ZZ Ward, Capital Cities ready for Firefly Music Festival

For 21st-Century Media

The Firefly Music Festival made its debut in Delaware last year and was a huge success. Not surprisingly, the promoters decided to make the three-day celebration of current pop music an annual event.

The 2013 edition of Firefly will run from June 21-23 in Dover and will feature more than 70 acts with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers as the main headliners.

Many of the bands and artists on this year’s roster will be performing in Delaware for the first time ever, including Capital Cities and the last act on the alphabetical list of performers, ZZ Ward...


Capital Cities, which is billed as an alt-dance group from Los Angeles, features frontmen Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian. Capitol Records just released the band’s debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery on June 4.

“We’ve been working on the album since we formed three years ago,” said Simonian, during a phone interview last week from a tour stop in Miami. “We signed with Capitol last year but the album was mostly finished by then.

“I’m also a producer and I have my own studio — Stereotrain Studios in L.A. Ryan and I met in 2008. He was working on a solo project and was looking for a producer and I had an ad on Craigslist. He was the only one who responded to the ad — and the rest is history.”

In addition to the new album, Capital Cities has released one EP — Capital Cities EP (2011) — and three singles — Beginnings (2010), Safe and Sound (2011) and Kangaroo Court (2012).

“There is a lot of overlap in our musical tastes,” said Simonian. “With the album, we have a pretty good blend of electronic and pop. The voice on the album is actually both of our voices fused together. Our genre is alt-dance and we like to think we’re eclectic.”

The Firefly Music Festival is being held at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway. The Woodlands are 87 acres of lush, wooded festival grounds located on an 840-acre sports complex that also includes restaurants, hotels and a casino. Tickets are $98 for each day.

ZZ Ward’s set is scheduled for Saturday at 2:15 p.m. on The Lawn Stage. Capital Cities will perform on The Backyard Stage on Sunday at 5 p.m. For additional information and a complete schedule, visit fireflyfestival.com.