The four-day Firefly Music Festival contributed more than $68 million to the regional economy and created the equivalent of 579 full-time jobs in 2014, according to a study released today.
In addition, state, local and federal tax contributions as a result of the June 19-22, 2014 event at Dover International Speedway totaled $9.9 million.
The study was conducted by the Center for Applied Business and Economic Research, part of the Alfred Lerner College of Business at the University of Delaware, and was commissioned by a partnership between Dover International Speedway, event promoter Red Frog Events and the Delaware Tourism Office, a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office.
As part of the study, 900 festival-goers were interviewed about their purchases from on?site vendors and off-site businesses, both enroute to the festival and during their time in Dover. An additional 5,000 on?line survey responses were included.
“As Firefly has grown, so has its impact on our state,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. “We look forward to having Firefly continue to bring fans and economic activity to Delaware for years to come.”
The $68 million in spending for goods and services throughout the economy that Firefly generates averages out to more than $850 per guest, with approximately 80,000 attending the 2014 festival. The figures reflect in part Firefly’s substantial and rapid growth since its debut in 2012, when about 30,000 fans attended.
In addition to the money that Firefly helps inject directly into the economy, the 579 full-time-equivalent jobs it helped create before, during and after the event came with total additional wage and salary payments of more than $23 million.
“When we launched Firefly in 2012, we had the lofty goal of making it one of the largest music festivals in the country. As we head into our fourth year, we’re excited to see it make the economic impact we hoped it would,” said Greg Bostrom, executive director of Firefly Music Festival. “It’s great to bring joy to tens of thousands of festival goers each year and help strengthen the economy in the process.”
“Bringing an event like Firefly to Delaware, of course, helps put our state on the map in the music world,” said Mike Tatoian, chief operating officer of Dover Motorsports, Inc. “But the economic numbers this study has yielded prove that the festival’s reach goes far beyond just the entertainment business.”
The top business sectors impacted by Firefly include food service and drinking establishments; retail stores; security services; building maintenance and repair services; and hotels and motels.
“It’s also important to note that the impact of Firefly reaches far beyond the immediate economic benefits,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “By hosting 80,000 people from all 50 states and 24 foreign countries, Delaware gains visibility, and its appeal as a destination is enhanced.”
Firefly Music Festival returns to the Woodlands at Dover International Speedway on June 18-21, 2015. For more information, visit www.fireflyfestival.com.