Brantford just added a new festival to its growing list of fantastic events. This June 13 and 14, Brantford’s Lion’s Park will be a hot destination in southern Ontario, as “WTFest”, or “What The Fest” as it is commonly called, will take place for the first time.
This festival has been in planning for some time now by Jamie Stephens, who also runs the Brantford Comedy Festival. Based off the comedy festival and others that he runs as part of JSE, expectations for the line-up were very high. When the line-up was released two weeks ago, it did not disappoint.
Performing is an all-star list of top Canadian acts. Big Wreck will headline the first day, and the Trews and I Mother Earth will also perform. The second day features more big names, with Hedley headlining, along with Lights and USS.
Lights, students may recall, has played in Brantford before, performing during Laurier Brantford O-week in 2013. She puts on a great, energetic show that is great for this type of atmosphere. And there is perhaps no better act to pair her with than Hedley.
Brantford music-lovers have waited a long time to see the Canadian pop-punk band. Hedley was supposed to headline Hockeyfest way back in 2012, but that festival was infamously cancelled, causing a huge outcry amongst fans that were prepared to travel from as far as Montreal to see the group, and fans who wanted a ticket refund. As The Brantford Expositor’s Susan Gamble tweeted: “2.5 years later, concert-goers still some mad about Hockeyfest but some ready to support.”
This sentiment was echoed all over Twitter under the hashtag #WTFest, as many were impressed with the line-up, and especially Hedley.
In addition to the headliners, there will also be a lot of local bands performing. Peeler, Sons of Revelry and Ghost Town Orchestra will perform Saturday, with The Ascot Royals, Harbour and Steven Ryan taking the stage Sunday, amongst others.
Perhaps the best thing about WTFest is the price. Day passes for Saturday are selling for $39.99, with Sunday tickets going for $49.99. A full weekend pass is only $59.99, a price that you will not find anywhere else for a two-day festival.
There will not be any VIP tickets, with some getting more access to others or a special seat. The festival is all about the fans getting up and close with their favourite bands. The city is also expected to get a big boost from the festival, as Stephens said that he thinks the festival will bring $1 million to the city, whether that be people staying at local hotels or eating at local restaurants.
The festival comes at an interesting time for Laurier students. While many will be away from the festival for the summer, it provides a great excuse to come back and visit with friends or roommates for a weekend. And because of the festival’s location, it will be easy for students from Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto to make the drive out.
A battle of the bands will be held on Friday, March 29 for a spot in the festival. Visit Jamie’s website at www.jamiestephens.ca for more info on this and other events he is putting on throughout the year.