On Tuesday, February 10, 2015 a mysterious event happened at The Great Hall on Queen Street West. The event was advertised with coded yellow and black posters cunningly telling you not to go The Great Hall. If you decided to disobey the posters then you, and the 350 others who got in, were greeted with a mysterious envelope that told you not to open it.
What was the mystery behind the event? An announcement of a music festival happening this summer. The Wayhome festival is a three-day event to be held in Oro-Medonte, just north of the city of Barrie. The announcement at The Great Hall included unveiling the list of confirmed artists. As for the mysterious envelope, if you followed the directions to not open it, you received life tickets to the festival; if you did open it, you still received tickets to this year’s festival.
The festival has been in the talks for a while; everyone knew that Toronto needed a quality festival to come its way but it just hasn’t happened yet. There are plenty of other festivals that do occur in and around the city during the summer months such as Edgefest, NXNE, Field Trip, and Riotfest, but nothing on the scale that many felt was needed.
The city was in desperate need of a festival to standards of Coachella, Bonaroo, or its closest comparison, Osheaga. The Wayhome festival is sure to deliver exactly what the Canadian music scene has been hoping for, just north of Toronto, Canada’s entertainment capital.
This festival is being put on by Ashley Capps, a co-founder of the Bonaroo festival. The National Post reported in January that the venue can host 80,000 people and is said to feature four stages, art installations, local markets, and a “late-night forest.”
The announcement of this festival is a huge stepping-stone for Canada’s music industry and identity. While the line up is loaded with American artists, especially as headliners, there is actually a wide representation of Canadian bands being showcased — 20 of the 48 announced bands are Canadian. While it would be a great push for the Canadian music scene to have at least one Canadian band as a headliner,, it does make sense to push quite a few big names like Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J, and Modest Mouse to attract the crowds the festival needs to make its first run a success.
Bottom line? This festival is sure to have a positive impact on Canada’s music scene. Toronto and Barrie will inevitably become over run by girls in crop tops and guys in tie dye shirts, as the weekend approaches, and I for one, can’t wait.