Life Happens Travel

My Journey to Firefly

I love music fests. I just do. I love the music, the vibes, the people, the crazy, EVERYTHING! When Firefly released their lineup, I decided that I absolutely HAD to go. The question was, how?

I have only ever actually ‘camped’ 1 time in my life. It’s not that I am prissy, I just have never really had the opportunity. Not to mention, Firefly took place in Dover, Deleware (which I had never really been before) and it sold out (90K people!)

I got on forums and asked everyone I knew to join me on this adventure, but it just wasn’t looking good, until I talked to Raela! Raela is one of my roomie’s best friend’s wife…didya catch all that? Well, she loves music and has always wanted to do something like this, so one night when the 2 boys were together, it happened! They said yes and we bought the tickets!


Finally the week came and it was time to go. I overpacked like crazy, but what else is new? RobBob and Raela drove from Iowa on Thursday after work and got to Nashville at about 4am. We packed up and got on the road thinking we would be there soon. Well…we didn’t take into account Eastern time, so that put us into some traffic…


 …but about 13 hours later we made it!


We got in and found an edge spot to set up camp at. It was on a corner, which was nice, and not far from the bathroom/water/charging station. The only downside was that it was at the back of the site (but really, I think that worked in our favor!)


Finally, we made our way to the entrance and our first stop was watching Echosmith play at the more intimate “Coffee House” stage. It was there that it hit us both that all of what we just had been through was going to be worth it.

We then caught a little bit of KYGO and some Modest Mouse before heading back to camp to rest up before the late night acts, but not before stopping to get some fun glitter glasses pics on the way!


As good as resting up for the late night shows sounded, all it did was exhaust us even more, so we both decided to call it an early night so we could get energized for our big day on Saturday! The sleep was not near as bad as I thought it might be. Of course we heard everyone returning to camp late at night, but that was to be expected. Waking up, however, was not near as sauna-like as I had expected!


The morning was nice and chill. We mozied down to the “hub” to check out what shops were present. It was a great little atmosphere, everything was so well planned and thought out! After making some purchases, we headed back, had some breakfast, charged up our phones, took a “semi”-shower, and prepped for the day. 

We found our little security guard friends that let us sneak water in ( out! We are SUCH rebels!) Our first stop today was to the Cupcake tent, where we enjoyed some free wine samples! Next was watching some Andrew McMahon and The Wilderness play at the large stage. Speaking of, did you know Andrew McMahon was the lead singer for Something Corporate? Ya, me either!

We decided to do some more exploring then ended up taking a break to lay down in the sun and take a bit of a nap while enjoying some of the live music. If you’ve never taken a nap at a festival, I suggest you do it! It’s the best! 


After waking up we re-assessed our surroundings and our “to-do” list, where I reminded her one of my “bucket list” items was to get someone famous to wear the #glitterglasses. We saw that Andrew McMahon was playing an intimate show at the Coffee House stage and decided to head over early to stake out our spots.


While waiting in the crowd, we made a few friends and I got to share info about my #GlitterGlassesJourney. We explained that we really wanted to get Andrew to wear the glasses and they were cool with helping us out! 

Finally, it was time. Between every song, Raela tried to get him to wear them. We resorted to just holding them up for the photo.


But then the time came.

He noticed Raela holding the glasses and asked if she wanted him to put them on.

As he sat back down and placed them on his head he explained, “Wow, these are some pretty cool glasses and will be perfect for this song!” He sang “High Dive” and I snapped photos like crazy!


I was in utter disbelief this was happening! The dude that sang so many of the emo songs I grew up on was wearing MY glitter glasses!! 

It was a great moment and I will always be more than grateful to Raela for being so persistent! 😉

After the show ended, we ran over to catch some Betty Who and got pumped up all over again. It was there that I got Great Good Fine OK, to put on the glitter glasses to take a pic with me! They were “secret guests” for The Chainsmokers. 


Next was Matt and Kim and I was SO excited to see them again! They were AWESOME when I went to Hangout Fest last year and I only saw half of their performance then! Needless to say, they did not disappoint! 


Alison Wonderland was a new artist I had been obsessed with, but she was performing at the same time as Dirty Heads (I HATE when that happens). We saw some of Alison Wonderland, then headed to catch some Dirty Heads.


It was at this point that we decided we were going to splurge and eat some fest food (which is always WAY overpriced). We got pizza (I had BBQ Chicken) and watched Foster the People from afar as we got our glow gear on.

Then……it was time to see Sublime with Rome (one of the big ones I was excited to see!) They did a great job. Mid-performance we headed over to try to catch some Kid Cudi, but right as we decided to head back to Sublime, noticed that everyone was trying to leave the fest grounds. It was about that time we got a message from Firefly saying that the fest was closed for the night and that we needed to go back to our cars to take cover from a storm that was rolling in.

We then picked up the pace, with the other 90K people. This was a huge let down because we missed the previous night’s late night shows and this night was supposed to feature Steve Aoki! Regardless…we made it back to the car. It was about then that we got another message saying that we needed to take our tents down too! We did so, fast, then jumped in the car (as the rain started) and started to settle in for bed. The storm was off and on the rest of the night, but I actually slept pretty well!

In the morning we started to pack up the car with idea that we would leave right after the final performance. We ended up discovering that one of the girls we camped by was actually from Iowa too! They ended up needing their car battery jumped, so we helped them out. 


Our last stop before the fest was to get Raela’s poor toes/blisters cleaned out. Note to self: Never try to wear new shoes to a festival (no matter how comfy they are supposed to be!). While waiting I got to hear all about this “Firefly” rash people were coming in with. Itchy red and/or extremely swollen feet. It was being caused by some pesticide that was sprayed on the grounds, then mixed with all the water and mud was effecting people differently. Anyway, a couple hours later, she was all cleaned up and we were ready to go!


We found our favorite security guards and came through their line one final time. It was much later than we had anticipated, so we got a late lunch meal and headed to “The Pavillion” to watch Snakeships before heading to Cold War Kids. It was also Father’s Day, so I made sure to get a good picture thanking my dad for helping shape me into the independent person I have become! 

We then spent 45 minutes (I am so not kidding) waiting in line for water (Now you know why we had to sneak it in!) In the process I started feeling extremely light headed and splurged the $4 for 16oz of water. It was ridiculous.

The end of BORNS followed by Hozier was next on the list. We found a nice (non-muddy) spot to chill out and laid down. I think at some point we both nodded off for a bit. As Hozier came to a close, we decided to split up. She really wanted to see Bastille, but I had seen them 3 times prior and wanted to see Citizen Cope. Citizen Cope was pretty good, but since he started early I was able to get over to her fairly quickly. It was then that we hit, yet another crossroads….Snoop Dogg, Empire of the Sun and Tove Lo were all playing at the same time. 

We ended up going to Empire of the Sun and made another friend in the process, Fuad! He was so sweet and even became a part of the #GlitterGlassesSquad. 


Though we don’t know how the other shows went, Empire of the Sun TOTALLY brought it! We were standing fairly close but in some of the clay/mud/mush. It was there that we met a new friend, Fuad! Such a nice guy to spend the show with. Our expectations were blown out of the water with this one! SO much more than just good music!


Needless to say, we ended up spending most of our time there before running over to get a decent spot to see The Killers! 

It was there that we made several other friends while waiting for the (late) performers to take the stage. About midway through the performance, Raela’s poor feet/exhaustion got the better of her and she headed back to the car. Did I mention that we were about to drive 8 hours straight? Yaaa….

I ended up watching the rest of the performance and walked out with our 2 new friends, Alex and Dylan, who were kind enough to make sure I didn’t get stuck in the mud in the process of trying to leave the festival grounds. (The storm from the previous night really took a toll on everything!)


I had really wanted to stay for The White Panda, but decided to get back to my partner. Thennnnnn….. we started the trek home, but we were going to her home in Iowa (not Nashville). My feet were a mess, but we kept going!

I drove until I was no longer physically able to stay awake. The last 5-6 hours were a complete blur. I was in and out of consciousness between different states (both phyiscally and mentally!). It was the strangest feeling I have ever had, but I could NOT keep my eyes open for the life of me! 


Finalllllly we made it to Ohio and to my dear friend Emily’s house around 9am! I will forever be indebted to her for taking us in. There was NO WAY we would’ve made it straight through! We both showered and she laid down to nap while I went to get brunch with Emily. The timing of everything was perfect. We felt much more refreshed and got back on the road a little after noon.

We plowed through Indiana and Illinois and even hit another crazy storm crossing into Iowa. The sky was insane, there were tornado warnings, but Raela was on a mission. She was ready to be home and not even a tornado was going to stop that! (This girl has some serious determination!)

Finally about 11:30pm we made it to their house in Iowa….and we both passed out!


Finally about 11:30pm we made it to their house in Iowa….and we both passed out!

Would I do it again? Definitely!
What would I change? TIMING!

I’d definitely want to go for the entire festival next time, we just missed a lot with the way things went this time.

Other than that? You would’ve thought we were pros! We never even had to buy ice! 🙂


#GlitterGlassesJourney #FireflyFest2015

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