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Best and worst of Wayhome 2016

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Best and worst of Wayhome 2016

Photo Cred: A Gibbs

Photo Cred: A Gibbs

THE BEST

Jet The Falcon
As I was walking through the festival grounds, I noticed a crowded field filled with seagulls right across from the farmers market. A few seconds passed till I saw a golf cart approaching the flock. It wasn’t long after till the vehicle stopped in the middle of the field and two men got out of a golf cart. While my eyes were set on the men, one of them pulled out a falcon out of its cage and placed it on top of his hand. When his hand gracefully raised up towards the sky all the birds opened up their wings and quickly flew up forming circles upon circles. It was a powerful experience.
– Mady Krimele

BADBADNOTGOOD
It was so hot out side that it was hard to enjoy anything.   But BADBADNOTGOOD’s 7 o’clock Saturday evening set cooled things down.  When a band’s set is strong enough to make you google every song from their discography the next time you are in a functional environment, they did something right.
– Darrell Shelley

ICEMAN
$4 a bag or 6 for $20.  These guys came around on golf carts throughout the day to make sure everyone could keep their suds nice n’ cool.
– Niki Prekop

Rickshaws
Although pricey, the option of taking a bicycle paddled rickshaw to and from destinations was a welcomed mode of transportation in the scorching heat.  None were cooler than the Pirate, who blasted electronic music with two massive skull and cross bone flags in tow.
– Darrell Shelley

Giant Dildo With Blow Up Dolls during Matt and Kim
The Brooklyn indie dance duo played a mixture of covers and originals.  During one song Kim jumped up on the kick drum, pulled out a three foot long black dildo as thick as my arm and started playing bass drum with it.  Then while she was doing that Matt started chucking blow up sex dolls into the crowd (probably around 10 of them).  There are some images you just can’t get out of your head.
– Matt Gibbs

Perrier tent
Perrier tent was hilarious and security there were by far the most chill. Stationed at a place where they had to listen to crazy loud electro all day, they were dancing on the spot and fist pumping everyone who came and left.

It was a glass structure kind of like a greenhouse with really powerful air conditioning, serving tons of Perrier cans, everyone was dancing on the front floor by the DJ booth.  It was like entering another world inside of another world.
– Matt Gibbs

Mac Demarco (guitar solo guy)
Dreams do come true and it’s true what they say about luck, it’s only possible when preparation meets opportunity.   No one at Wayhome 2016 was more prepared for an opportunity than hard core Mac DeMarco fan Gabriel Baldassarre of Woodbridge ON Friday night.   Full story HERE.

FKA twigs WINS
Few words can be used to describe the perfection of the set that FKA Twigs and team delivered at Wayhome 2016.  Anticipation was high for her third Ontario appearance and first since The Danforth Music Hall in August 2014.  The on spot choreography was impossible to predict and perfectly planned out.   For one hour, the dancers morphed into each other across the stage and for the most part it looked like an extended live version of her famous video “Two Weeks”.   The lucky ones who planned out their evening according to good music packed the WayBold tent at the right time for perfect, video, lights, audio, choreography and performance.   Everyone else fought to get the front to watch Major Lazer churn out bangers on the WayBright stage and were too messed up or oblivious to the masterful performance that they were missing only a few hundred yards away.
– Darrell Shelley

 

THE UGLY

VIP food prices
The Drake put out a pretty intelligent marketing campaign for their specially curated VIP only monopolized Wayhome experience.  Their PR reached out to media for a free meal or two in the days leading up to the festival.   The only problem with this was that the plan backfired…sort of.

While the selection was varied and the dishes went from sad to great (based on conversations with other media), the prices were all wrong and everyone I spoke with agreed with me.

I opted for the $15.75 (that was a cheap option) Wayhome Burger with bacon that would have costs me extra normally.   With a single serving average 8oz patty, no pickle, no tomato, no sides and nothing more than a little ketchup and hot sauce, I felt like the (FREE for me) burger was a rip off.   Did I mention that I pulled the media card and they knew we were going to write about this burger? With the off the shelf No Frills processed slice of no named cheese and a sad helping of iceberg lettuce, the greasy stale bun topped off this selection with a verdict of gross!

I felt so bad about the poor sobs who bought into this culture that I refused to eat there for the rest of the weekend.
– Darrell Shelley

 

Long ass walk everyday
For most camping (GA and RV) the walk in the 25C+ heat every day was long. It took 30-35mins to get from our tent to the festival grounds along a long gravel path that was full of small pointy rocks.    This meant that any plan to catch a set or meet up with friends from another camping area took advance planing.   If you forgot your sunscreen, miscalculated your funds, didn’t organize a meet up spot and time or forgot to charge your phone, you were pretty much fucked.
– Niki Prekop

Confusion among security
While I must say that overall security were pretty nice people, there seemed to be an overall lack of fundamental understanding or communication among them.    A fine example of this took place on Sunday morning as we faced the paradox of having to get to media land by 11am, when the festival grounds were still closed.  Some of us had to camp in GA, due to over crowding the media camping area.    It was actually a great thing, considering the array of colorful people we met along the way each day in our total immersion into the festival.      While we had no problems taking a short cut through the festival grounds on Saturday, the access level magically changed on Sunday.  We approached the VIP entrance and showed security our media wristbands but the guy who was self appointed in charge gave less than two shits about what we were trying to explain to him.    Next to me were two on air personalities from local rock station 107.5 Kool FM and a photographer from Universal Music, they had been waiting for ten minutes.

“You need to go get my supervisor and ask for an escort” said the not a day over 20 year old rookie in a thick Indian accent.   “He’s over there on the main gate”.    Another security guard chimed in ” You might be able to get in from the main gate over there.”

“Main gate, over there?”  I said pointing 250meters away.   “So we’ll have to walk around that and then go through all this again, we’re gonna waste 15 minutes, we have to be over then 10minutes from now.   He’s media and she’s media too”   I said pointing at the credentials of those around us.”

“Yeah we’ve been waiting.” said one of the girls from Kool FM.

After deciding that this process was pointless, we all walked towards the main gate.  We entered flawlessly, passing a convoy of senior security guards who were having their morning briefing.    Nothing more than a smile and nod was needed and we entered the festival ground unescorted, albeit five minutes late to start our day.  There were other examples, but this was the most notable.
– Darrell Shelley

Beer prices and selection
I know it’s the festival norm now to charge 300+% mark up on shitty bear but I expected more from Wayhome part 2.

Molson Canadian 473ml – $9.75
Coors Light – 473ml – $9.75
Creemore Springs – 473ml – $10.50

When are festival organizers going to start thinking of the importance of pairing great music with great beer?   Where was the craft selection?  Gluten free options?  It’s 2016 folks, we need options!

With strict security checks at every point it was virtually impossible to get in any outside food or drink.   Sometimes they were even checking cigarette packs for weed…like really!?  REALLY GUYS!?  We’re at a festival so yes people are going to light up.

When it’s $200 for a day’s worth of beer for two moderate drinkers on a 12 hour bender, most are drinking outside of the festival grounds.   Did I mention that every beer on the three beer menu is absolute shit except one?    You can guess which one.

The choice between seeing a mid level band in the baking sun with a sub par warm Coors Light vs heading back to camp for a crafty cold one was an easy decision for most of the gentrified 30 something year old demographic.

I saw hundreds of festival goers with their rumps parked in their camps all afternoon after blowing hundreds of dollars on concert tickets preferring to enjoy beautiful beers they had brought in from home.   This also meant much smaller crowds for mid afternoon sets like Lindsey Stirling, Mothers, Dilly Dally and Bishop Briggs.

What is it going to take for festival planners world wide to figure this out.  You can blame it on the heat, you can blame is on the the 30min walk from GA to the main stage, but I’m gonna blame it on the beer.
– Darrell Shelley

 

Cashless bracelet system
Stop it!   Just Stop it!   Damn you festivals, I understand that you need the data, but please allow cash as an option.  After the main site closed down, there was no where to top up your bracelet.   I was trying to buy some late night eats in GA camping and they refused to take my money!  Yes they couldn’t take my CASH MONEY NOW MONEY.   I had to wait until the next day to top up my stupid wrist band.   Maybe I could have gone online and e-transferred funds with the spotty cell phone reception, but at that point, might as well walk back to camp.

To add insult to injury, the VIP section only took debit or credit cards and you had to go wait in a long ass line in GA in the middle of the festival to put actual CASH on your bracket.    Did I mention that the daily farmers market which had dozens of cool crafts and souvenirs only took cash and that the rickshaws also only took cash and ‘other things’ could probably only be purchased with cash.    So yes you needed cash, sort of, for some things, well kinda, I mean sometimes, at some places, but not other places, I mean you needed both…I mean argh!?!
– Darrell Shelley

 

MOST AWKWARD

Fire works behind Chet Faker
There’s something to be said about a fireworks display going off behind an artist as they rip through the last notes of a memorable encore.   While that may have been the case for Arcade Fire who had the luxury of being the only band playing the festival from 9:30pm-11pm, this was not the case for Chet Faker.   The Australian number one artist was scheduled to perform at 11pm just 15 minutes before the end of the main stage headliners.   A sizeable crowd left the “Fire” early and gathered for Faker with the anticipation of hearing something more chill and authentic.   As soon as the crowd sunk in, the fireworks from mainstage went off, somewhere in the middle of his second song.   Raucous applause could be heard as the crowd turned away from Faker to address the fireworks.    Faker staggered, for a brief moment at the awkwardness of the cheers and jeers mid number.   I turned and faced the stage while fumbling for my phone “did no one else notice how ridiculous and rude this was?”.   After a minute most of the crowd turned back towards the stage and everyone was taking about how cool it was.

“You know alot of thought has gone into this festival” said one concert goer to my left pointing towards the fireworks while being oblivious to Faker’s set.     “No that was a mistake, and your job obviously has nothing to do with event planning idiot.”  I thought out loud but no one heard me as they were all too busy trying to get selfies when that last burst went off.

 

CONCLUSION

Producers Republic Live had some personnel changes since last years inaugural Wayhome festival. Shannon Mcnevan,partner and executive director, left sept 2015 and Jacob Matthews, director of marketing,  left may 2016.    There were some bold moves made with the media camping and treatment and overall logistics.   Locals also protested that organizers were abusing the land by-laws and forced a $200,000 fine on the festival last year.  There were also concerns over a weaker than last years line up, which had some speculating that the festival would lose in ticket sales.

In the end Wayhome 2016 was a home run.  The festival organizers really did hit it out of the park this year.   With packed fields every night, it looked as though attendance was much higher this year.  Despite a few small hiccups, the festival went off without major incident.  With Boots n Hearts heading into what looks to be a promising 5th year, Republic Live can rightfully crown themselves as Ontario’s if not Canada’s premier outdoor camping summer music festival promoter.   Wayhome is growing up to become one very beautiful monster.



THE SCENE


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