Music in the Air - Rifflandia
By Nicole Rutherford
As September rolls along in Victoria, you may notice something different in the air. No, it’s not the influx of students to our fair capital, nor is it the delightful ‘bop’ from those Gary Oaks dropping their acorns on the ground. No, it’s more like a growing vibration; a hum of anticipation sweeping city-wide and it’s accentuated by points of bass-beat rhythms, guitar riffs, tickled-brass trills, and lyrics from all across the world. Yes, it’s that time again: Rifflandia.
The four-day music festival, running from September 13-16, is one of growing reputability that features headliners such as Mother Mother, Cake, Sloan, Band of Skulls, The Flaming Lips, Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis, The Dudes, as well as local bands such as Current Swell and Hey Ocean amongst the 112 performers. Every genre from reggae, to experimental rock, to indie grunge and everything in between is featured in this year’s line-up and will be spread out across nine venues throughout the city.
This year will be the festival’s fifth year, and the amount it has grown since its origin is nothing less than astounding. Starting in 2008 as little more than a pop-up tent in front of the McPherson Playhouse, the event has carved a new niche for itself in Victoria that goes beyond the city’s picturesque tea-time depiction and broadcasts Victoria as a music authority.
Thousands of people attend the festival, and its fame is growing amongst fans and performers alike. Each year the line-ups are more impressive, the venues more widespread, and the anticipation more difficult to bear. With day and night stages, all-age and 19+ shows, beer gardens (known for offering the exclusive Rifflandabrau draft from the local Phillip’s Brewary) and a history of impressive prize-giving contests, the event is more than just a music event; it’s a social conglomerate of music lovers from all end of the genre spectrum. On top of that the event also puts forward a philanthropic effort by having one of its venues, the War Child Lounge, contribute all of its earnings towards the War Child Charity (as well, $2.00 from every ticket sale goes towards this cause).
Tickets, which are later exchanged for the prized Rifflandia wristbands, are available at Ditch Records and Lyle’s Place in downtown Victoria or through online purchase and come in a variety of packages from VIP all-access passes to single day passes. In other words: there’s no excuse not to go check out some of the shows that the festival has to offer. The monumental event is only around once a year, and with with the variety of artists in this year’s line up there’s sure to be something to please everyone’s ear.