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CFUV does Rifflandia 2016



WORDS BY: Braiden (Audio Death Ray — Saturday 9:00pm-10:30pm)
PICS BY: Jackson (Overgrowth — 7:30pm-9:00pm)


Rifflandia 2016 was another impressive spectacle as this increasingly dynamic festival in the Victoria music scene continues to grow. Each year since its birth in 2008 the festival bends and evolves into a new form, striking interest across a vast portion of the local population over the course of September. Your experience of Rifflandia is often very dependant on the route (or wristband) you choose to take, especially as the music moves towards the numerous night stages. You have the ability to curate an experience to your taste of musical genres ranging from the obscure indie shows to legends from their respective genres. New to Rifflandia in 2016 was the Electric Avenue which combined the Phillips Backyard stage with the Capital Iron stage and the Anian Yard, allowing easier movement between the three evening stages as well as another collection of vendors.DeLaSoul

This year featured a few repeat appearances from BC staples like The Zolas, Jesse Roper, and Illvis Freshley, all of whom have earned their slots with consistently enjoyable sets. There were a few fresh faces amongst the artists on the main stage including the sibling duo Tennyson, who ended up being a crowd favourite, and the Colombian band Bomba Estéreo. Last year had a strong presence from the new school in hip-hop but 2016 was filled with veterans of the game including Del the Funky Homosapien, Classified, The Beatnuts, De La Soul, and Jurassic 5. It felt like this move by Rifflandia was extremely successful in drawing out attendants from all generations. The veteran MC’s know the power within hip-hop and utilized the full tool-kit to create one memorable moment after another. Also playing to our nostalgia was the appearance of Canadian indie-pop group Prozzäk featuring their iconic visuals which illustrate the characters of ‘Simon’ and ‘Milo’. Combine this with popular acts like Michael Franti, Wolf Parade, and Lee Scratch Perry and you’ve got a rocking Rifflandia.


            Each night brought its own round of standout performers. On the first night, local act Love Coast made some serious waves in the Anian Yard with their soulful indie-pop arrangement. Thursday night was concluded at Phillips Backyard by De La Soul who are touring off the release of their first LP in 11 years, …and The Anonymous Nobody, and they put on an absolute clinic of a hip-hop show. Friday night we swung by The Mint after catching wind of a rumour through the grapevine regarding a local act with a cult-like following who are guaranteed to get any venue grooving. The act known as “Mouth Breather” brought the crowd to their feet and had everyone perspiring excessively due to infectious tunes and killer charisma. Down at the Electric Avenue both Prozzäk and Keys ’N Krates rounded out the night to sizeable audiences. The next night we decided to investigate The Mint again after hearing about some sort of relationship between the group known as Lover’s Touch and the act from the previous eve. Sure enough, we witnessed an electric trio bring the crowd up out of their chairs and leave them demanding an encore, a request which they enthusiastically obliged. The final round of night shows also included two stellar performances from Dirty Radio at Capital Iron and Classified at Phillips.


            This year’s festival season in Victoria has concluded in a meaningful way with Rifflandia 2016 introducing an updated format and some unfamiliar faces to the stages of our city. Striking a balance between nostalgic music and contemporary artists, Atomique Productions have successfully executed once again and leave us looking forward to their next incarnation of this audio gala

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