Delaware is a buzz as 90,000 people from all over the country – and the world – make their way to Dover this week for the Firefly Music Festival. Last Monday, I sat down with event organizers and got a behind-the-scenes look at the manpower – much of it local – that it takes to put on an event like this one. From my early days as a concert promoter at Ohio state, I've always been a music lover, so it was exciting to see the festival coming together, and to learn about the impact events like this have on our local economy. According to a University of Delaware Study, Firefly added $68 million to the local economy last year alone. Right on the heels of Firefly is the Big Barrel Country Music Festival, followed by many great music events happening up and down the state.
Delaware is known for its first-class beaches and tax-free shopping, but it is also developing a niche as a great destination to see live music. From the Freeman Stage in the south to the Queen Theatre up north, Delaware has amazing venues – some of them more than a hundred years old and full of history – to see a live show. Recently, I convened a group of representatives from all of the live music venues in Delaware in Dover to discuss ways they can work together and bring great acts to Delaware. This group is in its infancy, but I hope to build this coalition of stakeholders so we can better enhance Delaware’s reputation as an arts and entertainment destination now and in the future. All ideas are welcomed, and feel free to contact me through email, on Twitter @SenatorCarper, or on Facebook.