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16 Ways WayHome Music & Arts Festival 2016 Will Blow You Away

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It is way too easy to get way too excited for music festivals.

You plan so much in your head — who you’ll see, when you’ll eat, where you’ll nap — that it’s almost like preparing for an Olympic marathon. And after months of anticipation, it all comes down to the crack of the starting gun.

The gun sounds.

Olympic marathon runners pop off the blocks with grace.

You trip over a tent wire and lose your shoes.

Okay, so winning a gold medal may not be easy. But when it comes to festivals, the only goal is to be a consistent podium finisher. And with WayHome only two weeks away, it’s prime time to find out how you can make the most of Canada’s premiere music and arts camping festival.

Grab your tickets, and take a look at 16 reasons why WayHome 2016 will shatter your expectations and be the most talked-about festival of the summer:

Arcade Fire – Saturday at 9:30, WayHome stage

With a huge canon of iconic songs, and an equally large cannon for confetti, Arcade Fire’s headlining set is going to be the highlight of the weekend. There is no way around it. So show up, paint your face and get ready to dance. Arcade Fire’s WayHome set will be one of only five shows the band plays this year, and this clip from their first show since 2014 should erase any doubts of rust:

A Ferris Wheel!

Forget the music, forget the art — one of the most exciting additions to WayHome this year is a ferris wheel. There is no festival experience quite like hopping into a ramshackle cart with some strangers and getting really high… above the festival grounds.  The views will be unparalleled, the conversation awkwardly endearing, and the experience unforgettable.

The Do Lab

Festival producer Ryan Howes says WayHome will have fewer art installations this year, but the ones they do have will be massive. For evidence of the epicness Howes is talking about, look no further than the Do-Lab, a collective shipping in from Los Angeles. The Do Lab has been creating some of the most buzzed-about and immersive festival art installations of the last decade. Check out their “Big Fish” structure from Coachella last year and try NOT to get hyped:

do lab big fish

More ways to stay hydrated!

Nothing will halt a good time faster than dehydration. The diabolical bastard we call the sun will suck every fluid ounce of joy from your leathery skin faster than you can say “H2O”. Thankfully, WayHome has plenty of options for watery relief. In addition to more water stations throughout the festival and campgrounds, Vitamin Water will once again run their 24/7 Hydration Station, ensuring everyone stays hydrated enough to last well into the night.

Late night craziness

Sometimes the biggest challenge of a festival is staying awake for the late-night sets. But with so many high-quality late-night offerings this year, WayHome makes it easy to take it easy during the day. Highlights on Friday include the jizz-jazz of Mac DeMarco (11:15 at the WayBold tent), the hazy grooves of Unknown Mortal Orchestra (12:45 at the WayAway stage) and the boomin’ beats of Toronto’s Keys N Krates (12:30 at the WayBright stage). Saturday sees the sultry electronic soul of FKA Twigs (1AM at the WayBold tent), the good-natured swagger of Vince Staples (11:15 at the WayBold tent), and the feel-good trip-funk of Chet Faker (11 at the WayBright stage). Here comes the night time indeed.

WayHome 2015

WayHome 2015

WayCamp

For the lazy and/or forgetful, WayCamp is the way to go. WayCamp offers a pre-set-up tent complete with two air mattresses, a solar-powered light and the most supremo camping spot on site. Just show up with your buddies and prepare for good times. And the best part — once your weekend is complete, you can take all the WayHome-branded equipment home!

The Perrier Greenhouse

What’s cooler than being cool? Being in the Perrier Greenhouse! With free air conditioning, refreshing Perrier cocktails and surprise performances all weekend, you’ll have hot fun in the summertime without the hot part. And if you ain’t down with free air conditioning and shade, you can gettttttt outtttt!

LCD Soundsystem | Bonnaroo 2016 | Photo: Dana Pacifico

LCD Soundsystem | Bonnaroo 2016 | Photo: Dana Pacifico

LCD Soundsystem — Friday at 9:30, WayHome stage

LCD Soundsystem is embarking on one of the year’s most anticipated reunion tours, and with a bevvy of bangers at their disposal, their headlining set will turn Burl’s Creek into one giant dancefloor. But for the unitiated, there is only one reason you need to get pumped — a disco ball. A really fucking huge one. And it’s going to be awesome.

The Arcs — Sunday at 6:15, WayBright stage

The Arcs’ Sunday slot gives fans a chance to see Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach in a much more intimate setting than usual. Dan has moved on from the stadium-stuffing Keys in favor of a more low-key, but stealthily stellar lineup of musicians. Backed by the heart of the Dap-Kings and the soul of the Shins, Dan will have plenty of room for good ol’ fashioned guitar heroics. And with a rapidly growing arsenal of groovy originals, and dozens of choice covers, the Arcs may be the most sneakily satisfying act on the entire lineup.

Mmmmm WayHome food

Mmmmm WayHome food

The Food

From standard festival fare like pizza and poutine, to more adventurous culinary creations like flank steak and frittatas, WayHome’s food is as much of a draw as the music. With so many delicious offerings, you’d be a sucker to lug that Coleman grill out of storage. Leave your cooking equipment at home and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner served hot, fresh and delicious.

Dilly Dally — Sunday at 1:30, WayBright Stage

By Sunday morning, chances are you’ll feel like a bag of garbage. And smell like one too. But an early set from Toronto rockers Dilly Dally ensures you’ll not only shake the trash out of your system, but jump to your feet and slam a few beers too.

HAIM — Sunday at 7:30, WayAway Stage

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from HAIM, but the sisters from California are back with a full band and ready to charm anyone within an earshot. With a heap of Fleetwood Mac and a pinch of Tom Petty, the sisters mix stellar harmonies with tight instrumentation over classic songwriting. Is there a tastier recipe?! Expect a cover or two, and bring your dancing shoes.

Haim | Photo by Erica Hawkins

Haim | Photo by Erica Hawkins

The WayHome Farmer’s Market

One of the most popular events from last year returns with more goodies than ever. From yams to jams, Friday’s Farmer’s Market is the perfect spot to load up on farm-fresh snacks for the weekend. Rumor has it that Neil Young himself stopped by the market last year to grab some tasty, Ontario-grown cherries. And when in Canada, you do as Neil does.

Ultimate worldly grooves to kickstart the weekend

Bombino (Friday at 1:45, WayHome stage) and Femi Kuti & The Positive Force (Friday at 2:45, WayBright stage) kick off WayHome 2016 with grooves so bouncy, you’ll swear the ground is a trampoline. If you can’t dance to these guys, consult a doctor for soul implants.

WayHome 2015

WayHome 2015

Ray LaMontagne — Sunday at 8:00, WayBright Stage

LaMontagne has a reputation for performing breezy, pastoral folk — the kind of music perfect for laying on a blanket and watching the sun set. But for his show at WayHome, Ray says to leave the blanket at home. With the boys from My Morning Jacket as his backing band, Ray’s rockin’ new sound has been described as Pink Floyd reincarnate. Money.

The ArtWalk and loads of other fun on Thursday

Don’t look now, but WayHome is slowly turning into a four-day festival. For the second year running, organizers invite all ticket-holders to Burl’s Creek on Thursday night to marvel at this year’s insane art structures. A bonus performance by the Darcy’s on the WayAway stage will officially get the music started, and for those looking to splurge, a gourmet meal is offered as an add-on for VIP ticketholders. The Feast in the Forest, prepared by five renowned chefs in association with Charlie’s Burgers, gives a lucky few the chance to wine and dine in the artist area. Mmmmmm, exclusive eats. You can lock in your seat at the table right here.

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