Ryan Bowman

The 2018 edition of Firefly is just two short weeks away and they have finally blessed us with the schedule. With a stacked array of top liners like Eminem, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Logic, Martin Garrix and many more, this year’s lineup promises to be something special.

Thursday

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Top Acts: Chromeo, Hippie Sabotage, Two Friends, Shallou

Don’t Miss: Knox Fortune (8:00-8:45 Lawn Stage)

After Blackbear had to drop from the lineup, Thursday seems a little underwhelming compared to past lineups. Last year we had Glass Animals, the year before we had Two Door Cinema Club, and 2015 had The Kooks. Don’t miss indie/alternative act Knox Fortune whose ethereal vibes will be a perfect set as the sun sets on the first night of the Woodlands. Replacement headliner for the night, Hippie Sabotage, had an infamous fight with security guards a couple years back that raised a lot of eyebrows about their shows.  I’d go for Shallou instead and stick around for the electric-funk duo Chromeo to dance away the night.

Friday

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Top Acts: Arctic Monkeys, Logic, Foster the People, Big Gigantic

Don’t Miss: Arctic Monkeys (11-12:30 Firefly Stage), Flor (2:30-3:15 Lawn Stage)

Friday sees the legendary British rockers Arctic Monkeys come to the Woodlands for their first U.S. festival in almost four years. Start the day off early with indie rockers Flor at the Lawn Stage for an energetic start to the day. Be sure to check out the Australian indie rockers Chase Atlantic at the Porch Stage and grab some food before the really busy part of the day begins. From there Jimmy Eat World, Marian Hill, Foster the People, Cold War Kids, Logic, Cheat Codes, Arctic Monkeys, and Big Gigantic take over the rest of the night. There are surprisingly few conflicts on this super busy night, but Logic vs. Cheat Codes is a big one, pitting the superstar rapper against the popular DJ duo. If you have any energy left after rocking out to Arctic Monkeys you’ll have to decide between Big Gigantic and a Foster the People DJ set at the Treehouse (yes I am as curious to see what this is as you are).

Saturday

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Top Acts: Eminem, The Killers, Martin Garrix, Portugal. the Man

Don’t Miss: Smallpools (4:45-5:45 Backyard Stage), The Aces (1:00-1:45 Lawn Stage)

If you’re excited to see Smallpools you’re in luck because they’ll be playing three times on Saturday: Toyota Music Den, then the Backyard Stage, and an evening set at the Treehouse. Be sure to get going early and check out the all-female band in The Aces up first on the Lawn Stage whose energetic alt-rock vibes will be a perfect beginning to the day. They have a half-hour set at at the Treehouse later in the afternoon if you miss their first set. Once again the later part of the day has a lot of great acts to see but relatively few conflicts to speak of with the Portugal. the Man vs. Mike D (DJ set) vs. San Holo one bound to cause the most conflicts among your friend group. I saw Mike D at Boston Calling last weekend and it wasn’t anything to write home about, just him playing some songs over a laptop and pausing it to yell the lyrics every once in a while. Portugal. the Man was also at Boston Calling and they blew me away with their energetic rock n’ roll and stage presence so I will be in the crowd for them again. The Killers return to the Woodlands after releasing their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful last year and Eminem continues his play-as-many-festivals-as-possible-summer-tour. Martin Garrix closes out the night/early morning for what promises to be an incredible set of confetti, glow sticks, and (probably) fireworks.

Sunday

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Top Acts: Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Alt-J, SZA, MGMT

Don’t Miss: Courtship (2:15-3 Lawn Stage), MGMT (6:30-7:45 Firefly Stage)

The final day of Firefly sees arguably the most popular rapper in the world right now, Kendrick Lamar return to the Woodlands for the first time since 2013. Side note: if he invites you up on stage just don’t do what this girl did. Courtship, the electro-synth pop duo out of LA are a must-see act early in the day. They just released their debut album Denial in Paradise a few weeks ago and promise to be a fun act that will prove their worth on the big stage. Indie rockers BANNERS, viral rapper Yung Gravy, and indie pop artist Morgxn are some of the acts rocking through the afternoon. MGMT takes the Firefly Stage at 6:30 and finishes up right in time for Alt-J over on the Backyard Stage. SZA is supposed to take the stage next but after she announced she might have permanently injured her vocal chords a couple of days ago, her attendance at Firefly is up in the air. After the Alt-J / SZA conflict Kendrick Lamar controls the festival back on the main stage before Odesza wraps of the weekend on the Backyard Stage.

Food

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The “headliners” include the aptly named “Mom’s Spaghetti,” Taiyaki NYC (really cool ice cream, definitely want to try this), and the legendary Shake Shack. With a wide variety of options there promises to be something to please everyone’s taste buds.

Map

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Passes are still on sale here and you can find all things Firefly related on their website.

See you in the Woodlands!

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