Every few years or so, a new festival will spring up from the ground catering to a niche market, some live on for years to come (your Coachella’s and OVOFests alike) and others, well they just aren’t suited to keep the ball rolling. Regardless, you can catch some of your favourite artists performing at these stops each year creating a tradition built to cater to a specific music taste.

Wayhome Music and Arts Festival is one of the few festivals hosted in Ontario, Canada following suit and making a mark beyond it’s hosting grounds of Oro-Medonte, Ontario.

The festival which initially launched summer 2015 came as a surprise to many, with headline names such as Danny Brown, Bas Nectar, Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, Passion Pit and more, and a hosting style which had yet do be done at a major mainstream music festival in Ontario. The 3-day event caters not only to a variety of musical genres from Rap, R&B, Alternative Rock and more to over 30,000 attendees, but allows festival goers to make home on Burl’s Creek campgrounds for 3 days straight for festival convenience. When initially launched, the campout terms are what hooked the majority for it’s Chella vibes and set up.

This year Wayhome took it up a notch with Republic Live and brought even bigger and better names to the forefront, collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry to bring amusement and comfort to festival goers, and fixed the loose bolts from its 2015 debut. RegalChiz was fortunate enough to be invited to experience the 3 day event and took up the offer from Friday to Sunday night to experience just what all the hype was about. After a very hot, lively and jam packed three day, it’s safe to say Wayhome has got something going for itself regardless of the sweltering Oro heat when it comes to standing out from other festivals in Ontario and is definitely worth a shot if you’re looking to be immersed in a true festival experience. We’ve broken down some of the best sets, festival components and a few hitches to take away for all you festival goers contemplating taking on Wayhome 2017 next summer.

Friday July 22nd: Day 1 (and a Half)

The initial launch of Wayhome Music and Arts is actually designed to come alive the Thursday evening of the festival weekend. The Republic Live team curated the ArtWalk experience for the first to arrive on campgrounds to experience the culture before the main events began. Here is where festival goers learned that Wayhome was more than just music, ArtWalk celebrates food, visual art and more: this collaborative effort with Drake Hotel and major food vendors launches a true VIP experience to kick start the weekend. Republic Live took time with this idea bringing luxury to the rugged outdoors and shining light on the potential the weekend had for Wayhomies.

When Friday rolled around a fair portion of attendees where already there, but it was go time and  after settling in the first sets quickly kick started. Check out this wicked breakdown day by day of the Wayhome 360 experience.

Best Sets of The Day

  • River Tiber
  • Shad
  • Tory Lanez
  • Rae Sremmurd

Key Campground Features Visited

  • Reebok Ferris Wheel
  • Coors Light Inflatable Water Slide

Day 1 was overwhelmingly tiring from setting up to exploring one too many acres of land, it was nearly impossible to hit every attraction without wanting to keel over half way through the day. Festival features such as the Reebok Ferris Wheel and Coors Light Inflatable Slide caught the eye of Wayhome attendees and were worth the wait in line. To kick start the day River Tiber set a chill but powerful tone with an amazing set on the WayAway stage which was the most intimate of all 4 performance locations. New fans and old ones were drawn to the blitzing vocals and production from Beasley which set the tone to start  the day.

Later on that evening, things would go from laid back to turnt all the way up with some major rap acts. Rae Sremmurd and Tory Lanez arguably tied for the best sets of the night with their hype tracks and power to pull energy from the crowd. Lanez, who’s highly anticipated album I Told You, is on the way, had a full audience vibing to his relentless energy, and for anyone who’s seen the multi-faceted creative live, you’ll know that Tory is all in or nothing at all: crowd surfing, 90’s R&B sing-alongs, and a set composed of some of his best work, old and new. Even with a minor delay, the New Toronto rapper made sure to put in work and make up for lost time when it came to satisfying his audience and surely none of us left disappointed.

Though Rae Sremmurd came last their performance was far from weak and topped the best of the best for the day. Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy’s combined stamina is something special which the brotherhood has learned to capitalize on. On top of being timely, Sremmurd came through with their hits straight off of the rip causing chaos throughout the audience. Rapping along to major tracks such as “No Type” and “No Flex Zone” we could have anticipated the duo going silent and letting the audience finish for them. An exclusive debut of a new track from Sremm Life 2 featuring Future made it’s way towards the closing set which was something special for all Sremm Life fans with the wait of their summer album coming to its end. Lee and Jimmy held their own and from the small stages of Danforth Music Hall to taking over WayBold at Wayhome and filling the field, the pair proved they’re definitely one to take note of.

Day 2: Saturday July 23rd

Best Sets of the Day

  • Arcade Fire
  • Vince Staples
  • Ray Lamontagne
  • Major Lazer

Key Campground Features Visited

  • Fido Music Station
  • Smirnoff House
  • TopShop/TopMan Tent

 

Day 2 inarguably held the creme de la creme of artists for the weekend. This day was centred around the urban market RegalChiz was in search of. With crazy live artists such as Vince Staples, Arcade Fire and Major Lazer set to take on the night, day time was left for play to cover some wicked stations hosted by corporations such as Fido, TopShop and Smirnoff. All 3 locations catered to the festival aura with dope music stations that let artists create their own tracks and enjoy music mixed by a DJ with other Wayhome goers, these small spots were where you got the true festival bonding moments simply by being surrounded by people enjoying the music.

As night fell, Ray Lamontagne took on the night and then Vince Staples on our go- to list. Vince Staples took the stage at Wayhome for the first time ever and kicked off with some of low key tracks. Much to our surprise many of the fans knew just about every track Staples dropped but when it came to closing out, Staples had to pull out the highly anticipated hits such as “Norf Norf” after delivering a heavy speech about police brutality. The audience snapped and chanted along to every word and even after Staples made his way off the stage you could still feel how intense the energy was surrounding the Long Beach rappers set.

Picking between FKA Twigs and Major Lazer was one of the hardest choices for closing sets, though the love for FKA is more than real the hype was directed towards Major Lazer and we wanted to go out with a bang. The electronic group founded by Diplo and Switch is now comprised of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire, has been funnelling out hits since early 2012. With the release of Peace of The Mission, which featured a multitude of artists from varying genres and not a single bad track we expected the best of the best. Major Lazer surely delivered on the WayHome stage even with minor sound issues the group still covered some of their most iconic songs and performed their new single featuring Justin Bieber “Cold Water”, for the first time in Canada ever and received nods of approval from the audience. What separated Major Lazer from many of the closing acts of the weekend was their ability to interact with the audience from making over 15,000 people palance to crazy canons they definitely turned out night two of Wayhome.

Day 3: Sunday July 24th

Best Sets of the Day

  • The Killers

It was quickly noted that Day 3 held a performance which many were holding their breath for, but also that Day 3 lacked the most variety when it came to the genre of artists taking over the stages. This may have been the calm before the storm as everyone prepared for the four man band closing off the festival and with how burnt out everyone was, it was expected. The Killers single handedly took Wayhome by storm when it came to alternative rock performances. Featuring some of the best of their classics, the sweetest serenades and more, it seemed that fans new every single word coming from Brandon Flower’s mouth. A great energy to be had, the Killers were the right choice in bringing Wayhome to a wrap.

Republic Live has figured out a way to quickly readjust the flaws of Wayhome, previously festival attendees complained of disorganized set times, lack of cellular reception and so forth. This year things seemed to have moved together fluidly with little to no issues. The resolve of minor issues such as installing cellphone towers, increasing the number of water tanks on grounds and creating reasonable time slots between set times made a significant difference in the Wayhome experience. Overall the weekend went off with a bang and had the majority of attendees ready to save the date for the 2017 and now you can too.

The only subject which may need to be addressed for Republic Live to increase support from festival attendees may be expanding the variety of artists lined up. This year there was a fair mix of music but evidently the festival catered predominately to indie/alternative and rock fans. Implementing more genres such as rap, soul, pop etc. might be the major key to winning over a larger base of attendees to Wayhome Music and Arts Festival next year and truly setting the 3 day event apart from other festivals hoping to make their mark in a lineup of summer festivals. If you missed the adventure on the @regalchiz SnapChat this summer be sure to follow us for updates and more festivals and shows to come in 2016/2017. Till next time Wayhomies…