Where can you go to see multiple talented artists performing live under the stars? Brantford, of course, at the WTFest outdoor music festival! On the day when everyone would have been lathering on the sunscreen and carpooling down to Lions Park to sing and dance, we wanted to share some of the history of Brantford’s exceptional outdoor music festival and what to expect in the future.
The WTFest team, including Brantford boosters and huge music fans, started working together in 2012 on a vision of a major music festival in Brantford. Jamie Stephens, president of WTFest, has always believed that great things can and should happen in Brantford. His vision is to have Brantfordians be excited about spectacular events happening right in their own hometown. He also hoped that WTFest would attract regional visitors, which meant even more revenue will be brought into our community.
In 2015, visitors and residents arrived to Brantford’s Lions Park to experience the first WTFest music festival and rocked out for two days to musical talents on the main stage including: I Mother Earth, The Trews, Lights, USS, and Hedley. What do all of these bands have in common? They are all Canadian! Jamie Stephens and his team feel that it is important to also support the local music scene, which is why they keep a roster of local and regional performers to kick off WTFest each year on the second festival stage.
WTFest has since been refocused to one full day of epic music with an area for food vendors (lots and lots of food!) and local artisans and artists showcasing their creations. Attendance has climbed since its debut to an average of 8,000 people each year and the variety of musicians and bands have been enthusiastically recognized by WTfest fans. In 2019, the WTFest team wanted to add another element to the festival by hosting a 90’s video dance party at Lions Park on the Friday night before the main event day. What could be better than being a grown adult jumping and dancing to 90’s hits by the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and N’Sync? Even if you won’t admit it, we know you love busting a move to your favourite 90’s bands and we are looking forward to this and more fun new elements being a part of the future WTFest festivals.
Although the organizers are bummed about the postponement of the 2020 date, the health and safety of the WTFest fans and everyone involved is the top priority. They also wanted to help the community through this crisis and have donated $1000.00 to the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation. The WTFest team is collaborating to bring this festival back as soon as it is safe to do so. Keep your ears and eyes open for future announcements and in the mean time you can turn up the tunes at home and practice those dance moves for when this festival is back in full swing!