Creating art for Firefly is one of the most personal and rewarding ways to contribute to this community.
Firefly attracts some of the most creative people from New England and beyond. Making and sharing art is one of the central pillars of our collective vision. To this end, we come together in the woods once a year to be inspired by the environment, each other, and our creations.
All levels of creativity are welcome at Firefly, from your first attempt at artistic expression to gallery-quality works. If you are just beginning to explore your creativity, Firefly is an ideal environment in which to experiment. Here, the strange and unusual is welcome. Your art does not have to be approved by a curator or be financially successful to impress us; you will find a home and an open-minded audience for whatever your creative impulses bring forth.
Bringing Art to Firefly
You don’t need permission to bring most art to Firefly. But we’d love to hear from you–especially if it’s a large installation. If you’re bringing art to Firefly, consider taking these steps:
- To ensure a spot for your art and get on the event map, fill out the Placement Form before the deadline.
- You can get more time to set up your art–and drive it up the hill–if you’ve filled out the Early Arrival Application.
- If you want your art to be listed on our website and in the What/Where/When guide, fill out a What/Where/When Form and a Placement Listing Request before the deadline so we can add your project to the art listings. If you have any questions, contact the Art and Theme Camp Placement team at email@example.com.
Types of Art
Firefly creates a unique relationship between the natural and the artificial. Some of our favorite memories are of works of art placed in special natural environments where they suddenly seem to belong. In past years, Firefly explorers have come across a rose garden in the woods, a glowing galaxy in the meadow, disco balls hung from trees, and a winged, mossy frog sitting above a brook. We would love to see more sculpture and installation art, and we have plenty of space for it.
DJs, bands, and performers of all types are essential to Firefly. The festival is full of opportunities for jamming and improvised performance. Scheduled performances with amplified sound are also possible when a performer collaborates with a camp that is able to provide a sound system. If you are a performer, you can turn your camp into your ideal venue or use the Fireflyblink discussion list to find another camp to host you. This ain’t no ordinary gig—be prepared for adventure! Please contact Sound Core and read our sound policies before bringing loud music or noises to Firefly.
Fireflies love fire performance and all types of fire art. There is nothing quite so exciting as having the darkness ripped out of your night with an unexpected WHOOSH of fire from nearby. There are areas designated specifically for fire art and we pay strict attention to safety and the use of proper equipment. ALL fire sculptures and fire art MUST go through our fire art review and approval process, and campfires are not allowed without prior authorization. If you plan on performing with fire props, or bringing fire in any form to the event please read through our fire policies and procedures.
For many insects, dancing is an important form of communication. For many humans, it is a reason to exist. There are many venues for you to expressively dance your ever-lovin’ socks off. However, if you want to do some more formal dance performance, use the discussion lists to find a camp to host you, or register for a slot on the Open Stage. Come out into the woods and dance with us.
VJ art and video screenings are also an important part of Firefly. In the past, there have been theme camps focused on this art form. If you have something to show and do not have the equipment, some theme camps may provide projectors and screens. Use the discussion lists to find a camp that fits your needs.
Of course Fireflies’ favorite activity of all is glowing. At night our village lights up with lasers, LEDs, EL wire, glow sticks, and blacklight painting. Glowing art can take on so many amazing forms – see what you can come up with, it is always welcome.
This is your opportunity to dress how you feel, or become a character from your own mythology, or try on a whole new you. Costumes and their owners have created some of the most unusual experiences and intense creativity we have come across on the trail.
Art does not have to be relegated to the woods, fields, or paths; your camp can be your art. Everybody needs a home at Firefly, so why not make that home an art-filled one, or a piece of art itself? For more info see the Theme Camps page.
Firefly is a gift economy—you may want to make something special to share. Handmade art gifts are awesome, and gifts of food and drink are always appreciated.
If you make art that does not fit into any of the categories on this page, we’d especially like to experience it.
Making it Happen
Your creativity can turn a clearing in the woods into a perfect place for meditation, ritual, dancing, performance, chilling, teaching, meeting, or partying. If you want to ensure a spot for your art at the event, look for the official announcement from Placement Core before the event. Get the announcements on the official mailing list. You can also wait until the start of the event to place your art, but by then there are fewer options. Your project can go wherever you choose, provided that:
- The space hasn’t been taped off for a camp or another piece of art.
- You show respect for your neighbors and public spaces.
- It doesn’t involve fire (see the ‘Fire’ heading above).
Electricity is not supplied by the event, but may be made available in limited areas by camps with generators. If your project requires power, it’s usually best to provide your own or connect with a camp that you can share resources with on the Fireflyblink mailing list.
Nature often puts Firefly to the test with rain, wind, mud, and cold. Don’t let this scare you, but be prepared for an adventure. If your site does not happen to be near the main road, you may need to move your gear quite a ways on foot. Think ahead:
- Have you thought about how your art is going to be placed?
- Does it need to be hung from something?
- Does it need to be staked down or guyed in case of wind? Art should be able to withstand torrential downpours and wind gusts of >30mph.
- Are critical components weather-proofed? You must have a plan to deal with your art such that it does not harm anyone nearby or create massive amounts of MOOP in inclement weather.
- Will hippies accidentally dismember it?
If you’re new to Firefly and you’re planning something big, use the discussion lists to network with experienced Firefly artists and learn what to expect.
Remember, Firefly is a Leave No Trace event. This means your project should be planned to have minimal impact on the land, and you will be expected to remove it entirely at the end of the event AND make sure that the area immediately around your piece has been left as clean, or cleaner, than when you found it.
Anything is possible at Firefly, especially when you collaborate! If you need volunteers, advice, or resources to make your idea happen, posting to the Fireflyblink mailing list or the Facebook Group is the best way to find them.
Firefly is proud to offer grants for creative projects. For more information, see the Art Grants page.
Don’t forget: all Firefly participants – including artists, performers, and organizers – need tickets. The latest information on ticketing and ticket availability can be found on the Tickets page.