It's the most wonderful time of the year - festival season. This weekend marks the fifth annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware. Defined by its unique audience experience and commitment to sustainability, Firefly is one of the most innovative festivals on the East Coast. Between relaxing and recharging in the Nook and partying in the fan-curated Fort, here are ten acts to get excited for this weekend.
10. Glass Animals: Thursday 10:45 p.m., the Backyard
There's no better way to kick of the weekend than with these Oxford indie rockers. Glass Animals brought their hypnotic, hip-hop infused sound to a new level on their 2016 album, How to Be a Human Being. Their swirling synths, bold bass lines, and silky smooth "peanut butter vibes" will have you dancing all night.
9. Sunflower Bean: Saturday 4:30 p.m., the Porch
Known for their high-energy live performances, Sunflower Bean expertly blend shimmering shoegaze with ferocious 90s grunge. Their debut studio album Human Ceremony
was recorded in only 11 days, but the band didn't shy away from tackling big ideas. Classic coming-of-age frights and sickly sweet lyrics lace the whirlwind 40 minutes of Human Ceremony
. Fans of DIIV and Hinds should flock to the Porch stage this weekend to witness the surreal dream that is Sunflower Bean.
8. Barns Courtney: Friday 4:30 p.m., the Porch
After a handful of unsuccessful attempts to achieve rock stardom as a bandleader, Barns Courtney has finally found his voice as a solo act. The English singer-songwriter first caught our attention at SXSW in 2015 and has since opened for huge names like The Who, Tom Odell, and the Libertines. His chart-topping single "Fire" is an earthy, blues-inspired hit perfect for stomping through the massive forests of the Woodlands.
7. Banks: Friday 7:30 p.m., the Backyard
Simply put, Jillian Banks is a powerhouse. First captivating mainstream audiences with her brooding debut, Goddess
, Banks returned in 2016 with a confident, ice-cold sophomore album. At a crossroads between self-criticism and self-celebration, Banks marries her fearless vocals with devastatingly honest songwriting. She'll be celebrating her 29th birthday with a casual primetime performance slot in Dover this Friday.
6. Kaleo: Thursday 10 p.m., the Lawn
These Icelandic heartthrobs brought their brilliant bluesy sound stateside in 2015 with their surprising hit "Way Down We Go." Kaleo appeared during an era dominated by smoky, soulful singer-songwriters, following in the footsteps of acts like Hozier, X Ambassadors, and Ben Howard. Summer in Delaware may not be as exciting as that time they recorded a video inside a dormant volcano, but their appearance on the opening night of Firefly is still a pretty big deal.
5. Maggie Rogers: Thursday 6:45 p.m., the Lawn
By now we've all probably seen that video of Pharrell Williams nearly being brought to tears while listening to an early demo of Maggie Rogers' work in a masterclass at NYU last year. The young artist's iridescent debut EP Now That the Light is Fading
proves she's more than worth the hype. Rogers' natural talent and playful mix of electronica, pop, and folk make her one of the most highly anticipated acts to see at the Woodlands this weekend.
4. Lewis Del Mar: Saturday 8:30 p.m., the Porch
New York City duo Lewis Del Mar thrive off of cool coastal vibes and raw urban energy. Fresh off the success of their 2016 self-titled debut, Lewis Del Mar brought their jaw-dropping electro-acoustic sound on tour with Young the Giant earlier this year. Their fiery, percussive melodies are enough to get every single person in the audience shaking - no matter if they're playing in an intimate venue or at a massive outdoor festival.
3. Bishop Briggs: Saturday 4:15 p.m., the Main Stage
L.A.-based dark pop diva Sarah McLaughlin (aka Bishop Briggs) went viral early last year with her beat-heavy debut "River," and has been working non-stop ever since. With a headline slot at SXSW, a supporting role on Coldplay's last tour, and a feature on the latest Cold War Kids record, Bishop Briggs' rise to the top has been meteoric. Her soulful vocals and genre-defying singles make her live performances irresistible.
2. Chance the Rapper: Saturday 12:30, the Main Stage
Recently crowned the king of Bonnaroo, Chance the Rapper has been absolutely killing the 2017 festival circuit. The Chicago superstar is one of the most exciting artists of the last year, and one of the most innovative voices in hip-hop. His energy and positivity during a performance is as infectious as it is off-stage. Though his headlining set will be one of the highlights of the weekend, we're all hoping he'll make a surprise appearance to dance with Francis & the Lights Saturday night too.
1. The Shins: Sunday 8:30 p.m., the Lawn
New Mexico indie legends made their long-awaited return this year with Heartworms
after a five year hiatus. Their decade-long career is marked by five soon-to-be classic albums of expansive, jangly guitar-pop. Heartworms
brought the band back to the forefront of the indie universe, developing with the times but staying true to the beloved, instantly recognizable sound of the Shins. Singer James Mercer and his crew are set to close out what is sure to be an unbelievable weekend.