The 2015 Firefly Music Festival packed its first full day from Dover, Delaware on Friday (June 19) with lots of fireworks — the type that exploded over Paul McCartney’s head, of course, but also the type of must-see moments that makes the relatively new fest one of music’s must-attend events each year. Check out 20 of the most unforgettable moments from Friday at Firefly — the coolest covers, strangest sights, best quotes and weirdest fans.
11:50 AM: A pair of fans — a couple, presumably — is seen chugging from two wine bottles in the parking lot near the festival entrance. The performances don’t start until noon, but a glorious act called “pre-gaming” is in play.
12:51 PM: Pop songwriter Phoebe Ryan launches into the mash-up that first won her some Internet buzz — a version of R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” that swaps in the hook to Miguel’s “Do You.”
1:25 PM: Sure…
— Jason Lipshutz (@jasonlipshutz) June 19, 2015
2:36 PM: Festival warriors Sylvan Esso tell us backstage that they’ve planted “little seeds” for the follow-up to their acclaimed 2014 debut, although there’s no release date in mind yet.
3:28 PM: “We need our singer back!” one member of British alt-rockers Wolf Alice calls out after band leader Ellie Rowsell leaps into the audience during the group’s final song.
3:52 PM: One good way to receive a huge audience reaction? Drop DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat.” Logic demonstrates this after his DJ hits play on the hip-hop classic and causes multiple incidences of crowd-surfing.
4:19 PM: Festival goers are still wandering in and searching for the right food stand for their late lunch; however, the longest lines — by far — are for the charging stations and water refill kiosks.
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4:34 PM: “I wasn’t even planning on playing that,” says Cody Simpson, the teen pop heartthrob turned acoustic rock heartthrob, at the Coffee House stage, ravishing a rendition of “Hound Dog” on the electric guitar. Unexpectedly, the former teen star gave one of the most electrifying sets of the day.
5:00 PM: “Shout out to Steve Harvey, he changed my life,” says Goshfather, tipping his cap to the giant cardboard cutout of Harvey before closing his set with Jnco.
.@DJmustard on the beat! #Firefly2015 pic.twitter.com/sUGlt6UxUj
— billboard (@billboard) June 19, 2015
5:19 PM: DJ Mustard, running through cuts from his production oeuvre after a 15-minute delay due to technical difficulties, plays Trey Songz’s “Oh Na Na” in front of a screen touting a pic of three jewel-encrusted mustard bottles bottles touting “Heinz DJ Mustard” on the label.
6:47 PM: A man stalks the Firefly festival grounds with a challenging grin and an unmistakable urine strain on his khaki shorts. Sure, the bathroom lines were long, but not that long.
7:01 PM: Cody Simpson slow-dances with a blonde girl in a bikini top in the VIP area during AWOLNATION’s set.
7:30 PM: Big Data delivers a cover of Hall & Oates’ “Private Eyes” that attracts periphery fest-goers not otherwise watching their set.
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7:50 PM: Before his first song, Morrissey takes the stage and declares, “It takes a nation of millions to hold us back,” possibly in reference to the Charleston massacre.
8:50 PM: Morrissey sings the Smiths’ “Meat Is Murder” while images of slaughtered animals flash on the screen behind him. As he croons “do you care?,” a drunken supporter in the crowd sputters, “I care!”
9:18 PM: El-P and Killer Mike are in full swing during their Run the Jewels set, acknowledging the posters that patrons brought along. “Shout out to the cardboard Kanye,” says El, pointing out a portrait. “Is that Oprah, or James Brown?” asks Killer Mike.
9:22 PM: Mumford & Sons recently went electric, so Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse balances things out by grabbing the banjo for a few songs during the group’s winning Friday night performance, including “Satin in a Coffin.”
10:33 PM: Paul McCartney takes a moment before playing “The Long And Winding Road” to acknowledge the Charleston massacre, which he calls a “terrible tragedy” in a short speech. “Let’s take a moment to pray for peace and harmony amongst people of different colors in the world,” he says.
P.A.U.L. #Firefly2015 pic.twitter.com/1WRBG9erjX
— billboard (@billboard) June 20, 2015
10:39 PM: Actual fireflies hover above the crowd at Firefly as Paul McCartney plays “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Coincidence? Of course not.
12:55 AM:Zedd brings out Echosmith singer Sydney Sierota to help him perform his new collaboration with the “Cool Kids” band, titled “Illusion.” Taking a stage rigged with pyrotechnics, Sierota undoubtedly has to be very, very careful.