Hopes High Dust at Firefly Won't Be as Big an Issue This Year - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hopes High Dust at Firefly Won't Be as Big an Issue This Year

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Setup was in full swing Tuesday for the Firefly and Big Barrel Music Festivals at The Woodlands out behind Dover International Speedway. The first Firefly bands take the stage Thursday. The first campers will start arriving in Dover Wednesday.

One of the biggest things festival organizer, Red Frog Events, thought about in preparing for this year's events was actually something very small - dust.

The festivalgrounds turned into a huge dust bowl over the course of four days.

Connie Sanders was a volunteer at Firefly 2014.

"You would see people go down to the main stage, and then, as they would start dancing, you would see the cloud of dust coming up," she said.

On Twitter people complained about the dust. One person joked, "I think i have black lung from all the dust at Firefly." Some people started using the term "Firefly Plague."

People wearing bandanas over their faces became a common sight at the festival.

"I think a bandana is definitely a very good idea. What that's going to do is filter some of the dust and the debris out of the air," said Dr. Catherine Wright, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Bayhealth.

Dr. Wright also recommends showering and using nasal spray if there's a lot of dust this year. But Red Frog is hoping that won't happen.

Officials say dust suppressant treatments have been put on the road. And there's more grass around the festivalgrounds this year than there was last year. And there's the weather.

"It was especially dry in 2014 and we've seen decent rainfall thus far during set up which will help with settling the dust," Lauren King, a spokeswoman for the festivals, said in an email to WBOC.

That's what Sanders is counting on, too, as she heads back this year.

"I'm thinking, because we've had so much rain recently, that it won't be too bad. But if it is, I'll pack a couple of bandanas in my backpack," said Sanders.

Dr. Wright says dust wouldn't lead to any long term health effects. In the short term, it could cause nose, lung and eye problems. And it could especially rough on people with chronic respiratory issues, like asthma.

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