WayHome 2017: a behind-the-scenes preview

Feature image photo credit: Cassandra Popescu

Burl’s Creek in Oro-Medonte, ON has been the proud home to the WayHome Music and Arts Festival since 2015. The easy-to-get-to location is just north of Toronto on the edge of beautiful cottage country.  This year’s festival is to be held on July 28th – 30th.  Burls’s Creek is also the home to sister festival, Boots and Hearts which takes place in August.  Both are the flagship festivals of Republic Live.  Final preparations are underway at Burl’s Creek and we were invited to sneak a peek at the grounds.

When we arrived to the grounds we were greeted by hundreds of concert-goers who were lucky enough to score free tickets to the festival just by being local residents to Burl’s Creek.  Barrie radio stations, Rock 95  and 107.5 KOOL FM were handing out tickets to residents who could prove their place of residency.  They were also able to peruse the OK Friday farmers market held at Burl’s Creek every Friday afternoon.  Not such a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon!

The main stage, WayHome, was in the process of being constructed while on our tour.  It is nestled on the northern edge of the grounds and is adjacent to one of the best festival VIP zones we have ever witnessed.  The large barn is the perfect place for VIP ticket holders to take a break from the sun and grab some refreshments before making their way to the main stage.  Headlining acts that will be performing on the WayHome stage include Cage The Elephant, Flume, Death From Above, Vance Joy, Imagine Dragons, Frank Ocean and many more.  The complete schedule can be found on the WayHome website.

WayBright is a semi-permament stage that was close to completion during our tour.  It is the tier two stage that will feature such acts as Foster The People, Darcys, Royal Blood, Jazz Cartier, The Dirty Nil and Tegan and Sara.

Tucked back in the woods is the intimate stage, WayAway, which had not yet begun construction when we were there.  Its the perfect place to catch a show without fighting the large crowds and it is also the place where many meet and greet opportunities happen.  This year you can find Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Andy Shauf, Tanya Tagaq, PUP and Blossoms take to this stage, among many others!

Finally, we had the chance to view an area that the public does not get the chance to see when the festival is underway.  In a sectioned-off area there is a peaceful pond that has become quite the attraction for artists to dip their toes into while waiting backstage for their performances.  Perhaps you will see this pond pop up on the social media channels of performers as they relax at the festival.  This is quite the contrast from the excitement that takes place in front of the stage!

There are still tickets available.  For all of your festival inquiries and to purchase tickets, visit the WayHome website.  Also, don’t forget to check out our list of festival must-haves, curated by our veteran festival expert, B Hartling!

For even more behind-the-scenes information, check out the interview that Nicole Wolfe did with Ryan Howes, the Creative Director of Republic Live in our feature, “Inside The Music”.

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