Step On magazine’s WayHome Music & Arts Festival guide makes sure you have the most fun, see the best bands, on the greatest stages, and miss nothing! Part One of Two

Who To See: WayHome Arts & Music Festival Day 1

It’s coming. And it’s coming soon. You’ve received your wrist band in the post and registered it online, you’ve been blasting the new Kendrick Lamar and brushing up on Neil Young’s back-catalogue in anticipation for this summer’s marquee music festival. WayHome opens in a mere ten days time and the folks at StepOnMag have taken the time to curate your festival schedule so you can make the most of your weekend.


WHO TO SEE DAY 1: Friday July 24th

Delta Spirit [WayHome Stage]


Arrive early and soak in a full set from San Diego rockers, Delta Spirit. The proven indie-rock outfit has released some of the best indie singles of the last few years. WayHome organizers knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to initiate day one with these guys. Do yourself a favour and stand privy to standout singles “California” and “Yamaha” as well as other tracks that will be well worth the early arrival time.

Finished with the main stage for now, saunter over to the WayBright platform and get a good spot for Rhiannon Giddens.

Rhiannon Giddens [WayBright Stage]

There is a reason every piece of scripture written in anticipation for WayHome Music & Arts festival has mentioned Rhiannon Giddens. Listen to her soulful, catchy cover of Patsy Cline’s pop standard “She’s Got You” and you’ll know exactly why. This will be one of the standout performances of the opening day. Don’t miss it.

Here’s where things get tricky.Festival Season


Courtney Barnett [WayBright Stage]



The Decemberists [WayHome Stage]


The next performance on the WayBright stage is Australia’s Courtney Barnett; a compelling new voice on the indie scene with a new single that is garnering a lot of attention. She has the low-key, deadpan humour and attitude that should make for a really interesting show.

However, this all depends on your dedication to indie lords The Decemberists, who kick off their main stage set fifteen minutes after Barnett begins hers.

Fans of Portland’s favourite band are going to see this time overlap as non-issue; However, we are here to offer alternatives in case the popular consensus is not your thing-if this is the case, stick around and check out Barnett.

Next up!

The Gaslight Anthem [WayBold]


For all of those who have heard enough of Hozier’s relentless single “Take Me To Church” the WayBold stage is where you should be. Have you ever had a bad time after kicking off the night with a little rock n’ roll?

It is not often you get to see a band of this size perform on such an intimate stage. Grab a few friends and polish off that air guitar-The Gaslight Anthem is from Jersey! Things from Jersey don’t suck.

“Wow that was a great show! I’m really glad we read that StepOn article…what a fantastic time to be alive. Who did they recommend we go see next?”

Source: outlineonline.co.uk

Alt-J (∆) [WayBright Stage]



Opinion 1: the best thing about a music festival is that it’s outside. Opinion 2: the best part of being outside is enjoying a sunset.

The 8:00-9:15pm time slot (The Sunset Set, if you will) is the most important of the day. Alt-J are incredible live performers who have been recording, rounding and performing all over the scene since 2007. They have hands full of great tracks culled from both of their chart topping albums; their cascading brand of experimental art rock is a sound to be heard. These guys are good. They’ve recently replaced member Gwil Sainsbury with UK musician Cameron Knight on play guitar, bass and sampler. Make sure your Sunset Set is all about Alt-J.



Neil Young+Promise of The Real [WayHome Stage]


Much to your enjoyment, you’ve been dutifully abiding by your Step On mag schedule all day-but wait! You’ve missed the first fifteen minutes of Neil Young’s set!

Don’t fret, sweet one.

Neil and the band are playing until midnight so you have heaps of time to get yourself to the main stage and culminate with everyone at the festival. I love the festival organizers’ decision to halt all other stage operations so everyone can come together to enjoy Neil’s headlining performance.

Neil Young is a legend, and his band is one of the best collections of touring musicians on the planet of Earth.

It’s Neil Young. It’s Canada. This is what you’ve come to see.

Neil Young CSN&Y
Neil Young by Henry Diltz, 1969


Dwayne Gretzky [WayAway Stage]

Take a few seconds to soak in the force that was and will always be Neil Young, along with a few ice cold, refreshing bottles of water. A few friends will likely be tired, that’s fine. It’s been a big day and they’ve done well. It’s only the first day and one must be smart. We’re all professionals here.

But for those who haven’t quite had enough, the WayAway stage should make its first appearance of the day when it features Canadian super group/cover band Dwayne Gretzky. Their cover of “Blinded by the Light” has been documented online over the summer and let’s face it, the chances of you going to go back to your tent to sing a rousing rendition of something are high. You may as well do it with some Toronto-style musical accompaniment.

Helpful “Blinded By The Light” sing-along hint: “revved up like a deuce”

Enjoy, beautiful people.

Guide written by Jordan Chevalier. Jordan can be reached at jordan_cheval@hotmail.com (yes, Hotmail). Follow Jordan on Twitter at @Jcheval and read his contributions for Step On Magazine at @StepOnMagTO; he also welcomes submissions of all shapes and sizes for publication on his poetry blog SYNAPSE. 

Read Part Two of this guide here, and see more coverage of Wayhome Music & Arts Festival in our travel/camping/prep guide to the fest here.

WayHome’s official site and more information including full schedule here.