(Curtis Blandy/@burtclandy)

It’s Rifflandia announcement day!

At 7 a.m. on May 16th, Victoria’s biggest music festival announced its jaw-dropping lineup to Victorians who are likely already itching for tickets to the events.

The festival’s massively talented and culturally iconic headliners are: Chris Lake, Run The Jewels, Paris Hilton, Iggy Pop, Diplo, Herbie Hancock and Salt-N-Pepa.

Just two weeks ago, on May 4th, Rifflandia announced that this year the festival would take place over two weekends instead of one. The Electric Avenue weekend will take place from September 7th to 9th and The Park’s weekend will be on September 15th to 17th. 

At the time of the controversial announcement, CEO and President of Rifflandia, Nick Blasko said, “once the lineup drops, this will all make sense.”

Now that the announcement is out, Blasko and his team are buzzing with excitement.

“There’s a lot to be excited about, I agree,” Blasko told Victoria Buzz. “It’s eclectic, it’s probably our highest-profile collection of artists we’ve ever put together, touching all different eras, genres, you name it but they all deserve to be there.”

Paris Hilton is one of the most iconic pop-culture icons in North America and she has become an incredibly accomplished DJ over the past decade, playing huge electronica music festivals all over the world.

“Paris is undeniably a cultural icon,” Blasko said. “People have strong opinions.”

“She’s been DJing for years, and over the last few years, watching her do these bigger events like Tomorrowland, we got excited about having her in Victoria.” 

“This is someone who gets zillions of offers to go and play places and for her to say yes to coming to Victoria was a nice nod.”

Artists like Run The Jewels and Chromeo are ones that Blasko has been trying to get out to Rifflandia for ages and this year it all came together, others like Iggy Pop and Herbie Hancock came together in a way that the festival’s producers couldn’t have predicted. 

“Iggy Pop is someone who legend is an understatement for, you know,” Blasko said. “With someone like that, his contributions to music and everything he’s done, I actually feel like the fact that he chose to come play our festival means a lot to us as bookers.”

“Every time we get to host one of these legends, it’s kind of surreal for us,” he added. 

Iggy Pop is 76-years-old and still isn’t the oldest performer who will be gracing the stages of Rifflandia this year. Herbie Hancock who is a jazz and funk icon is 83-years-old and this may be one of the last tours he ever does. 

“We got a call about Herbie about eight months ago saying he was working on one of his last big tours, and you know, we put our hands up and said, ‘we would love to host him,’ had some back and forth and got it to happen,” Blasko told Victoria Buzz.

“He’ll be on the big stage in The Park and it’ll be a big moment, it’ll be the first time we really had someone I would call a legend of the jazz and funk world.”

“He’s a unique, legendary artist for us,” he added. 

Blasko believes that the vast array of different genres and artists represented on this year’s lineup will help Victorians with discovering new music they love in addition to being able to see some of their favourite artists take the stage. 

“Marc Rebillet is an artist we’ve been following for years online now and watching his rise, and he is really one of a kind,” Blasko said. “For anyone who hasn’t heard of him, he will absolutely blow minds.”

“There are generations of people who don’t know who certain artists are in this lineup, and that’s good,” Blasko explained. “They know a couple of them and they’re really excited about them but they might not know about the others and vice-versa for another person.”

Blasko said the lineup would not have looked like this had the festival continued to be on one weekend only. Run The Jewels, Paris Hilton and Chromeo are just three examples of artists that were acquired because they spread the festival out over two weekends. 

The festival’s massive lineup has something for everyone and over the two weekends anyone who loves music of any genre can identify with at least one of these iconic musicians. 

“This lineup was not an easy one to book and we’re really happy with where it ended up,” said Blasko. “This is definitely our most eclectic, exciting, high profile collection of artists we’ve ever put together.”

“We just look forward to seeing everyone.”

Tickets for both Rifflandia weekends go on sale on Thursday, May 18th at 10 a.m.

Rifflandia

  • Where:
    • Electric Avenue (Pembroke Street and Store Street)
    • The Park (Royal Athletic Park)
  • When:
    • September 7th to 9th – Electric Avenue
    • September 15th to 17th – The Park

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