Okay, I’ll admit it: I am a total Bonnaroovian. I first got the chance to attend Bonnaroo in 2012 and I’ve been hooked since. Needless to say, it was a dream come true when the fest’s organizers announced they would be presenting a spin-off outside of Toronto. I was elated by the idea that I could “do Roo” twice in one summer and maybe even once without having to endure Google Maps and 13 hours on the road. Luckily, the WayHome Music And Arts Festival was so much more. It wasn’t “Bonnaroo of the North” or a second shot of The Farm – it was a new experience that no one will ever regret or forget.
With its surprise reveal and impressive lineup, WayHome attracted approximately 35,000 music goers to Oro-Medonte, and in terms of a large festival, that’s actually quite cozy. The venue itself was far from overcrowded and thanks to the prime location of the performances, campgrounds, food trucks, and art installations, it was fairly easy to find a place to sit (or selfie). The various stages also offered the perfect ratio of overexcited mobs and blanket-lounging spectators, while the smaller scale crowds allowed you to be close to your favourite artists without having to hang out with security or push for days on end.
Throw in a whole lot of good vibes and it’s evident – WayHome is the event Eastern Canada has wanted and needed for so long. Their intro into the summer circuit was no fluke but if you’re waiting for 2016, then fear not. Below is a list of the festival’s best (and worst) moments, including a shout out to Tinder.
BEST: The “to die for” pork belly wonton tacos from Umami Bites.
WORST: Pizza Pizza’s continued monopoly on Canadian music events.
BEST: Run The Jewels destroying the first 50 rows on a Saturday.
WORST: Having to watch Kendrick Lamar’s headlining set end (why couldn’t it go on forever??).
BEST: The large amount of on-site bars with unlimited choices.
WORST: The long walk to the porta-potties and water stations after enjoying the perks of said bars.
WORST: Programming having a 2 a.m. curfew every night.
BEST: Being able to actually sleep because of said 2 a.m. curfew.
BEST: The fact WayHome is clearly a summer hangout for “babes” and even more “babes”.
WORST: Tinder’s mobile app being unusable due to Wi-Fi issues and poor cell reception.
WORST: Having to deal with Tinder matches when you get home even though you’re “over it”.
BEST: The rustic hanging lightbulbs at SiriusXM’s WayAway stage.
BEST: Future Islands’ Sam Herring and his version of “Dad dancing”.
WORST: Chad VanGaalen’s stage banter about a girl going to the bathroom in the woods.
BEST: Vance Joy’s very tight skinny jeans (they deserve their own commercial).
WORST: The barrage of selfie sticks that were at Vance Joy’s set and missing said skinny jeans.
BEST: Being able to discover local artisans at the on-site Etsy market.
WORST: WayHome’s $20 “official merch” Frisbees that you were not allowed bring back into the festival grounds because security viewed them as “projectiles”.
WORST: The severe lack of flower crowns (it’s summer, like c’mon).