The countdown is on and the Wayhome Music Festival is almost upon us! This weekend will mark the third annual Wayhome Music & Arts Festival in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. From July 28-30, music fans from Toronto and the GTA will be able to travel an hour north to Burl’s Creek festival grounds for a weekend of camping, music, and food!
— WayHome Music & Arts (@wayhomefestival) July 24, 2017
The festival aims to include multiple music genres for a diverse musical experience. However, this year they received criticism for what some believed to be a “weak” lineup.
In the past, the festival included big headliners like Arcade Fire, The Killers, Hozier, Alt-J, Kendrick Lamar, Neil Young and Sam Smith, just to name a few. This year, the headliners are Flume, Imagine Dragons and Frank Ocean. Many expressed disappointment in this year’s lineup compared to the previous two years.
At the end of March, Creative Director Ryan Howes announced new additions to the lineup that included Cage The Elephant, Foster the People, and Porter Robinson. He states: “The new additions to the WayHome 2017 lineup has really completed the multi-genre lineup for live music fans across Canada… The onsite experience this year will be one-of-a-kind and an expansion from WayHome 2016 and we are very excited for fans to see all we have to offer this summer.”
In an interview with EDM Canada, Howes expands on his previous statement about including wide range of musical genres: “We added more EDM and hip hop this year. WayHome is no longer strictly an indie rock focus like it was in year one. But if you’re a real music fan, you’re a fan of a number of genres and different artists.” This could explain why people feel that the headliners do not appear to be a good combination.
The indie-rock fans were the foundation of the inaugural Wayhome festival, and while it’s great to see genres like hip hop and electronic getting the spotlight, it may not make sense to those with a specific musical taste.
In theory, adding diverse musical genres would bring in a wider audience. At least that’s what Ryan Howes hopes. In reality, ticket sales may suffer as a result. If the core indie-rock fanbase feels disappointed in this departure from previous years, they will be less likely to return to the festival.
While the festival may have won “Best Major Music Festival” at Canadian Music Week, this weekend will determine whether this risky departure from the previous lineups will pay off.
Stay tuned for reviews of the festival next week!