wayhome festival Toronto

WayHome reveals lineup for massive new outdoor fest

WayHome festival, the outdoor mega-fest styled after (and by the producers of) Bonnaroo set to land in Toronto this summer, has revealed its line up. The festival, actually running outside of the GTA at Burl's Creek Event Grounds a short drive north of Barrie, will run from July 24th - 26th and feature headliners Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J, Modest Mouse, and Hozier, along with nearly 100 other artists.

Also on the massive lineup thus far are Bassnectar, The Decemberists, Passion Pit, St. Vincent, Girl Talk, Vance Joy, Future Islands, Odesza The Gaslight Anthem, Walk The Moon, Run The Jewels, Kaytranada, Hey Rosetta!, G-Eazy, Sylvan Esso, Danny Brown, Big K.R.I.T, Timber Timbre, Benjamin Booker, Courtney Barnett, How to Dress Well, SZA, Viet Cong, Com Truise, and more.

Local acts include METZ, Alvvays, Sloan, The Sheepdogs, Evening Hymns, Fucked Up, The Rural Alberta Advantage, and July Talk.

Why Toronto, and why now? Ashley Capps, CEO of AC Entertainment, who've partnered with Republic Live for the Ontario event, answers: "Toronto is an amazing city and the numbers speak for themselves. The art, culture and entertainment scene in Toronto is very strong. It's a good market tuned into what we do and we feel will embrace a festival of this nature."

The story behind the online-lodging-finder reminiscent festival name (changed from the initial Home Away to WayHome) is just as precious. Shannon McNevan, Executive Director or Republic Live, tells us: "The goal of the festival was to create an atmosphere that would celebrate life and engage people to explore their own creative process. When we went through the list of places that encouraged people to do that we kept coming back to themes that revolved around being home. So the 'WayHome' seemed like the perfect fit."

So, no, it's not a riff on you, mud covered and bleary-eyed, trying to find a way home from Barrie in late July.

While Lamar's performance is exciting, it's harder to hype Sam Smith, Run the Jewels, or St. Vincent to Torontonians - it will be great for fans to see them again, but all three acts and more were just in town, while an overwhelming number of names on the roster are festival fodder who made the rounds here last summer. The air of predictability around the lineup isn't exactly surprising, but it would have been nice to see more wild cards - not to mention a female headliner.

Will you make the trip to Toronto's Bonnaroo? Let us know in the comments.

WayHome runs July 24 - 26 at Burl's Creek Event Grounds. Tickets are on sale for the general public February 16. Enter to win tickets via blogTo here in our contests section.

Photo of Kendrick Lamar by Theo Wargo via theboombox.com


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