In 2016, we failed to buy camping passes for Firefly Music Festival. A few days before the festival, we realized they were sold out (oops).
We tried everything we could think of: Craigslist, message boards, Reddit.
This is the story of how we accidentally ended up with the BEST camping spot ever for Firefly Music Festival—and why we think you should camp there, too.
Firefly Music Festival takes place in Dover, Delaware each June. The location of the festival is known as “The Woodlands” of Dover International Speedway. The Woodlands are on 154 acres of lush, wooded festival grounds. It’s magical.
We were in charge of booking a camping site for our crew, and had failed to purchase the official camping site passes in time. While frantically looking for a camping site, we came across the Firefly Music Festival message board. On there was a message that read:
“TNJ Murray Worldwide Service will be offering parking (including RV) and camping for the 2016 Firefly event. We are located directly in front of the park where the event will be held. We are a gated facility with in and out access. Call or Email us for rates and questions.“
It felt fake, especially when we emailed the listed contact. We received a short response that consisted of “cash only” and “arriving at anytime is fine.”
We also found an ad for them on Craigslist, which stated:
“If you have issues getting through the police barricade, just tell them you are camping with TNJ Murray.“
No further instructions.
We decided to go for it.
Arriving at The Woodlands
Arriving in Dover late that night, we were definitely sketched out by the situation. As we approached the festival grounds, we came across the police barricade that was telling festival goers to turn around.
We awkwardly told the police that we needed to be permitted entry because we were camping at TNJ.
The police let us through.
At this point, we were feeling VIP. Are you kidding me, special entry permitted by the police?
Upon arriving at TNJ, we met Paul (a great guy). We took a selfie with him.
Paul asked if we wanted to camp in front or “around back.” We looked at each-other. Around back sounded intriguing.
Highly suggest you camp “around back” too.
Here’s what we were greeted with when we woke up in the morning:
Those are retired army trucks, boys and girls.
With so much room (and still the “festival campground feel”), we were able to spread out and set up our campsite. We got a neat little spot near some trees.
The trees offered free shade. Shade is a lifesaver at any festival.
TNJ also has (drum roll please…) SHOWERS and INDOOR bathrooms. No extra cost and NO LINES.
If you’ve ever been camping at a music festival, you know how special this is.
Yes, that is free soap.
There are areas to fill up your water pales for cooking at camp, inside a warehouse that makes you feel like you are inside Call of Duty.
There is so much room for activities at TNJ Murray. There’s unlimited in and out access with your car, something that they don’t offer at the official Firefly camp spot, unless you pay extra.
The crowd at TNJ was great. It was mostly other folks who had forgotten to book a campsite, too. You will have lots to talk to your new friends about. We joined forces with our neighbors throughout the weekend for beer pong tournaments.
On our first morning, all of our ice had melted over night, and the only cold beer was the Corona. Luckily, there is a place to buy ice just down the road. Note to future Firefly self: prioritize refrigeration of Bud Light for morning beer pong game.
It was super fun to explore the campsite and check out the old army trucks.
…and play on them between music sets (not sure that was allowed, but TNJ seems chill).
The TNJ property backs ups to the festival grounds, so you get a “backstage” view to some of the Firefly stages.
One morning of the festival, the line got super long (Ludacris rescheduled for noon on Sunday), so we retreated back to camp (5 minutes), grabbed beers, and climbed onto one of the trucks to hear the show.
We watched Ludacris perform from our army truck. #livinginluxury.
All in all, it’s a great camping spot. If we return to Firefly, we will certainly stay at the campground again—this time, by choice.
Want to camp at TNJ Murray? DO IT.
Contact for reservation: Aubrey Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> (fair warning: he is a bit awkward on email)
Cost: Tent camping is $45 per night. 1 vehicle included.
Location: 100 yards from Firefly Music Festival entrance (Dover Downs)
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I'm Sarah. I grew up in Montana, got my B.S. in finance, and now reside in Washington, DC. I'm one of the Fish from the travel blog, Two Fish Traveling. I LOVE squirrel monkeys. And crocodiles. And fireworks.
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