City and state officials believe the inaugural Firefly Music Festival at Dover International Speedway’s “Woodlands”  was a success in terms of rerouting traffic, the small number of arrests and the bumper crop of business brought to local merchants.


City and state officials believe the inaugural Firefly Music Festival at Dover International Speedway’s “Woodlands”  was a success in terms of rerouting traffic, the small number of arrests and the bumper crop of business brought to local merchants.

Unconfirmed numbers show an estimated 30,000 indie music fans flocked to Firefly each day this weekend.

Dover Police made approximately 15 arrests between Friday and Sunday, including disorderly conduct charges, resisting arrest and theft, which involved five subjects trying to steal beer, Dover Police Department Capt. Tim Stump said.

There were also a few complaints from citizens about the noise that were addressed but, again, that was minimal given the size of the event, Stump said.

“The crowds that showed up for this event were extremely well behaved,” he said. “They were respectful, polite, and cleaned up after themselves. We were all impressed with that. We would welcome them back anytime. I think that Red Frog really put on a nice event.“

In addition to Red Frog, Dover International Speedway, Dover Downs, DelDOT, Delaware State Police, Kent County EMS and others took part in the preparation, which made this event a success, Stump said.

Portions of Leipsic Road and Persimmon Tree Lane were closed during certain hours, DelDOT Transportation Management Center manager James Clacher said. There were minor delays on U.S. Route 13 given the volumes of traffic heading to the festival but nothing major.

That included southbound delays from Smyrna through the Dover Toll Plaza Saturday due to the combination of beach traffic and festival traffic, Clacher said.

“As with all events, adjustments after the event are part of the growth process,” he said. “Should the festival return to Dover next year the Department of Transportation will be actively involved with planning and coordination meetings to help improve the transportation plan to and from the event.”

From a business perspective, Delaware Tourism Office Director Linda Parkowski said Firefly brought in a huge influx of people in Kent County as anticipated.

“Local restaurants like the Hollywood Diner and Kirby & Holloway Family Restaurant were packed,” she said. “There were lines of people everywhere.
We don't have numbers for hotels, but we can say that we've heard from industry people that Firefly had a very big impact on the hotel community as a whole with a significant amount of business brought to the Dover area.”

In addition, several hotels in New Castle County and Sussex County reported that they were booked up due to Firefly, tourist officials said.