WayHome is on hold for now. “After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to push pause on the 2018 edition, to allow us to reflect, re-assess and re-imagine the event,” say Eva Dunford, co-founder of Republic Live.
The press release read Republic Live, the ones behind WayHome, will produce a series of smaller events throughout the summer and will hold their staple country music festival, Boots & Hearts.
They launched in 2015 as a partnership between Republic Live and AC Entertainment, the company behind Bonnaroo. The festival was touted as sort of “Bonnaroo North” – the only multi-day camping music festival of its scale in the Toronto-area market.
Locals in the Burl’s Creek area – which has homed WayHome – had their ups and downs with the festival. A group called Save Oro, has taken issue with the noise and the zoning of the 600-plus acre land. In 2015, APTN published a report saying the site maybe be located on sacred indigenous-burial grounds.
Attendance Was Low This Year
In 2015, attendance was 35,000 heads throughout the weekend. It climbed to 40,000 last year. According to CTV, festival organizers estimated 15,000 people on the grounds per day this year. They acknowledged a dip in festival-goers but wouldn’t say by how much.
Other Toronto music festivals took a hit. NXNE and Manifesto played to sparse crowds. Toronto’s summer urban music festival, TURF took the year off.
Republic Live says “this isn’t goodbye, just see you later.” “We want to thank all of our fans, artists, staff, vendors, sponsors, suppliers, partners, and community members. We sincerely appreciate your support and participation over the last three years to create a truly special festival,” says Dunford.