Firefly Music Festival will not return in 2023, Kent County Tourism promoting other events to fill the gap
Firefly Music Festival announced on Twitter Thursday it will not return to Dover in 2023, but will instead be taking a break to "recharge" for 2024.
"We'll be cherishing these moments until we reunite," Firefly Festival posted. "After 10 magical years of Firefly in the Woodlands, we've decided to take a year to recharge our lights. We will see you in 2024!"
It is unclear why Firefly decided to skip 2023. But what is clear is that it’s been a huge economic driver for Kent County over the last ten years, and will leave a fairly large hole while the event is on hiatus next year.
Kent County Tourism President Pete Bradley says even with attendance down at the festival this year, every hotel in Kent County was booked for the weekend.
“They have a great partnership with Dover Motor Speedway and I think our region really has embraced and supported Firefly over the years," Bradley said. "And from our perspective, Kent County Tourism will continue to do so in 2024, but it is what it is. But I'm optimistic it's only a pause.”
Dover Motor Speedway released a statement from President and General Manager Mike Tatoian confirming the news and touting other entertainment opportunities to come.
“Across 10 events and 11 years, the Firefly Music Festival has given the mid-Atlantic region countless musical memories," Tatoian said. "Dover Motor Speedway has been proud to co-host Firefly since its inception and we look forward to its return to the Woodlands in 2024. While we look forward to Firefly’s return, we will continue to explore sports and entertainment opportunities to bring to our property for the community to enjoy – such as the Gift of Lights drive-thru event set for this holiday season.”
Dover Motor Speedway recently announced the addition of the 'Gift of Lights' drive-thru holiday light show, calling it part of an effort to add new and exciting events beond NASCAR and Firefly.
The Gift of Lights holiday light show runs at the Woodlands from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day and Bradley says 15 to 25,000 cars are expected to drive through the mile-and-a-half-long show.
“I think it's going to be fantastic, you know, especially traversing through the Woodlands, and we're going to be a sponsor, so that's a good thing. They're using that footprint for another use and again it's at a slower time of year. So that's a positive.”
Bradley adds in the winter, tourism promotes the various free museums in the county and Delaware’s many wineries, breweries and distilleries.
“I think one of our benefits is that a lot of our museums are free," Bradley said. "For example, the Air Mobility Museum. That's a free museum and it's a gem. It's really pretty impressive, and it’s indoor and outdoor and very unique.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.