Teens Reject Morrissey at Firefly Festival

Photo: Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images Entertainment

The Smiths legend drew an absurdly small crowd on the first full day of the festival.

"Would you like us to go?" Morrissey asked his audience at the 2015 Firefly Music Festival on Friday (June 19), an hour into a 75-minute main stage set. Most of the boomers in the crowd played along with Moz's game and cheered for him to stay; meanwhile, a teenaged boy and girl sitting on a blanket at the back-right corner of the crowd spotted an opportunity.

"Yes!" they yelled in unison at the alt-rock icon, as the young girl rolled her eyes and the boy slumped his head in his hands. Morrissey was too far away from the two teens to recognize them, and in turn, the teens did not recognize him.

To call Morrissey's Friday night performance at Firefly "poorly attended" would be understating the uniformity with which the former Smiths leader was ignored by the festival's young crowd between 7:45 PM and 9:00 PM. Hundreds of fans watched Moz take the main stage, but a scant few were under 20 years old; dads sang along to "Suedehead" and "Everyday is Like Sunday," and if they had desired to get within 100 feet from the main stage, they easily could have.

For some perspective, artists scheduled after Morrissey like Zedd, Modest Mouse and Kygo outdrew him without breaking a sweat. Earlier crowds for artists like Logic, Cage The Elephant and Odesza were also more populated. Whoa.

Firefly Friday: Macca, Zedd, Modest Mouse & 20 Awesome Moments

The most incredible detail of the famous miserablist's poor attendance: no one was playing against him! The three biggest stages aside from the main stage were dark for most of the time Morrissey was performing, while two smaller platforms hosted Chiddy Bang and Glass Animals, respectively, as Moz plowed through his catalog. The young attendees of Firefly simply chose to grab dinner during the downtime, or find a good spot to watch Run The Jewels or Kygo an hour ahead of their sets.

Don't weep for Morrissey, though: the alt-rock godhead delivered one of the day's most enjoyable performances in front of the patches of Delaware onlookers, eight days before he performs to an arena crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden. He nixed the stage banter and a majority of the crowd-pleasers, going for the jugular instead with fan-favorite deep cuts. One got the feeling that Moz preferred playing to a few hundred true believers warbling "Meat Is Murder" than a few thousand casual fans confused and disgusted by the video clips of animal slaughters as the Smiths classic was played.

At least the kids turned out in droves to the other vegetarian Brit of the evening: headliner Paul McCartney. The main stage crowd was closely packed in for Macca, proving that the teens won't reject all aging rock legends -- just certain aging rock legends.

Read Our Full Review of Morrissey's Firefly Set