What’s new, what’s hot, what’s good – what’s up Rifflandia?
To nobody’s surprise, September has returned for another session of messing with our heads and our hearts. September – with its warm, almost hot, days; the deceivingly cold nights; plus the inevitable burden of carrying a sweater with you at all times yet never really needing it for more than five minutes. Thankfully, here in Victoria we have a way of dealing with the month that nobody seems to want. In fact, there’s a little phrase around town that you may have heard before – September Forever.
Yes, September means something entirely different in Victoria. It means Rifflandia is upon us! I’m not going to go into detail about what it’s all about because if you’re from the island you already know, and for those that don’t…well, that’s why Al Gore invented the internet.
I will however get into what there is to look forward to this year! Rifflandia is forever evolving, and there are some exciting changes that take place every festival, so it can sometimes be a challenge to keep up. But don’t worry – I know a good time when I see it, and Riff is always good for that.
Obviously the music is usually the number one priority at a music festival, and although the general theme of Rifflandia shifts a bit every year (for example, hip – hop was heavily featured a couple years ago), there’s still a ton of listening pleasure for everyone, no matter what you enjoy. The eleventh edition of Rifflandia definitely boasts a large electronic presence, and with Electric Avenue becoming more and more popular with every passing year, there’s going to be a lot of action at the Ave this weekend.
While the harm reduction movement has broken ground in many festivals we attend around the country, there are still many non camping festivals that have yet to make the transition. Thankfully, Rifflandia isn’t one of them. Harm Reduction will be provided on site at both the Royal Athletic Park and Electric Avenue by a well trained staff from WILD Collective Harm Reduction Services, BCCSU, and our good friends at Karmik – BC’s leading harm reduction team. Karmik will be setting up a drug testing booth at RAP during the day, while others will provide outreach and a harm reduction tent at Electric Ave. Locate them at either venue for info, supplies, education, support, or if you just need a safe spot to chill!
It should go without saying that everyone deserves to party in peace, but unfortunately there are still people out there that don’t understand that concept. Rifflandia is going above and beyond to provide a safe space throughout the entire festival and encourages anyone who witnesses any disruptive or inappropriate behavior to report it immediately, either by reporting it to staff or security or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We all deserve the best, so let’s take it upon ourselves to provide the best.
Rifflandia always hits the mark with their selection of artists, and with more than 160 live acts performing over the course of 4 days, there are sure to be some names you know, some you don’t, and it’s inevitable you’ll discover a few new favourites. Take the time to listen to some unknown artists on the app, or check out the list below for my favourites over the weekend!
SHRKY – Expect bass filled bliss from this multi – talented local! SHRKY is known to bring a steady diet of house, drum & bass, dubstep, and whatever else it takes to make those subs rumble.
Def3 & Bryx – A massive dose of hip hop from one of Canada’s best, Def3 will bring his unique brand to the stage, mixed with a little bit of everything by a Red Bull Thre3style finalist on the ones and twos.
Outsider – making waves in the west coast bass scene, and constantly challenging himself to improve, Outsider is quickly becoming a staple with his off the charts production and a selection of tunes that can rival anyone on the lineup.
Fucked Up – One of the few punk bands on this year’s lineup, Fucked Up ALWAYS brings a party! Oozing so much stage presence the first few rows will probably get wet, if you want it fast paced, hard hitting, and maybe even a bit fucked up, this is where you’ll want to be.
Neon Steve – A living legend on the island, Neon Steve has made a name for himself worldwide with his overly catchy and unique remixes. A true DJs DJ, there’s nobody better at reading a dance floor and a crowd he feels needs a boost. Expect to dance your ass off.
Stickybuds – One of the biggest names to come out of the BC bass scene, Stickybuds is a purveyor of all things musical, but is well known for his bass driven, funk fueled, good time tunes. Always surprising the audience with an OG remix or two that hits like a ton of bricks, Stickybuds is never one to miss. You’ll always end up regretting it, trust me.
Rennie Foster – Literally a jack of all trades, and a master as well, Rennie Foster has been destroying dance floors with a style all his own since the dawn of time. Catch him weaving in and out of every genre that has ever existed, and putting it all together in a neat little package for you to enjoy.
Bishop Briggs – Hailing from London, Bishop Briggs has made a statement that she is here to stay. With one of the most powerful voices in music today, this is one you won’t want to miss.
The JB’s – The legendary James Brown was no doubt one of the greatest talents in the last century, but ask any musician and they’ll tell you the singer is only as good as the band behind them, and the JB’s are fucking amazing. If you were lucky enough to catch the Revolution at the backyard weekender, this will be just as good, if not better.
SoDown – Having followed SoDown’s music for years, but never had the opportunity to see him live, this is easily who I’m most excited to see on the lineup. Jamming out on the sax with a style similar to the legendary GRiZ, SoDown is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face like very few can.
Mix Master Mike – One of the most well known names in turntablisim, and one of the unofficial fourth members of the Beastie Boys, Mix Master Mike has demonstrated his skills first hand for over two decades. Winning multiple turntable championships as early as 1992, Mix Master Mike always brings an original flavour to the stage. With that much experience and knowledge, it’s almost impossible to guess what he’ll throw down, but you can bet it’ll be amazing .
Beardyman – Inarguably one of the best beatboxers and most versatile vocalists in the world, Beardyman’s talents don’t just end with his mouth. A gifted musician, with an even greater mind, Beardyman will take you on a musical journey you never thought possible with merely a mic, and his trusted Beardytron.
Dunks – Officially shutting down the festival is Dunks, who you may know as one half of the Funk Hunters. With a catalogue as big as an actual library, there’s no telling what he might pull out of his hat.
Catch you on the dance floor!