By now it’s common knowledge that WayHome holds a very special place in my heart. Exactly a year ago, I was one of the few who got a lifetime pass to the festival after attending a mysterious kick-off event held at The Great Hall in downtown Toronto. Since then, I’ve pretty much been tracking their every move. I’m obsessed with their marketing and branding and design and their commitment to art. I’m obsessed with the small details and the big ones and the ways in which they build up the anticipation for all of us. I love it all, every single bit. Last year, the inaugural year of the festival, was spectacular. I had the time of my life, and I’ve been waiting for the twenty-sixteen lineup ever since. Well, friends, it’s finally here – and I could not be happier.
To put it simply, this year’s lineup is beyond insane. Even saying that feels like an understatement. It feels too good to be true. The headliners alone are enough to make me squeal with joy, and my happiness levels just continue to increase as I get further into the long list of artists. There are dozens of artists on the bill who I have been dying to see, who I’ve never heard, who I’m intrigued by, who I’ve only heard a couple times but I want to hear more of. The past week I’ve been anxiously resolving clues and guessing acts and trying to keep myself from going insane while waiting for the lineup to drop. Now that it’s released, I’m anxious with anticipation for the festival. I absolutely cannot wait to be there.
Just thinking about the lineup blows my mind a little. When ten o’clock hit on Tuesday morning and I got a tweet notification from WayHome and I slid it open to see the lineup poster, I squealed with joy. I waved my hands around like an idiot and repeated “oh my gosh this is so beautiful” one too many times and had to stop and catch my breath for a little. I stared at that poster for a solid five minutes trying to comprehend how we got so lucky. WayHome has done it once again.
The festival organizers have created a perfect mix of obvious choices and very pleasant surprises. I still can’t believe that I finally get to see HAIM and The Killers and Foals. I’m in shock that The Last Shadow Puppets are playing and that I’ll get to see them in all their glory. I can’t wait to see Bahamas for the third time and I’m ridiculously excited for Stars and Arcade Fire. I would be beyond happy with those artists alone, but then you add Phosphorescent and BORNS and Chvrches and The Struts and so many others to the list and it all has me beyond excited. I don’t know how we got so lucky. WayHome is doing so many things right.
I can’t wait to go back. I can’t wait to camp with all the amazing people we met last year and to form even more relationships and to feel free for four days. I can’t wait to move from stage to stage, taking in as much music as I possibly can. I can’t wait for naps in between sets and freshly-squeezed lemonade and sitting around talking at the end of the night before falling asleep completely content. I can’t wait to wear all my flowy festival clothes and to put glitter on my face and to feel one hundred percent in my element. Surrounded by all the things I love. Music and art and everyone having the time of their lives. Some of my favourite bands in the world and some of my favourite people in the world. My best friend. Just thinking about it makes me happy. In just over five months, I’ll be coming home. And I can’t wait.