Stan Dunford, right, with his nephew. Together they both own and operate the new Burl's Creek event grounds

I was lucky to be able to be part of a day trip out to Oro-Medonte between Barrie and Orillia. That in itself doesn’t sound too exciting but it’s now set to become the premier location one of the hottest and newest renovated event grounds around called Burl’s Creek.

What’s so special about the venue? Well for one thing it boasts being able to hold up to 60,000 people on 700 acres upon lush and new pristine (and very green) grounds. Isn’t that kind of amazing? And it gets better.

As part of the major renovations, there’s a landmark farm restored from the 1930s that’s been erected with the help of Mennonite communities. The spacious building has soaring 40 foot ceilings and a DJ booth, making it a great event space. In fact, there’s already a wedding booked in August.

The large, new barn at Burl's Creek

The large, new barn at Burl’s Creek


Inside the brand new barn at Burl's Creek

Inside the brand new barn at Burl’s Creek


I was lucky to sit across from Stan Dunford, owner of Burl’s Creek during our picnic lunch. He’s a great, friendly and approachable guy, who has had success in the transportation industry, Contrans Group.

Stan Dunford, owner of Burl's Creek event grounds

Stan Dunford, owner of Burl’s Creek event grounds


And he’s been putting all his efforts towards his nephew (Shannon McNevan) vision of hosting music festivals. While standing on the event grounds overlooking the vast green acres, they revealed that their ambitions with WayHome are not just be a great music festival, but compete as a world class music festival such as Coachella. (A Boots and Hearts festival feature in the Toronto Star from 2012 here.)

There’s been lots of interest in the new Burl’s Creek event grounds with representatives from Live Nation, Coldplay, and Pearl Jam coming out to see what it’s like to hold a music festival at Burl’s Creek.

This summer it’s going to be all about Burl’s Creek for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason to visit will be Wayhome Music Festival. Haven’t heard of Wayhome yet? In case you somehow missed it, it’s a giant music festival as listed in our Top Summer Music Festivals featuring some world class headliners including Sam Smith, Hozier, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J and even Neil Young with the band, Promise of the Real.

Stan Dunford shares that he is proud of the fact that WayHome is a different music festival experience than compared to city festivals. For one thing, the WayHome Music Festival offers camping or glamping options at the Burl’s Creek event grounds during the 3 days of festivities.

Country fans should take note as this year’s Boots and Hearts 2015 country music festival also takes place here August 6-9th.

If you’re heading up to cottage country up Highway 400, there’s a great farmer’s market every friday afternoon called “OK Friday” with some great vendors well-known (Rodney’s Oysters, Rose and Sons, Fat Pasha, Big Crow, Norman Hardie wines to take home) as well as well as local and regional vendors as sourced by The Karma Project. Weekly music is curated by indie label Arts & Crafts (the same people behind the annual Field Trip music festival).

“Strong and supportive partnerships are at the heart of The Karma Project’s best work,” said Erin Chapelle, founder, The Karma Project. “We are excited to be working with Burl’s Creek for what is going to be a farmers market like you’ve never seen. The grounds lend so much opportunity to what the market can offer and we’re thrilled to have our vendors involved.”

OK Friday runs every Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., the OK Friday Barn Fair will operate from Friday, June 12 to Friday, Oct. 9, excluding July 24 and Aug. 7 when Burl’s Creek has planned festival events. Check here for OK Friday programming.

The Burl’s Creek event grounds are just a 15 minute drive north of Barrie, just off Highway 11 between Barrie and Orillia.

For more info about Burl’s Creek visit

Many tickets are sold out already for WayHome, so grab them while you can. Hope to see you there!
For more info about WayHome Music Festival visit

Photos by Nick Lee

A weekend getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake
In Photos: U-Feast's biker-themed dinner at Böehmer Restaurant

Nick Lee

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