The WayHome Music & Arts Festival is advertised as a kaleidoscope of sound, smell and colour, and the 2017 edition promises once again to be all of that, albeit with a different mix of talent.
Taking place July 28-30 at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, this year’s WayHome features acts that include Grammy Award-winning electronic dance music producer Flume headlining on the first day, multiple hit-makers Imagine Dragons on the second day, and rap star Frank Ocean on the final day.
“The experience of what WayHome tries to be is a premier camping festival for Southern Ontario,” says Jacob Smid, who is co-owner and talent buyer of Fource Entertainment, which has booked the talent this year.
“I think what we found last year is that the reaction to some of the underserved musical genres, be it electronic, eclectic or hip hop…I think we wanted to sprinkle a little bit more of that into the festival,” Smid added. “We made some suggestions to move the third stage to a much better location.
“We’re just trying to keep evolving with our audience. It’s still a world-class festival and we wanted to take some chances with some of the programming to be a step ahead of where the trends are coming. We booked Rag’n’Bone Man (Human) 12 months ago before anything really happened. That’s an example of an act starting to explode.
“We want the festival to be a springboard for artists. As much as we want WayHome to be special and amazing for the audience, we also want that same feeling for the artists and everyone that’s involved in the festival. If we can deliver those magic moments, job well done. Obviously the grounds at Burl’s Creek and the area that it’s in play are as big a factor as the music.”
The first year of the event featured Canadian legend Neil Young, British pop singer Sam Smith and American rapper Kendrick Lamar, to name a few of the acts. Last year’s event was headlined by American electronic band LCO Soundsystem, Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire and American rockers The Killers.
Some of the notable other acts playing this year’s festival include Cage The Elephant, Justice, The Shins, Foster The People. Vance Joy, Solange, Marshmello, ScHoolboy, Porter Robinson and Banks.
Smid, who is a 20-year veteran of the live event business, is hoping the festival attracts 30,000 people each day.
“The WayHome brand and the production team behind the event have a very good reputation,” Smid said.