Rifflandia returns to Victoria with a new format and more space for festival goers to enjoy.
Rifflandia founder Nick Blasko said the festival is coming off of its best year yet in 2022, with 15,000 people attending daily, meaning it needed to be updated and expanded.
The multi-day festival traditionally takes place over one weekend, but this year organizers have extended it to two weekends.
In previous years, festival goers would take in live music acts at Royal Athletic Park and then finish the night with DJ’s and comedians at ‘Electric Avenue’ downtown.
Blasko said it was starting to get difficult playing double duty at both locations, especially when things would run late at the park.
“It just squeezed everything down here,” Blasko explained. “We realized last year that we maybe had a four hour window – if that, maybe three – to do what he did down here.”
So this year he extended the festival so ‘Electric Avenue’ and the ‘The Park’ have their own weekends.
“Now we have the full night so everything is breathing a little nicer and we can really invest in the experience,” he said.
‘Electric Avenue’ takes place Sept. 7 to 9 behind Philips Brewery with more than 40 acts, including Paris Hilton, and a dozen comedians performing.
Blasko said the expanded festival would likely bring in a bigger crowd so the event needed a bigger location.
Previously, ‘Electric Avenue’ would take over the Philips Brewery backlot and a block of Pembroke Street between Government and Store Streets.
This year, the festival is also taking over a vacant lot next door.
“We need it because we will see a lot of people, but we are also giving these artists the platforms they need to be successful to do their shows,” said Blasko.
The expanded festival grounds has an increased capacity limit of 8,000 people per night.
Stephanie Eisenbraun, Rifflandia operations manager, told CHEK News this meant the grounds needed to be reconfigured to ensure safety for all.
“That definitely ties into where activations land, how we build out fence lines, the movement and flow of people. That’s all taken into consideration,” Eisenbraun explained.
Blasko said this expansion shows how well the festival is doing.
The second weekend of Rifflandia at ‘The Park’ will take place Sept. 15 to 17 with artists like Iggy Pop, Diplo and Salt-N-Pepa on the schedule.
Festival organizers said ticket sales are doing well so far.
There are still some available for purchase for both ‘Electric Avenue’ and ‘The Park,’ but those wanting to attend are encouraged to buy them soon as organizers expect them to go fast.