. Also, I would die for their bass player Sage Chavis. I can see this band blowing up in a few years.
Biggest Disappointment: That I didn’t get to meet Terry Crews, who was apparently there. And get this: he was helping at the chicken tender stand we frequented. HOW DID I MISS HIM? MY SISTER SAW A GUY SHE THOUGHT LOOKED LIKE HIM BUT DIDN’T THINK IT WAS REALLY HIM. OH MY FUCK, HE WAS RIGHT THERE.
New Discovery: Chromeo. Even though they’ve been in the business for twelve years, I hadn’t heard a single one of their songs until a week ago. They’re a lot of fun, cleverly mixing EDM with real instruments. They also have great stage presence. I’ll be downloading some of their music soon.
Coolest Things to Happen: Aside from Brandon Flowers seeing me to his own two eyes? I guess finding out that Flint Eastwood is gay. I hadn’t know that before. I guess lesbians just gravitate toward other lesbians naturally. I also really liked how when she talked about how her childhood pastor ran a conversion therapy camp, everyone in the audience booed. They then cheered when she said she lives as a proud, openly-gay woman. That felt really good, feeling surrounded by people who have my back, so-to-speak.
Favorite Non-Music Activities: Honestly, there weren’t as many non-music activities this year as there were last year, but the food was much better this year. I especially liked this one tender stand they had— so good. I also really enjoyed sitting under the shade of a tree for, like, five or six hours with my friends on Sunday. We just lounged and talked, avoiding the heat until we were ready to head to the venue. It was really nice.
Artists/Bands I’d Like to See at Future Firefly Shows: Demi Lovato (even though it will never happen— but it’s the only way I can see her front row!), The Front Bottoms, Lorde, Rihanna, Hayley Kiyoko, King Princess, Janelle Monáe, The Neighbourhood, Caroline Rose, Childish Gambino, Carly Rae Jepsen, Chance the Rapper (since I slept through his show last year— don’t judge), HAIM, Lily Allen, LOLO, Marina and the Diamonds, The Last Royals, VÉRITÉ, and Zella Day
As I said last year, if you ever get the chance, I implore you to attend a music festival. They are honestly so much fun. It’s nice to leave the real world for a little while and head into a place all about music (seriously, there’s never not music coming from somewhere!). And, by all means, hit me up if you’d like any tips. I’m starting to get good at this.
If you’re interested in seeing the pictures and videos I took, check out my Instagram!