After a successful launch in 2015, WayHome has established itself as a major summer event. Inspired by Bonnaroo, the festival set itself apart with its balance of modern Canadian art and major international headliners. WayHome represents a world-class summer escape, offering attendees the chance to camp out on the grassy plains at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in in Oro-Medonte, ON and lose themselves in the camaraderie of their fellow festivalgoers.
In its inaugural edition, 100 artists performed on the grounds over the course of three days. Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar delivered a festival-making set, while pop act Sam Smith and the iconic Neil Young also headlined. Canadian acts included July Talk, Weaves, Alvvays and more. The eclectic lineup spanned all manner of genres, from the late-night EDM dance parties featuring Bassnectar and Girl Talk to a hardcore punk performance by Fucked Up.
While music is a major part of WayHome, its arts lineup is hardly subservient. Artist Charles Bierk selected a range of visual art for the 2015 edition, which included pieces by Trevor Wheatley, Aaron Li-Hill, Philippe Blanchard and many more. From sculpture to multimedia and more, the festival’s displays complement the diverse and aesthetically oriented nature of the festival. The emphasis on art extends to its promotional material, as demonstrated in the festival’s 2016 video teasers.
The Burl’s Creek Event Grounds add to the festival’s appeal. The stages offer a diverse atmosphere for performers, with locations taking place under big tents, tucked among trees and more. Attendees can sample a range of food and drinks from Toronto restaurateurs and international chefs before they retire to on-site campgrounds. The event also emphasizes teamwork and inclusivity, with campers coining the term “WayHomies” to describe their fellow festivalgoers.