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Delaware Concerts & Events

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A state in the Mid-Atlantic, Delaware rests between the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Surrounded by a group of states with notable music scenes, how does Delaware compare? Read more to uncover the strengths of concert life in Delaware.

Delaware has some stellar music festivals.

For nearly a decade, the Ladybug Music Festival in Delaware has honored women in music. Attracting the attention of publications such as Billboard Magazine, this festival stands out for its free tickets, large crowds of 10,000, and 300 female artists and female-oriented bands in 75 acts. Ladybug Music Festival also honors women in music by hiring female sound engineers, production staff, technicians, and other workers for the event. Although this festival pulls in national and regional talent, about 20 percent of the entertainment is from local Delaware artists. With female-fronted acts making up only a modest 10 percent of festival lineups in the United States, this festival disturbs the status quo and prompts inclusivity in the industry. Located in Wilmington and occurring every July, this festival is worth planning a trip around for those who are not locals.

The Firefly Music Festival is a local and regional favorite that takes place in Dover, Delaware. An 87-acre serene setting of fields and trees called The Woodlands transforms into a hotspot where big-name bands perform for 65,000 listeners. 7 stages welcome over 100 bands and solo artists across 4 days. A pop-up brewery, coffee house, market, nook, eateries, arcade and more work to entertain campers between shows. The last festival included the following artists among others: Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Lil Wayne, Logic, SZA, Alt-J, Portugal. The Man, Foster the People, MGMT, Chromeo, Jimmy Eat World, Vance Joy, Cold War Kids, Whethan, Alice Merton, Kasbo, Hotel Garuda, Mikky Ekko, The Regrettes, The Aces, Odesza, Martin Garrix, Lord Huron, Smallpools, Betty Who, PnB Rock, Justic Caruso, Chase Atlantic, Savannah Conley, and Fly by Midnight.

People who cannot get enough of music festivals will be enthused by the sheer size of some of this tiny state’s festivals. Listeners who want to support diversity and inclusion will be particularly intrigued by some of Delaware’s Ladybug among other festivals and concerts.

Delaware has a strong presence in classical and instrumental music.

One of Delaware’s claims to fame is its place in American history. The first colony to ratify the national constitution, Delaware prides itself on being one of the original 13 colonies and the first state in the union. Perhaps this connection to the 1700s is why traditional, classical, and instrumental music is still prominent and well-respected in Delaware. In October, a number of musicians will perform these styles from Wilmington to Flintwoods to Dover. In October, acts include Brandywine Baroque, Dover Symphony, organist David Schelat, Five Sax, Bang on a Can All-Stars, University of Delaware Wind Ensemble, and acoustic duo Danika and The Jeb. For listeners who are more interested in formal, traditional, lyrically-minimalist music, Delaware has regular listening options throughout the year.

Delaware’s music scene is a place where old and new music coexist and even thrive.

With such a rich, deep history in music, throwbacks are a celebrated part of Delawarean music culture. Establishments such as the Johnson Victrola Museum commemorate music developments, in this case, Eldridge Reeves Johnson’s impact on the sound-recording industry.

While parts of Delaware’s music community are invested in the past, new music is being made and shared all of the time. In particular, hip-hop has a strong presence. Artists such as Ken Masters, KaiFizzle, Quadie Diesel, 302Maybah, Lil Torin, Mugga Bucks, Stilled Up Ace, Dreemy Yoey, Kitty Monroee, Deniro5th, Mizzy, and Akee Fontane are active. In other genres, new music is proliferating, too. With a sound akin to The Shins and Fleet Foxes, Bright Forest is new to the scene. A band split between New Jersey and Delaware, Caseracer creates fast, mosh-prone punk. Disaster Committee is another punk band, but they bring stronger instrumentation and a sound that makes listeners want to dance.

For concert lovers who like hopping back and forth between classical and contemporary sounds, Delaware is the place to be. See the symphony before heading to the club to listen to the latest in punk and hip-hop.