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Reviewing 11 Years of Rifflandia!


Feeling a yen for a change of pace on Saturday, we resolved to check out some live music with dinner at Canoe Brewpub, which was free to the public and makes a damn good burger. Chance Lovett and her band put the sun down with sultry vocals. Following was journeyman loop sax master Alex Maher, blending in some modernity with a one-man band act, which was great to pair with some in-house craft beers.

Local legend, Kuba Oms then took the Canoe’s stage for a marathon three hour set with his seasoned band of veterans. A visiting emcee, Kuba performed earlier in the festival, mixing things up by jumping onstage to flawlessly rhyme some classic verses from the golden era. Our vibe continued to ride.

We then headed over to the Electric Avenue space for headliners CloZee and Mix Master Mike, who were already putting memorable finishing touches on the weekend’s programming in that space. We’ve never heard an outdoor show in Philips Backyard area sound better than CloZee at Electric Avenue, and the light shows put on by Michael Franzmann, Spencer Kanaka et al fit the vibe perfectly. Only one night venue ran on the final day of the show, in an attempt to wind-down the overall crowds.

We found ourselves back at Lucky Bar for the Westwood vibe, and was amazed to see longtime funk & bass producer Nick Middleton, drop a smooth, vibey house set that may have stolen the weekend.

We had friends to see though, so we headed to Studio Robazzo in time to catch the end of the Submersive party takeover, with headliners Audiowrx, dropping probably the heaviest riddim set of the weekend.

PabloVision Media


On the final day of the festival, I [Vanderhorst] returned to the park and had a great time exploring the grounds with the FNKSTLL fellas, recording content for a video. Keep an eye out for the video in about a month if you’re down with techno and good times.

We made it time to finally see one of our heroes, local legend Beardyman, who more than delivered with his wildly creative rollercoaster of a looping beatbox sonic opera; it was an amazing show to witness, along with earnest performances by The Zolas and Lights. Then, one of the island’s most successful local acts Current Swell, and a staggering list of guests, closed down the park with the perfect vibe for the family-friendly portion of the event.

Atomique’s own bar, the Capital Ballroom, then hosted a finale night for those left standing. Headlined by the other half of The Funk Hunters, Dunks, he made thriving house of party animals keep dancing til the last drop, a perfect ending to Canada’s three-month summer marathon season.

That sums up the season well: surrounded by friends, back in our home base, and ready to take the autumn on full swing. Until next year Rifflandia, you never disappoint.

What were some of your favorite sets and moments from Rifflandia? Share your thoughts in the comments or on social media!

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Written By

26 years old, with a voracious appetite for bass, dancing, all things art, and a flair for the dramatic, Jamie Gib grew up in the rave scene, having been introduced to electronic music in the late 90s as a small child from his cousin and he joined the rave scene in 2004, and never looked back, A DJ, Promoter, Go-Go Dancer, and writer, Jamie has made his mark on the Vancouver Island scene and beyond, having worked or attended 90% of the festivals on the Pacific North West and has no plans on stopping there. If there's dirty house, drum n bass or glitch hop to be heard, you can bet he's not far behind.

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!