This weekend, I was able to attend one of the most electrifying music festivals I’ve had the opportunity to attend thanks to team at Vitamin Water.
About the Festival:
The WayHome Music & Arts Festival is a three-day music and arts festival held in Oro-Medonte, Ontario at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds between Barrie and Orillia. The first festival occured last year and boosted about 35,000 attendees. Similar to other three-day festivals, fans have the opportunity to live out in the wilderness on their camp grounds, drive-in from across cities and much more.
Thanks to the folks at Vitamin Water, I had the opportunity to take in the camping life. The camping area was separated into three different parts. There was the west camp, east camp and VIP camping grounds. Being my first time, it was interesting to see the endless amounts of tents, people engaging and interacting with each other, lounging and having a great time with one another. I mean if you’re all for meeting new people and new place – this was definitely the place.
Wayhome was broken down into three different stages: WayBright, WayBold & the main stage was Wayhome. On average about 20,000 (I cannot make this up) people were in the park throughout the day. Between sets, fans would take a break, rest at their camps, grab drinks and mix and mingle until their favourite artists were ready to hit the stage.
Highlights at Wayhome:
Vitamin Waters Hydration Station & #WayhomieWash
The day was freakishly hot – I was pouring sweat from all areas of my body (Leave it to the imagination). This isn’t a shameless plug, but thank God for Vitamin Water. They had set up a hydration station set up, which they dubbed as the “Hydration Station”. Within this neat setup, it included the WayhomieWash, which pretty much treated people as a human carwash. Once you hopped on, you got a quick cold water spray-down and at the end got your own bottle of Vitamin Water to quench my thirst from dry heat. For those you were looking to kill sometime before the sets, the station had a “Create-Your-Own-Totem-Pole”. It was pretty helpful because as long as you were okay lugging it around, it was a great way of having friends and family find you in the massive sea of people.
Reebok Ferris Wheel
I also came across Rebook’s Ferris Wheel, who setup a stunning ferris wheel that overlooked the entire park. It looked similar to the ferris wheel setup at festivals like Coachella as it was dressed with gorgeous LED lights that lit up at night. The line-up to get on was a little long, but it helps that Reebok was running a contest to give away prizes to peeps awaiting their turn on the ferris wheel.
For the fans who purchased VIP wristbands, they were treated to fun-filled experience at WayHome. First off, they had their own entrance and exit throughout the park, which was so convenient given if you need to run back and forth between your campsite and the festival grounds. In addition, VIP ticket holders got their own section at all three stages with closer views, which really made it an exclusive experience. People may feel differently, but given that it was my first time going, I felt the VIP experience was worth the money because it allows for convenience and easy-access at the top of the list. After a few drinks and you need to go to the washroom, there’s nothing like having your own designated washroom section. When you’re feeling hungry and don’t want to line-up for hours amongst 20,000 people, the VIP lounge has a great variety of food and drink areas. Also, if you’re an avid phone user (i.e. my snapchat) and need a place to charge your phone, you can count on power stations in the VIP lounge. Personally, camping and being in the middle of nowhere is a little outside my comfort zone, so the VIP area helped me feel a little like home.
Highlights at Wayhome: Artists
Last year’s line-up including headliners like Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Neil Young and much more. This year, Wayhome stepped their game up by calling upon the talents of A Tribe Called Red, All Then Witches, Allie X, AlunaGeorge, Arcade Fire, Arkells, BadBadNotGood, Bahamas, Banners, Beirut, Bishop Briggs, Black Mountain, Bombino, Boom Forest, Braids, Borns, Chet Faker, Chvrches, Coleman Hell, Dilly Dally, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, FKA Twigs, Foals, Gary Clark Jr., Glass Animals, Gold Link, Haim, Half Moon Run, Keys N Krates, Kurt Vile & The Violaters, Lany, LCD Sound system, Lindsey Stirling, Little Scream, Lucius, M83, Mac Demarco, Major Lazer, Marian Hill, Matt & Kim, Metric, Mothers, MO, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Noah Gundersen, Oh Wonder, Patrick Watson, Phosphrescent, and much more.
There were tons of fantastic performance across the three-days I was there for the festival, but my personal favourite acts (in no particular order) from Wayhome were:
Honestly my anticipation was way-up for this show because I was expecting Justin Bieber to make an appearance given that Major Lazer released their new single, “Cold Water” on the 1 day of WayHome. Regardless, it didn’t sour the event as the DJ trio turned it up to the max as they played some heavy club, trap and reggae mixes to make the crowd go wild. Did I mention these guys got a whole bunch hits on deck?
I’ve seen MO featuring on various singles including her catchy collaboration with Iggy Azalea and Jack U, so I had to the check her out, which is what makes the festival fun, you as a spectator have the option to explore new artists and genres you don’t typically listen to. MO did not disappoint – she performed her most well-known collaboration, “Lean On”, which had the crowd jumping and her single, “Final Song”.
I’ve always heard about Arcade Fire from many of my blogger friends and friends I met on the festival grounds, so I had to check it out. I didn’t recognize many of the songs but it was a cool vibe. I scanned the crowd to see hands raised to the sky, off-key singing and the fans screaming at the top of their lungs – I knew I was at the right place. I think my favourite moment was when you heard crowd singing in unison and suddenly a stream of confetti were shot into the sky across the crowds, which followed by fireworks. It was definitely a nice touch.
Shoutout to Canadian singer, Tory Lanez for holding down Toronto at Wayhome. His new single, “Say It” has been charting pretty well since it’s release. It’s a favourite song of mine, so I had to see it live. The energy was crazy at the show as the hype was on 1000%. I’ve never seen this from any artist, but at one point, he was walking on the hands of the crowds like Jesus on water. In addition, Tory Lanez performed his own version of “Controlla”, which was pretty impressive I must say.
If you don’t know who London’s duo AlunaGeorge is, you start to familiarize yourself. She’s been cranking out hit after hit since the beginning of this year. She performed, “White Noise”, “You Know You Like It”, “To U”, which I’m sure some of you will recognize. Given that it was a hot summer day, her music perfectly complimented the mood of the day. You can also check out our interview with her here.
Overall, the festival building its repertoire and still pretty generally young. As a first time away from my hometown experiencing the festival life. I really enjoyed it. Honestly, I have zero complaints and I cannot wait to see what Wayhome brings to the table next year. Thank you again to the lovely team at Vitamin Water. For more on Vitamin Water, be sure to check out their Instagram and Twitter.
In addition, For more of my antics and experience at Wayhome, check out my video below:
Photos were provided courtesy of Wayhome Music & Arts Festival.