With attendance pegged at 35,000 and ticket sales SRO, the gate for Republic Live's first edition of the Burl's Creek WayHome Music & Arts festival outside Orillia, ON this past weekend would have grossed a guestimated $7+ million in gate receipts. Add in a bare minimum of $1.5 million in on-site sales of food, drink and merchandise and the gross for the event featuring Neil Young +Promise of the Real, Kendrick Lamar, and Sam Smith comes in at close to $10-million in sales.
The Toronto Star reports on noise upsetting local residents, PostMedia Networks' Jane Stevenson writes about the "mellow vibe", and Live In Limbo's Dakota Arsenault & Andreas Babiolakis capture the spirit and the music in a great Day Two blog. Opening night Friday included a three-hour set from the "Cowgirl In the Sand" singer. Now magazine's Carla Gillis calls Young's 180-minute grand finale "the perfect soundtrack to an outdoors concert under a half moon."
The inaugural was a co-venture between Canadian promoter/producer Republic Live and Knoxville, TN's AC Entertainment which is a co-producer of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN. Republic Live is a privately owned company with Stan Dunford named as the majority shareholder. The company owns the 500-acre grounds. Ryan Howes, the festival's producer and VP of Venue Operations at Burl's Creek, has extensive event experience that includes previously been involved with Molson Park, House of Blues and the annual Echo Beach fest.