For as many words as we have in the English language, often feelings are evoked and English falls short. In these moments, we have to lean on other languages for clarity. For instance, “komorebi” is Japanese for “scattered sunlight shining through the leaves of trees” and “forelsket” is Norwegian for “the euphoria you experience when first falling in love”.
One in particular that hits home for us is the Greek word “meraki”. Meraki describes doing something with soul, creativity, or love – when you put a part of yourself into what you’re doing. For us, meraki comes through at Firefly. It can be used to describe walking under the beautiful canopy of trees in The Pathway, standing amongst 90,000 people singing the same song, hearing the stories of our small but mighty St. Jude heroes, and so much more. When you put a piece of yourself into something – when you do something with meraki – you are physically, mentally, and emotionally bound to the result. By turning Firefly into a fan-curated festival, we invite you to feel that with each of us.
What is a fan-curated festival? Let’s start from the beginning. Hopefully, you are all aware of the talent survey that we release each summer. Since 2013, surveys have completely revolutionized our approach to booking the Firefly lineup. The results provide direct insight into what you want. As the lineup morphs and changes – as acts confirm or pass – we revisit your feedback to guide our next move.
Over the last four years, we have booked 31 of the top 40 mid-tier acts and 7 of the top 10 headliners. Blink-182, Earth Wind & Fire, Busta Rhymes – each of these were booked solely because you wanted them.
When the lineup is complete, we never know what response to expect. There will be excitement, there will be some disappointment. What always brings us back, is knowing that we built it together. With all of you. So, a question recently dawned on us. Why just the lineup? Why can’t we work together to create the entire Firefly experience? The answer to that question is what likely brought you here. The concept of a fan-curated festival. What is it and how does it impact you? Starting now, you have the opportunity to be involved in every piece of the festival, to help curate the best weekend of the summer, to build Firefly with meraki.
From now until the festival, you’ll have the chance to visit our website and social media pages to view polls, surveys, and message boards to give us your feedback, cast votes, and share your voice on what will make Firefly 2017, and future years, better than ever.
So with all of that said, thank you. Thank you for loving Firefly, thank you for telling us what you want to see, thank you for working with us to make every year better than the last. We think of the festival as a family matter; it is something that we all work on together. Something that we all contribute to, and something that we all treasure. When festival planning is over, and we’re at The Woodlands together, the feeling is a cocktail of excitement, nervousness, and pride. It is a product of meraki, and with that comes heavy anticipation and heavy reward. So go ahead, jump right in. Join us in creating the Firefly experience – the feeling is so indescribable, it is almost lost in translation.