Sunday, February 25, 2024

Riff day one: Chris Lake had Rifflandians dancing at Victoria’s favourite festival (PHOTOS)


Day one of Rifflandia’s Electric Avenue weekend is in the books!

The Phillips Brewing backyard has been completely transformed into a festival-goer’s paradise and it is completely different than it has been in previous years.

There’s art installations, local drag celebs, more bathrooms than ever (that even flush), four stages with world class DJs, local acts and some of Canada’s best standup comedians. 

There were even circus performers, bubble blowers and people in costumes that could haunt dreams.

Bubble boy (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Peaches n Screams and their crew (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Agh! Scary bunny man (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

Thursday is always slow to start, but soon after the gates were opened, people showed up in droves.

BIG NIGHT was steeped in mystery as it took place at the Dome stage from the beginning to the end of the day. 

The “BIG NIGHT” concept turned out to be a stage with intense, fast music by DJs that were curated by a Metchosinite who goes by Shiraz. 

Shiraz is well known as a director and has shot several music videos for famed Vancouver rapper, bbno$. 

He even brought along a cult-like crew of people with signs that had his face plastered on them, stamps to put on people who decided to join the following of “Him.” 

Shiraz even had his followers clad in orange robes and headbands to help really drive the bizarre but fun concept home.

BIG NIGHT cult of “Him” (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
BIG NIGHT (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

A side stage, Base 2, and a comedy stage were in the place of the main stage this year, with the main stage being pushed into a much larger area to accommodate more people. 

The comedy stage, dubbed Lafflandia, had a cast of local comics for day one. Local comedian Dan Duvall curated this stage with national and local talent. 

Patricia Ellen, James Boye, Elyott Ryan, Darren Miller, Mikey Dubbs and Emily Woods were featured on Lafflandia’s stage, with Duvall hosting. 

The Lafflandia stage has performances in between Base 2 performances so everyone at that stage can saunter over to the comedy performance area easily without skipping a beat.

Dan Duvall (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
James Boyle (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Patricia Ellen (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Emily woods beaking on two young men (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mikey Dubbs (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

Base 2 was an eclectic mix of dubstep, ambient, ethereal, doom pop and house music. 

Some highlights were x/o’s ethereal set that began with the sounds of waves to ease festival-goers into the night. 

Gl0bal was closer to the end and he was the first true taste of dubstep, giving those who wanted a taste of something a bit faster and more aggressive. 

Gl0bal (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Mount Pleasant (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

The main stage had some huge acts to kick off the festival and it was located in a brand new location to increase people’s safety by allowing them to spread out instead of cramming into the Phillips loading dock area like sardines. 

Kelland was the first performer to hit the main stage. 

He had the crowd in the palm of his hand by mixing songs like The Real Slim Shady by Eminem with more contemporary house beats. 

Kaleena Zanders was second up and she might just have been the real VIP of the whole day.

She was chatting with the audience and was hyping them up from beginning to end. She stood out by mixing old school with heart-pounding bassy undertones. 

At one point, she pulled out the Space Jam theme song and the crowd absolutely ate it up.

Destructo was surprising to those who hadn’t heard of him as his music was fun, light and boppy, not at all destructive or “hard.”

Then Chris Lake, the main headliner of day one’s lineup took the stage. 

Lake is a world renowned producer and DJ hailing from Norwich, UK but raised in Scotland. In the past 20 years, much has changed but one thing that’s remained constant has been Chris Lake’s dedication to his craft. 

Constantly evolving through the ebb and flow of the genre in which he’s planted his roots, he still strives for groundbreaking sounds and finds them, pushing the boundaries for himself and his compatriots.

He played old hits, new hits and there were quite literally thousands of people having one of the best times of their lives during his set. 

Kelland (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Kaleena Zanders (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Kaleena Zanders (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Destructo (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Dr. Fresch (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Chris Lake (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

If you haven’t picked up a ticket to this weekend or next weekend’s Rifflandia events, you can do so online! Day tickets or weekend passes are available and affordable.

Curtis Blandy

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