Day three of the 2015 Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, was cut short as a strong band of storms that moved from the Midwest through the Northeast U.S. brought lightning, thunder, hail, monsoon-like rains and tornado warnings to the outdoor venue. The word went out to evacuate Firefly around 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 20 due to the extreme weather. A total of 105 acts including former Beatle Paul McCartney were scheduled to perform over four days on the seven stages set up on the 105 acres at Dover International Speedway.
Concert goers heard a message broadcast over the festival’s loudspeakers for everyone to leave the grounds. Festival organizers also tweeted an evacuation message at 9:51 p.m. stating “Severe weather is heading our way. If at The Woodlands, clear the festival grounds, head towards the exit & seek shelter in your vehicles.” Police in Dover said that they assisted with the evacuation.
Police confirmed that those camping out at the four day festival were strongly encouraged to leave their tents and outdoor campsites and seek refuge in their cars. Billboard also reported that campers were “told to remove flag poles or anything that might attract lightning during the storm.”
Saturday night’s lineup at the festival included King Cudi and Steve Aoki on the Backyard Stage and headliners Kings of Leon on the Main Stage with a number of other acts set to perform at the venue’s other five stages. King Cudi could only get through five songs before the evacuation warning was announced. According to Billboard:
Kings of Leon's headlining set was cut off before it even started.
Despite the premature close, the crowd was in high spirits as they left, cheering each lightning bolt, tweeting and singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the way out.
Yahoo! News reported that more than 90,000 concert goers were in attendance and affected by the evacuation. “Steve Aoki and The Chainsmokers were the only acts able to reschedule for Sunday after their performances were postponed Saturday night,” according to Newsmax. The festival, scheduled to run from Thursday, June 18 through Sunday, June 21, was able to resume Sunday with dry conditions and hot and humid temperatures in the nineties.