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August 3, 2016

Wayhome Recap

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Written by: CT
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By: Mackenzie Wong

Over 40 000 people slept within feet of each other keeping their respective neighbour warm in the sweltering heat as the mosquitoes feasted on the patches of skin drunkenly left bare. We didn’t pack nearly enough food or water – regarding Welsh’s fruit snacks as its own food group. And by the end of the first day, many of us were victim to dehydration and heat rashes if not heat stroke.

It was the best of times, and far from the worst of times because despite the sun’s persistent glare and the anxiety caused by overpopulated camp-site – we were home.

When people had spoken about WayHome in the past, you were given the highest of expectations you could have of a music festival. Sure, the lineup already looked awesome on paper- M83, The Killers, Arcade Fire, and MO all in one weekend? ‘Bout it. But, nothing compared to the surrealism of actually being there. There’s just something about the community at WayHome that really does allow the festival to live up to its name.

I drove up with some friends working the grounds as volunteers that weekend. My experience began Thursday night before all the barricades were even set up. We ran through the campsites until 3AM in search of familiar faces and met new ones that we knew would be our new squad for the next three days.

The first day began with performances by AlunaGeorge, Shad, and Toronto-native Tory Lanez. That night I experienced Metric, Chvrches and was blown away by the party brought by Keys’n’Krates. Unfortunately due to the heat I wound up with a slight touch of heat stroke and went to bed early that night. However, it was for the best since I probably wouldn’t have survived the second day otherwise.

Day 2: Let it be known that M83 is my all-time favourite group and it was such an honour to be able to shoot them as well as the dozens of other artists who graced the main stage WayHome, WayBold, and WayBright that day.

We began the day with X Ambassadors set, and as the audience crooned the heartfelt lyrics of “Unsteady”, I remembered the sheer talent I witnessed back when they were still opening for Imagine Dragons and had yet to make their mark on the world. Following was Bahamas, A Tribe Called Red, and at last M83. It was lit. I’ve wanted to see M83 since I was in high school. I never imagined I’d have the chance to shoot them from so close to the stage. My dreams were surpassed and I was freaking out.

We ended the night off with Chet Faker and last but not least Major Lazer. I heard rumors that their set was actually a bit quiet but since I was so close to the front I couldn’t tell. As the tradition always has been, Diplo rolled around the audience in a giant hamster ball. If you missed out, don’t worry. He’ll be here August 19th for Mad Decent Block Party.

On the last day we spent a solid TWO HOURS walking out to the bay to swim. It was worth the walk though. I can’t even use words to describe how refreshing it was to go from sleeping in a sticky tent for two days to jumping in the lake. By the way, Uber was available there. We discovered this afterwards.

We ended the day off with performances from MO, Haim, and The Killers. All amazing acts to end off the incredible weekend. We may have been close to death after the first two days but the moment MO started jamming to “Kamikaze”, we were resurrected.

Thinking back to the 40 000 people who belted out the lyrics to “Mr.Brightside”, if I had to describe my WayHome, sure, I would probably use the delicate phrase “hot as balls”. But also, in a deeper sense, it was warm. The friends we brought with us and the ones we met along the way were our family for a weekend, loving and supporting each other in a way families do for the sake of listening to incredible talent that graced the stages each day. Music brought us together, and music brought us home. Thank you WayHome.

 

 

Click here for more pics of the event.

 






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