The first dozen music acts won't plug in their amps until tomorrow but that doesn't mean The Woodlands will be a ghost town until then. Campers and RV's can start checking in at 6 p.m.
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The live music won’t get cranked up until Thursday night but the first wave of Firefly Music Festival fans will start checking in tonight at 6 p.m. when campers roll into The Woodlands, the temporary festival home located at Dover International Speedway.
The early arrival is a scheduled effort by organizing officials and DelDOT to alleviate the traffic quagmire that occurred last year when much of southbound Del. Rt.1—sometimes from Middletown to Dover—was described as a parking lot.
“We’re not going to see a back-up to Smyrna,” said Delaware Department of Transportation’s Management Center Operations Manager Gene Donaldson at a press conference earlier this month. “The ghost of Firefly last year is not here for this year.”
To alleviate the traffic issues of last year and the year before, the festival was expanded to four days so that arrivals could be staggered. Some campers will arrive tonight with more driving in tomorrow, ahead of the first few acts scheduled to entertain early crowds. Friday, the first full day of music this year, is still expected to be the most heavily traveled day as fans try to arrive and settle in for a weekend of music.
Aiding the multi-day arrival times is the addition of more than 50 intake lanes that is supposed to curb even more traffic backups. Fans and travelers will be urged to bypass exit 104, just north of the festival site, and continue to exit 95. If traffic does get congested at the 104 exit, DelDOT officials said that the exit could be closed off completely and all traffic would be directed to exit 95.
Traffic specialists from the Transportation Management Center and DelDOT’s Traffic Division will work remotely from the Command Post at the Dover International Speedway with technicians monitoring traffic both inside and outside of the Dover area. Information from these specialists will be dispatched to TMC to allow signal-timing changes to be made as conditions warrant. In combination with real-time traffic cameras, DelDOT staff plans to constantly monitor major intersections for proper signal progression. Temporary directional signage will be placed where needed to assist with any incidents or congestion problems along major travel routes. Travelers are encouraged to utilize WTMC 1380 AM and the free DelDOT traffic app for real-time updates and alerts.
So far, recommended traffic routes include:
CAMPERS, RVs TRAVELING SOUTHBOUND FROM NORTHERN DELAWARE Take DE Route 1 southbound to Exit 104 to Dover. Make a left turn at U.S. Route 13 southbound to a left turn at Leipsic Road (DE 88) to the Check-in point (Lot 1).
FROM THE NORTH, DAY-TRIPPERS DE Take Route 1 southbound to Exit 104 Dover to a left turn at U.S. Route 13 southbound to a left turn at Dover International Speedway (Dover Downs) main entrance.
CAMPERS, RVs TRAVELING NORTHBOUND Take DE Route 1 north to Exit 95/DE Route 10 to Bay Road, to U.S. Route 13 north, to a right turn at Jefferic Boulevard to Check-in point (Lot 1).
FROM THE SOUTH, DAY-TRIPPERS Take DE Route 1 north to Exit 95 Dover, to Bay Road, to U.S. Route 13 north, to a right turn at Dover International Speedway Main Entrance.
CAMPERS, RVs TRAVELING EASTBOUND Take DE Route 8 eastbound left turn on U.S. Route 13 North, to a right turn at Jefferic Boulevard to Check-in point (Lot 1).
FROM THE WEST, DAY-TRIPPERS Take DE Route 8 eastbound left turn on U.S. Route 13 North, to a right turn at Dover International Speedway Main Entrance.