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Jul-29-2017 00:51printcomments

The Charms of Grassroots Music Festivals

There are a lot of small music festivals well worth your time and money.

music festival

(SALEM, Ore.) - One of the best feelings in the world is seeing an amazing band that you love performing outside in the summertime. For many people, an outdoor music festival is the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam and party their faces off.

Drinking and drug culture is a huge part of many outdoor festivals, with people partying all day and all night, snatching a few hours of sleep whenever they can.

This can certainly be disconcerting if security and the medical resources are not up to snuff, but it seems inevitable that people will always engage in this type of behavior.

Recently the super festival known as WayHome landed in Canada, brought to you by the same people who created the mother of all music festivals: Bonnaroo. If you're young and energetic, it's not unusual that you'd put in a weekend of partying and go home feeling great, however, if you're looking for a more mellow experience, or if you need to take care of your kids, you may want to seek out a different experience altogether.

Grass-roots, community based festivals can be a great option for anyone, but especially for parents and for older concert goers who don't want to feel like prude grandpas and grandmas against a hedonistic backdrop.

Rather than being catered by Budweiser and Pizza Pizza, you may find local craft beer and gourmet BBQ at a grassroots festival. The security and organizers will likely be friendly and more welcoming – the whole point is that the event that should strengthen community ties, rather than existing solely as a cash grab.

If you're a parent, then often these types of more thoughtful festivals offer entertainment and activities for your kids, making it fun for everyone. Best case scenario, your child will develop a greater appreciation for live music and be inspired to take music lessons when they see a local band performing a great set.

So what are these magical grassroots festivals you ask? Here are two great examples of WayHome alternatives in Ontario:

  • Field Trip Music & Arts Festival: This festival, which is organized and curated by Toronto's own super-group, Broken Social Scene, has been running for a few years now. Past headliners include the likes of Modest Mouse, Pavement, Interpol and this year, the Parisian electro-pop group Phoenix. Broken Social Scene's philosophy is rooted in the act of community building, and this festival fosters a family friendly energy by offering a stage specifically for children, food by local businesses and games and activities such as blowing bubbles and hula hooping. The 2017 edition of the festival already happened, but look out for it next year.
  • Camp Wavelength: A festival of modest size and massive talent, the summer edition of the Wavelength music festival takes place every summer at Art-scape Gibraltar point on the Toronto Island. While camping passes are for adults only, the daytime vibe is great for the whole family, offering activities such as giant Jenga, swimming and extremely impressive installation art.

If you do your research, you're sure to find many other family friendly festivals in Ontario and beyond. Just because a festival like WayHome has the most money to spend on advertising, doesn't mean it's the best fit for you.

If you want to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and connect with some local talent, try a festival experience on a smaller scale.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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