The third annual edition of Ontario’s WAYHOME FESTIVAL kicks off next week (July 28th to 30th) and thanks to the team at Republic Live, there’s a lot to love. The three-day camper is sticking to its new wave trifecta of music, art, and social experiences, and it’s quietly evolving into a summer fest that can put alt bands and rap faves on the same bill while being unashamedly pop. With that in mind, here is a short list of highlights you should look for if you’re making the trip to Burl’s Creek this year.
Justice’s Friday Night Banger
“On’n’On”, “Genesis”, “Safe And Sound”, “Phantom Pt. I & II” — need we say more? The French duo are now veterans of the festival circuit and it’s why their headliner is the perfect party starter for those that live by Audio, Video, Disco and have shamefully grooved out to “D.A.N.C.E.” at Phil’s in Waterloo.
Frank Ocean’s Sunday Night Closer
Frank’s recent performances at Parklife and Lovebox were criticized for being tonally weird and Blonde-heavy, but here’s the thing: it’s Frank. His short run-throughs of “Ivy” and “Nights” have been offset with songs like “Chanel” and “Biking”, and as any Endless diehard will tell you, his material isn’t radio fodder. It’s lived-in bits of sound that emits feelings, textures, and soliloquies you just gotta vibe out to.
The Local Must-Sees
If you’re looking for new finds, then tune into the homegrown talent. Notables like Jazz Cartier, PUP, Charlotte Cardin, Daniel Caesar, and Allan Rayman are galvanizing crowd pleasers and the same can be said for festival newcomers like The Dirty Nil, Jahkoy, NOBRO, Begonia, and Harrison Brome.
The Genre-Less Featured Acts
Much like its bill in 2015, WayHome’s lineup is the opposite of genre-specific as its supporting cast pits Solange and Schoolboy Q with the likes of Cage The Elephant, The Shins, Porter Robinson, Phantogram, Mitski, Constantines, Mute Math, THEY., The Drums, Jagwar Ma, Noname, Poliça, and Houndmouth.
The WayAway Stage
The main stage is the main stage but WayAway is undoubtedly one of the most intimate festival spots in North America. The site is tucked away in a forest area and this year’s schedule tops all others as it hosts Mura Masa, Hundred Waters, Car Seat Headrest, PUP, Margaret Glaspy, Andy Shauf, Daniel Caesar, Gabrielle Shonk, and an after midnight Danny Brown set that’s bound to leave you in shambles.
The Perrier Greenhouse
The Perrier Greenhouse is back and with it comes custom cocktails, A/C (no, but seriously), and three full days of low-key sets by Ryan Hemsworth, Sophie Jones, Tommy Kruise, RYME, FALCONS, Teo Nio, Killa Kels, Derek Wise, and more. It’s 19+ only but set times and full lineup details can be found here.
The Insane Food + Drink Lineup
The food vendors list is lined with the usual suspects (Smoke’s, Rancho Relaxo) but it also includes the likes of Barque, BeaverTails, feasTO, Kung Fu Dawg, Heirloom Toronto, ICEE, Station Cold Brew, The Food Dudes, and Eva’s Original Chimneys (pictured above). In other words, prepare thy taste buds.
The #DIY Market Vendors
If you’re all set on food, then browse the on-site marketplace which will feature OK Friday and pop-ups from Hayley Elsaesser, Fierce Deer, Polar Piece, Poppy & Peonies, Fanny Factory, and more. Tip: It’s totally worth it to throw your savings at OUTPOST Vintage as their denim pieces are ridiculously chic.
The WayHome Art Installations
The festival is welcoming back creatives such as Trevor Wheatley, Cosmo Dean, birdO, Angus Watt, and Nathan Witford, but it’s also upping the ante when it comes to delivering social experiences. Topshop and Topman are working with artists to create four themed rooms that a) bring key summer trends to life, b) provide the ultimate shareable image, and c) inspire attendees to “see themselves differently”.
The Endless Selfie Opportunities
You truly haven’t selfied until you selfie at WayHome, and that’s just facts.