50 years after Woodstock, Canada invites its US friends to country’s first cannabis & music festival

Gary Vaynerchuk headlines speaker series at “Journey Festival” set to light up Toronto

Toronto, CANADA

TORONTO, May 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Almost 50 years to the week after Woodstock – where it’s been rumored that 99 per cent of attendees were smoking marijuana (albeit illegally) – Canada will see its first legal cannabis and music festival.

Tens of thousands of people ranging from cannabis curious to aficionados will descend upon a 990-acre conservation park, creating an unprecedented, vibrant catalyst for cannabis culture. The first annual Journey Cannabis & Music Festival will light up the majestic Boyd Conservation Park in Vaughan, minutes from Toronto, from August 23-25, 2019.

Journey will host North Americans at an outdoor oasis nestled within the headwaters of the two cities. The festival will feature award winning musicians, spectacular outdoor art installations to excite the senses, and world-class cuisine and beer to tantalize the taste buds.

“Cannabis has been a part of festival culture for decades. Consider that Woodstock is turning 50 this summer,” says Murray Milthorpe, chief experience officer of the event. “Now along comes the Journey Festival, which plans to disrupt the stigma of cannabis in Canada in a fun, safe and collective way. We extend a friendly invitation to our US neighbors to join us for the Journey.”

Journey will also feature a cannabis education and culture component called We-ed Talks, a speaker series designed to disrupt the stigma of cannabis, provoke thought and educate attendees. Global social media influencer, five-time New York Times bestselling author and one of the most sought-after public speakers alive, Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee) will headline the series with special guests to follow.

“There’s a lot of merit-based reasons that cannabis needs to be in society,” said Gary Vaynerchuk. “I think it needs to be regulated, but it needs to be in society. I’m thrilled to be a speaker at the inaugural Journey Festival. I’m bullish in tapping the opportunities within the cannabis space.”

The festival will take people on a three-day journey of celebration, conservation and education:

Celebration – The Festival Experiences
People will have access to six unique attractions:

  • The cannabis village will include award-winning Licensed Producers (LPs) who will host interactive and informative kiosks for the ultimate cannabis experience. NOTE: cannabis will not be sold at Journey. It is strictly BYOC - BringYourOwnCannabis.
  • Live performances - International headline artists and an array of live entertainment will perform during Journey Festival weekend. Artists will be announced throughout the spring.
  • The beer village will showcase numerous craft beers from local and international brewers. The beer village will also feature Canada’s first “Kentucky Beer Cheese” tasting with cheesemakers and artisans straight from Winchester in the Bluegrass State. With exciting new brews and authentic Beer Cheese offerings, this promises to be the tastiest beer experience of 2019.
  • The retail village is a next-level experience. People will find hand-crafted jewelry, health and wellness products and inspired fashion accessories designed by women for women, giving cannabis culture a style makeover.
  • The food village will host an array of artisan, worldwide cuisines and delicacies from top chefs to urban street food.
  • Art installations & attractions – Journey will elevate the senses through art. Attendees will enter the festival along Discovery Trail, a 200 metre illuminated pathway that guides guests to all the festival villages. Additional art Installations will span the festival grounds and celebrate the natural elements with magical and inspiring creations including painting the sky, lighting up the historic Humber River, and awakening the trees from the forest. Each village will also feature spectacular graffiti murals from one of Canada’s top graffiti artists. 

“Journey is built upon one simple premise – we all have a collective responsibility and connection to the earth,” said festival director, Jean-Paul Piacente.

The festival will be a full-sensory experience under both the sun and the stars with a portion of each ticket going to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, in support of its mission to protect, conserve and restore natural resources and resilient communities.

We-ed Talks speaker series will feature global thought leaders, as well as influencers and educators from the cannabis world. This education platform is specifically designed to connect people with the information and knowledge they need to make informed decisions with respect to cannabis use.

Social responsibility
Journey Festival and Drug Free Kids Canada will advance a common goal to raise awareness and educate parents and youth about substance use. 

“We know that 90 per cent of substance use disorders begin in adolescence and the rate of cannabis use is three-times higher among Canadian youth than adults,” said Marc Paris, Executive Director of Drug Free Kids. “Canadian families need support to deal with youth drug use – Journey Festival’s commitment to education and social responsibility through its We-ed Talks platform aligns well with our mission.”

The “legal challenge”
A central focus at Journey Festival is a featured public service announcement educating cannabis users on the health and safety benefits of purchasing legal vs. illegal cannabis. The festival will activate a photography campaign throughout the grounds to provoke and stimulate the benefits of the legal market.

About Journey                                             
Journey is the brainchild of the people behind the successful Electric Elements Music Festival and the Shoppers Drug Mart Lifefest. Journey Festival is being produced by co-founders Murray Milthorpe, chief experience officer and Jean-Paul Piacente, festival director. Journey is a 19+ festival.

About Drug Free Kids Canada
Drug Free Kids Canada is a private sector, non-profit organization that creates and disseminates drug education and prevention messages with the help of their partners in advertising, research and media. DFK also offers parents valuable tools and practical tips on how to start the conversation with their kids at DrugFreeKidsCanada.org.

More information
For information about the festival, including corporate participation opportunities, tickets, parking, ride share and transit programs, and more, please visit the www.journeyfestival.ca

Instagram: @journeyfestto
Facebook: @JourneyFestival

Media Contacts

Jessica Patriquin, Account Supervisor
416-640-5525 x 230

Jihan Aziz, Account Executive
416-640-5525 x 238

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/83b093d9-593b-4c2f-a0e7-1820e481fc89

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