Rockin’ at the Firefly Music Festival

Firefly 1

Our location near the entrance ensured that thousands would see the truth of abortion.

By Jonathan Darnel

If you want to see the American culture war up close and personal, in all its gritty reality, just go to a rock festival and promote pro-life values.  That’s what CBR and Delaware Right to Life did June 20-21 at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware.

During its four day run, Firefly draws a crowd of more than 100,000 people, almost all between the ages of 16 and 30, many of whom camp out at the festival grounds for the duration.  With alcohol flowing freely and illicit substances only a little less freely, many attendees in various stages of undress, and a Trojan condom advertisement streaming behind an airplane overhead, it was obvious that this crowd would be a challenge.

Into this morass descended CBR Maryland and Delaware Right to Life with our graphic victim images, portable loudspeaker, and literature asking the question “When is it right kill?”  For more than four hours each day, these heroic men and women challenged the death-culture at its stronghold … attracting attention, sparking conversations, and yes, inviting persecution.  Meanwhile, CBR’s 33-foot Truth Truck, blazoned with enormous photos of abortion carnage, circulated up and down the busiest street in Dover, just outside the festival grounds.

Pro-abortion sympathizers were noticeably more vocal at Firefly than many of the other venues CBR has visited.  Verbal harassment was constant and physical harassment took place upon several occasions, resulting in at least three arrests.  While this atmosphere might have been too much for ordinary pro-life advocates, our volunteers had previously participated in the Pro-Life Training Academy (PLTA) and were thus better prepared to both endure persecution and to answer the constant barrage of pro-abortion arguments.  Surprisingly, a large number of concert attendees were quietly supportive and thanked us for being there.  Post-abortive girls spilled their hearts in front of us and were, of course, ministered to.

The Firefly project took a lot of work.  We spent months preparing literature and equipment, promoting the event, and coordinating with local police.   To get to the display location, volunteers had to push/carry several hundred pounds of equipment over half a mile, and move everything back when finished.  Yet it was well worth it.

We showed the grim reality of abortion to thousands, and every volunteer had multiple opportunities to explain the pro-life viewpoint to curious onlookers.  Since living conditions at the Firefly campsite promote behavior that often leads to abortion, we believe that our unexpected presence at the festival is already bearing fruit, as new parents who might have chosen abortion cannot do so, our images and words being yet fresh in their memories.

Our volunteers were glowing about the experience:

At the very end a young man came past, yelling at us and very pro-abortion. We had a long talk and ran the gamut of the arguments.  At the end he thanked us for being there and said we’d given him a lot to think about.  (Bobbi, Delaware Right to Life)

On one occasion, I heard a group of young people admit that we were hitting our target demographic.  Later, when one young man was berated by his friends for taking our literature, I heard him defend us and point out that he himself had been adopted.  (Moira, Delaware Right to Life)

I specifically targeted couples who looked in love and who might face a crisis pregnancy later.  Several were pro-choice and we talked a very long time.  One couple in particular took our literature and said they would pass it out in the dormitories!  They admitted that they really needed a new perspective on abortion, and thanked me for giving it to them!”  (Eva, Delaware Right to Life)

 Jonathan Darnel is a Project Director for CBR Maryland Operations.


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