WayHome is a 3-day music and arts festival held at the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, near Barrie, ON. This event ground is well known for it’s massive 585 acres of open green space used to host some of Canada’s largest concert events. This event was very unique in that is does not focus on any specific genre of music, but instead the event brought a wide variety of artists to come as one and celebrate the arts as whole. The 2017 WayHome experience hosted a number of major names such as Flume, Foster The People, Cage the Elephant, Imagine Dragons, Marshmello, Louis The Child, Schoolboy Q and over 70 other artists over 3 unique stages. There was the main WayHome stage, the WayBright stage and the Wayaway stage as well as the Perrier Green Room, Somersby Tent and the Bacardi Stage which would get packed during small breaks for set times to listen to some local talent. Each stage offered it’s own unique look and sound. From family festival goes to early tweens rockers, this event was truly something that was meant for everybody.
The first day was hosted by Flume & Justice as electronic headliners in which both had the crowd on a new level of excitement. As well as Cage the Elephant put on an unbelievable rock element to the show. Flume played banger after banger displaying top notch visuals that had the crowd in awe, Justice displayed an absolutely mind blowing light show featuring an amazing technical drop light display and Cage the Elephant brought a true rock show to the WayHome stage running and jumping all over the stage and even at one point, jumping off the stage and joining the crowd…Twice! One of the most memorable moments of our Wayhome experience was when the lead singer of Cage the Elephant quoted during their set, “There is only one race, the human race.” – Matt Shultz
Day two brought us names like Schoolboy Q, Vance Joy, Imagine Dragons, Marshmello and Russ. It was a day filled with nothing but good vibes and great energy especially from our local Toronto artist Jahkoy and Mura Masa that we were first unfamiliar with, but then instant fans afterwards. Imagine Dragons had the crowd in such a state of raw emotion, at any given moment you could find people belting lyrics with their hands way up in the sky showing off their peace and love symbols, or on their chests feeling the heartfelt lyrics and wonderful performance from the band. The lead singer, Dan Reynolds, spoke such beautiful words to the vast diversity of festival attendees. Talking about one love, respect to one another, never give up on your dreams and to always put a smile on someone’s face. Imagine Dragons, truly put on an unforgettable performance. To close the night off, Marshmello’s set definitely stood out with his particularly interesting choice of mixing songs from A-Trak, Drake, Blink-182, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamaer, the Vengaboys and even finishing his set off with an Adele remix. He has quite the variety of mixing choices, which seemed to fit perfectly for everyone in the audience singing along to every song.
Day three, the final day of the WayHome 2017 experience featuring two legendary headliners, Frank Ocean and Porter Robinson. The two distinctly unique and different sounds made for an absolutely outstanding close to the event. With Robinson first playing a mix of what he likes to call “complextro”, electro house and synth/dream pop giving the crowd one final surge of energy. Ocean ended the show with a pure artistic set featuring his live band up close and personal, a disco ball and even brought his own walkout stage in the center of the crowd. He had cameramen following his every move, filming live recordings of his vulnerability on full display to be projected on the big screen for the festival attendees way in the back from the stage to enjoy. The tone of his performance was very deep, slow at moments and felt like as if he were in a home recording studio (not to mention he re-started a few songs a couple times due to not rehearsing before the show), but that is the artist that he was born to be. Ocean’s final set was a beautiful way to wrap up 3 busy days of amazing performances, food vendors, camping perks and meeting new happy faces.
While the 3 days featured a vast variety of talented artists to mention (we’ll throw in Banks and Houndmouth as well for good measure) the weekend also featured a spectacular array of accommodations from a fleet of food trucks with everything from Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese, Chicken on a Stick, Deep Fried Onion heaven, Smoothies and unique All Natural Coffee Shops. Whether you were in search of an aesthetic flower headpiece to match your outfit or some super comfy harem pants to complete it, WayHome had what you were looking for. Apart from just fashion, WayHome also had so many activities all over the event grounds/camping grounds. From going to the campsite to join another group of strangers in a friendly game of keep up or having a party on top of a truck, to enjoying a sunset view of the festival from the Coors Lights hot air balloon to relaxing in hammock city after it all, WayHome provided anything and everything you could possibly think of. It was an extremely organized festival, great staff working all over the grounds and even greater people attending the festival. Until next year Wayhomies!