BY AMANDA FILARDI
The culture of music festivals in 2017 is rapidly different than when they first became apparent in the 60’s. Oftentimes there is a lot of drinking, partying and drugs. Many people claim that at this point, it seems to be more about the parties than it does about the music.
Boots and Hearts, a country music festival in Barrie, Ontario that takes place every summer, is no exception. The first night is labeled as a party night, but it doesn’t stop there. There have been experiences of people who have had their tents ransacked and all of their belongings stolen. The first aid tents are lined up with teenagers who haven’t had their first drink until this weekend. Sometimes the artists themselves are intoxicated, videos often surfacing of them drinking and slurring through their performances on stage.
Kristy Fukusaka, a member of Wayhome’s reddit group, has been to multiple festivals in Canada, of multiple genres.
“I went to Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello, Quebec last summer, and everyone was just partying like crazy. Non stop drugs and drinking, even after we left the late shows.”
There are festivals like Wayhome, which have incorporated art and activism into their lineups, to resemble that of Woodstock. Wayhome is the biggest new festival to hit the market in Canada, releasing vague videos, Polaroids and I-Spy reminiscent photos to their fan base to try to figure out their lineups. Charging upwards of 300 dollars for pre-sale tickets before said lineup is released, people scramble to search for answers to who is coming to their city. These are the true music lovers, according to Fukusaka.
“Wayhome is more party crazy after the shows are done. I find that at Wayhome people are genuinely there for the music and the art, but at Rockfest I think people were more there to do drugs and party.”
Woodstock came about in 1969, and is famously known for promoting peace, love, and the best artists in the world. Performers like Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Janis Joplin just to name a few, sang in front of crowds of 600,000 people. While many of these people were under the influence, it was the 60’s after all, the sole purpose was to bring people together to support unity and love. It had a grassroots organization feel to it, and the music was all part of that atmosphere. For the very low price of 24 dollars, you saw three days of the greatest artists of all time; artists that you would rarely otherwise see.
Wayhome’s lineup was announced on February 13th, and many people are concerned about the lack of popular artists attending. Others are thrilled to give lesser-known indie bands their time to shine. This could be the year that people go with the intent of listening to the music, and come home without a hangover.