Geek-Out 2.5 – Firefly Music Festival/Volunteering

 

Guys!! Did you miss me? What day is it today? I’m so lost and summer is flying by right before my eyes! Anyway…I’ve actually sorta been MIA because of this edition of the Geek-Out Den. I volunteered at Firefly 2014 and basically have been a lazy, running bum. I read one book since I’ve been back from my music festival. ONE! But reading posts are on the main pages, this is reserved for major geek-outs, like music festival fun!

I SURVIVED…barely, but I did survive. I spent 4 nights in a tent, saw a TON of awesome bands, nabbed two setlists, ate the greasiest food, consumed no alcohol (YES THIS IS IN FACT AN ABSOLUTE MIRACLE I WASN’T DRUNK AT A MUSIC FESTIVAL), used two packs of wet wipes, and slept around 12 hours. Yep. 12 hours the whole freakin’ weekend!

 

So let me bestow my journey’s highlights upon you all…

When I decided to do this I ended up doing solo volunteering. I also didn’t know anyone who would be attending the festival this year so I was more than alone but all the more reason to try and talk to strangers and maybe make some friends? Yes, make some friends! Before the festival began, maybe 3 months prior, even two, I went on the message boards for the festival and was creeping on who still needing camping buddies. Since I was a newbie I ended up reaching out to a girl, who volunteered at Bonnaroo the year before and was trying out Firefly. Our duo became soon became a quad when one other girl said her and another wanted to camp with us. BOOM…found my camping-mates. DONE. Emails were exchanged, suggestions for supplies were discussed and we were on our way to rocking out for this summer’s festival!

We met up at a Chick-fil’ A and after picking up our packets and volunteer t-shirts, we traveled down the backroads of Dover to enter into the Hub area campgrounds of Firefly Festival 2014!

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After totally driving in with the wrong crowd, Premier Camping didn’t need Volunteer campers, but whoops, they did! We were then able to set up our tents and let the fun begin on roaming the campgrounds to see how crazy intense some festival people are. Outdoor showers, flags of all sorts, grills galore, and all the crazy alcohol imaginable. Sadly we only had one set of fun neighbors, they were our heroes for understanding the need to block out PEOPLE WHO FELT THE NEED TO WALK THRU YOUR CAMPING AREA, BUT HEY, IT’S COOL BRO! (um…yeah not.)

The girls I camped with I had a blast keeping up the friendships, post-festival life, and they’ve continued via social media and location since we don’t live super far from each other! Mornings were groggy but it was usually a debate on when to hit up the bathrooms because you wanted to do your business in a nicer atmosphere than one that lasted all night and parts of the day. Food trucks were set up in an area called The Hub where attendees were able to score ice, foods of all sorts, limited camping supplies, and of course to hit up the shower. The longest line ever for women, shortest line in history for me. Yeeeep.

Our hours were somewhat a pain, because you were missing some bands or working late when you wanted to relax, but it’s all about the volunteering experience and what you signed up for. I had signed up for the Sustainable Beats and collected garbage around the festival grounds. The grounds were LITTERED after the shows! Littered! Bottles and cans crushed to smithereens, food that never made it to the trash can, recycling bins overflowing, so much garbage and recycling mixed in each others containers–so much work, and so much grossness. As a germ freak, I don’t really know why I signed up for this, BUT as a good deal, I was able to do my work AND see almost every band I had planned on seeing that wasn’t an issue because of simultaneous playing times!

Some people were really nice when they saw me walking around collecting the trash, and a bunch of people thanked me which was very weird and yet oddly humbling. A few even asked if it was a good deal to volunteer because they were interested in the next year. Overall, as having finished this post A YEAR later (gosh guys, I’m the worst), I can say without a doubt, 2014 was a fantastic year put on by the festival and great weather despite some slight thunder and heat lightning during the first night after setting up. The bands were awesome and I witnessed some unforgettable moments and performances.

my bf, Alex Turner, with Arctic Monkeys

my bf, Alex Turner, with Arctic Monkeys

festival evening

the man himself, Dave Grohl

the man himself, Dave Grohl

met singers from Royal Teeth while volunteering

met singers from Royal Teeth while volunteering

walking grounds

walking grounds

Garnier Music Tent....WORTH IT! Hair washed and styled

Garnier Music Tent….WORTH IT! Hair washed and styled

Weezer set list

Weezer set list

i mean, duh

i mean, duh

Broken Bells

Broken Bells

(most of) my roomie camping crew! Had a blast ladies

(most of) my roomie camping crew! Had a blast ladies

That being said, now that the 2015 festival has passed, I can fully say, wait until Firefly reaches it’s 10 year mark because this festival is in it’s baby years and each year they improve just a little bit but fall twenty steps back for what they advertise for.

  • Showers not convenient for women, or other campers in a certain areas
  • Not properly prepared in case of disastrous weather conditions making it extremely difficult to walk around the festival and camping grounds
  • Attendance records at 90,000+ people but only two water stations available for free water –one station on each side of the Woodlands grounds
  • Water lines extremely long in humid weather (but advertise before shows that goers need to keep hydrated in hot conditions)
  • Ran out of water to sell to campers at food stands
  • Advertised wi-fi that did not work properly
  • Advertised fun activities that they ran out of product to sell
  • Shuttle lines waiting over an hour/sometimes not running at all

I know, I don’t finish this post strong because I was full of rage…yes I got a chance to see Paul McCartney for this year’s festival, but I am a ginormous Kings of Leon fan, and the weather rained them out. We were evacuated and it was an overall mess. And let’s not even discuss the epic mud situation that was insane. I kid you not.

Music festivals are cool and it’s always fun to grab friends and make the best of it! I’m definitely done with my time at Firefly, I’ve gotten to see a TON of great performances and can mark a bunch of artists off my list to see but other festivals are what I hope to aim for in the future. One day that’ll happen! Happy Summer!!

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