Monday, July 22, 2024

Rifflandia doubles down on 2023 with two weekends of festival fun


Rifflandia made a huge announcement on the morning of May 4th to let festival-goers know that Victoria’s biggest music festival would be taking place over two weekends rather than one this year.

Last year was the first Rifflandia since the pandemic halted any and all festival activities and it was a massive one with DJ Diesel (Shaq), Lorde, Charlie XCX, Bikini Kill, Ruby Waters and more.

This being Rifflandia’s 15th year of existence, the crew behind the ins-and-outs of putting on the festival decided it was time for evolution. 

“With last year we were really happy with the way things turned out, but it was operationally really hard for us and we hit a ceiling,” said Nick Blasko, President and CEO of Rifflandia. 

“We couldn’t necessarily go any bigger or expand on the footprint or the types of artists we were bringing in on the Electric Avenue site.”

Blasko explained that the site at Royal Athletic Park and the site surrounding Phillips Brewery are essentially two festivals running simultaneously on the same weekend and it ends up with Rifflandia having to compete with itself. 

By operating the festival over two weekends, not only will the production side of the festival not be spreading itself too thin, but it will also be able to get bigger and better artists involved because those artists will have two weekends to choose from when considering if they perform here. 

“It just became clear that something needed to change if we wanted to keep growing and also increase the calibre and profile of talent that we are putting on those stages,” Blasko said. 

Blasko says that for those who are confused by this move, everything will make sense once the festival’s lineup is announced, and that announcement is coming soon. 

“We have put together just an incredible lineup this year,” Blasko told Victoria Buzz. “I can’t stress that enough, that once the lineup drops, this will all make sense.”

“We’re stoked, and gosh, we’ve been thinking about this move for eight months now and a lot of things had to align for us to actually make that announcement this morning and we welcome the feedback but now we are gearing up to do the lineup announcement next and get this thing out of the gates.”

The festival started as a three-venue nailbiter for Blasko as he wasn’t sure if it would take off and be successful. Now, 15 years later, Rifflandia is still growing and changing to meet the needs of the city and its people. 

“I look at this as just another moment in our evolution and again, we’re only as strong as the artists and the community all coming together and that, we have,” said Blasko.

Curtis Blandy

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