The best weekend of the year is approaching. Here is what you need to know about WayHome:
In its 2nd annual celebration, WayHome Music & Arts Festival shows promise as a fresh, new tradition that Southern Ontarian music fans can look forward to every July. In its inaugural year in 2015, the WayHome line up was modest when compared to other festivals of similar statures. However, the fact that it was the first WayHome music festival ever makes the line up look much stronger. It was also pleasantly Canadian, with the likes of Neil Young, The Sheepdogs, Hey Rosetta, July Talk, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Yukon Blonde and Broken Social Scene as a last minute addition.
WayHome producer Republic Live had the leverage and capabilities to book such a strong inaugural line up due to the inclusion of American producing company AC Entertainment in the planning process, whom many know from their affiliations with booking Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. No doubt, the combination of these two producing companies and the successes of WayHome 2015 resulted in the stacked line up that we’re being treated to in 2016. Understandably, it appears that producers are expecting huge growth in 2016 compared to 2015, and have been granted a much larger budget to play with regards to booking acts. The result: perhaps the best music festival line up that I have ever seen, let alone the best that I will be attending.
“This is not the music festival you think it is. We are about what happens when different and interesting people come together. We are making this about music, food, art and film. And we’re making it a place for people who love one or all of those things to come together to make a kaleidoscope of sound, smell, colour and spectacle.” – WayHome website
The artists billed for WayHome this year were chosen in a similar fashion to last year. Though predominantly indie rock, the music features a wide spectrum of different artists and genres from all over the world, but with a hometown bias towards Canadian acts and our country’s preferred sound.
THE SETTING: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, 180 8th Line South, Oro-Medonte, Ontario L0L 2X0
WayHome 2016 will feature more than 30 unique food vendors! For coffee snobs like myself, Tropical Temptations Coffee will be back serving premium coffee and tea directly inside the camping grounds – a great idea. Of the 30 unique food vendors, the following are a few options that definitely jump out from the crowd:
- Uncle Smoke BBQ Southern Comfort Foods
- The Saucy Pierogi Pierogis, Schnitzel
- The Food Dudes Fish Tacos, Burgers, Mac-N-Cheese Balls
- Tropical Temptations Coffee, Tea
- Heirloom Banh Mi, Sandwiches
- Chimney Stax Spiral Vegan Doughs
- Drake Eats (VIP only) Drake Café, Drake Chinatown, Drake Fiesta
Besides the music, food vendors, art and beautiful (and close proximity to Toronto) location at Burls Creek Event Grounds, perhaps the most enticing ‘extra’ offered at WayHome is the camping experience. Akin to Bonnaroo, and different from Osheaga, WayHome is a 3-day, overnight camping music festival. Personally, I haven’t taken part in a camping festival this large, as I opted to continue my annual tradition of Osheaga last year for the fourth year running instead of trying out something new with WayHome. Though I ultimately regretted my choice, I have this year (when I’ll be attending both) to attend WayHome and take in the camping experience to its fullest. From my past experiences with camping festivals, citing Wolfe Island Music Festival in Kingston, Ontario in particular, the best times are often had with friends, old and new, in the camping areas after the music ends.
Instead of a Playlist, I’ve decided to get more interactive and share the schedule that I have carved out with the WayHome website’s custom schedule builder (http://lineup.wayhome.com/login), see below:
- 3:45-4:30 Braids WayAway
- 4:30-5:30 Nathaniel Rateliff & Night Sweats WayBright
- 6:15-7:15 Wolf Parade WayBright
- 7:15-8:30 Metric WayHome
- 8:15-9:30 CHVRCHES WayBright
- 9:30-11:20 LCD Soundsystem WayHome
- 11:15-12:30 Mac DeMarco WayBold
- 12:30-1:30 Unknown Mortal Orchestra WayAway
- 1:15-2:00 Young Empires WayBright
- 2:30-3:30 Phosphorescent WayBright
- 4:00-5:00 Half Moon Run WayBold
- 4:15-5:15 Bahamas WayBright
- 6:00-7:00 Kurt Vile & The Violators WayBright
- 7:00-8:00 M83 WayHome
- 8:00-9:00 Arkells WayBright
- 9:00-11:00 Arcade Fire WayHome
- 11:00-12:00 Chet Faker WayBright
- 11:15-12:15 Vince Staples WayBold
- 12:30-1:45 Major Lazer WayBright
- 3:30-4:30 Stars WayHome
- 6:15-7:15 The Arcs WayBright
- 7:30-8:30 HAIM WayHome
- 9:30-11:00 The Killers WayHome
STANDOUTS: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, M83, HAIM, Arkells, Mac DeMarco, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Bahamas, Phosphorescent
VERDICTS: This appears to be the festival that we’ve all been waiting for in Toronto, the GTA and all of Ontario. With the successes that WayHome enjoyed in its inaugural celebration in 2015 (despite numerous indicators leading up to the festival that suggested otherwise), WayHome 2016 should continue the festival’s exponential growth in fun and reputation. In only the festival’s 2nd year of existence, it already appears to be sparring with the Coachella’s, Lollapalooza’s, Bonnaroo’s and Osheaga’s of North America in terms of popularity. WayHome 2016 is very likely the can’t-miss music event of 2016 in Ontario.