Posted by Gosia Mrugala
WEMF: AUGUST 17-19, 2012 | SOUTH ALGONQUIN, ONTARIO
It’s a long, long drive down swerving roads, past trees, swamps and cottage country as you make your way to the grounds of Canada’s most famous electronic music festival: WEMF.
The security was very strict. And yes, that comes with the territory at big EDM events like this, but still: being stuck in a car lineup for three-plus hour made many WEMFers quite upset and brought some negativity to the environment. At the end of the day, though, the point of the security is to make sure the experience is safe and fun for everyone, so let’s just call it a necessary evil.
This year’s festival lineup wasn’t necessarily appealing to the “commercial” ear. It was tilted heavily toward the kind of raw, underground music that you tend not to hear on z103.5 or Virgin Radio. It was a fun experience, but with the two main stages dominated by dubstep artists, it felt a little lacking in variety, especially for those of us looking to hear more in the way of a trance or tech sound. At times, I found myself drawn away from the action at the Tower of Destiny and Time Stage, and drifting toward the community stages and the tent.
One artist who just blew me away was Moby. I’d never before had the pleasure of experiencing his music live, and at WEMF he delivered a mind-blowing, bass-filled DJ set that definitely left me feeling nostalgic. His interaction with the crowd was enthralling too.
Infected Mushroom was other act that made my jaw drop. Their futuristic set-up and musically hypnotic performance was entrancing to watch and experience.
There was talk of having a Ferris wheel towering above the grounds this year. And it would have been a truly psychedelic experience to ride aloft and take in the whole scene: the serene wilderness vista, the euphonious music. Alas, no Ferris wheel, much to the disappointment of many WEMFers.
The setup of the stages wasn’t ideal, either. With the Tower of Destiny, the Time Stage, and the Centre Camp all lined facing one another in a triangle, the music did clash a bit in some spots.
All in all, an enjoyable and memorable weekend. But given the huge expectations attached, I’m hoping there will be a few improvements next year to make this last of the summer’s big EDM festivals a more satisfying experience.
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