DelDOT, Red Frog coordinate traffic plans ahead of Firefly, Big Barrel arrivals
A week ahead of fans rolling into Dover for the 2015 Firefly Festival, DelDOT joined festival organizer Red Frog Events in the state capital to highlight traffic relief efforts and check-ins for campers for the four day event.A portion of the 90,000 expected fans will arrive starting next Wednesday at noon - Early Bird campers paying to beat the rush and score prime campsites. Those with general camping passes cannot arrive before 6 am Thursday.
From there check-ins will run round the clock until Friday at 9pm.
DelDOT secretary Jennifer Cohan says with decades of NASCAR races and three years of Firefly under their belts - her department has plenty of experience managing the level of traffic anticipated.
“The last couple of years have gone very, very well and we’ve added so much technology in our infrastructure so we can be extremely nimble, especially if something happens. So we’re very confident this year. We’ve got a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. Hoping for good weather of course, that’s always going to throw a little wrinkle in things, but we also have a plan to deal with that.”
Cohen is urging people to use DelDOTs free smartphone app – featuring live traffic cameras, their radio station stream and real-time news and updates - to stay in informed of any delays or other issues on the roads and highways.
Red Frog says the event’s biggest traffic-related challenges were addressed last year when an extra day was added to stagger arrivals and minimize major back-ups.
Director of Firefly and Big Barrel Country Music Festivals Greg Bostrum says this year’s improvements will be less sweeping, and more incremental. They’re making minor adjustments to what worked a year ago - such as adding a staff parking lot, 12,000 feet of new backstage roadways, and bolstering the early camping arrival processes.
“We’re doubling down on that for all intents and purposes," Bostrum said. We’re expanding the capacity of the Wednesday loading. We’re also starting a 24-hour loading operation on Wednesday and Thursday of the Festival this year. That’s sort of in response to a few of the overnight hours last year. We got some queues as people waited to get in the gates. People really are excited to get to the Woodlands if you haven’t noticed yet.”
Campers are asked to not arrive too early Wednesday – and while no details were given, plans are in place in case very early arrivals stack up and impede traffic before check in begins.
DelDOT estimates 6,000 extra vehicles are expected in Dover each day of the festival.
DelDOT and Red Frog are also preparing to do it all again on a smaller scale a week after Firefly when 35,000 people are expected to attend Red Frog’s inaugural Big Barrel Country Music Festival.
As of late Wednesday, less than 3500 four-day 2015 Firefly Festival passes were still available for purchase.
Firefly Camping Check-in schedule
All vehicles will proceed through the Toll Plaza in Lot 1 of Dover International Speedway to be processed and assigned their camping area. Check in times are as follows:
Wednesday Premiere Tent/RV pass holders:
Wednesday, June 17, 12:00 Noon until Thursday June 18, 6:00 am
All other camping pass holders:
Thursday, June 18, 6:00 AM until Friday June 19, 9:00 PM
Saturday, June 20, 6:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Sunday, June 21, 6:00 AM until 12:00 PM
For all non-campers, daily parking is available in Speedway lots, accessible from the DIS main entrance off US 13.
Will-call passes can be picked up from Delaware Technical Community College Terry Campus. Campers are encouraged to pick up their will-call passes BEFORE checking into their campsite.