Rifflandia 2011: Into the wide open spaces

Royal Athletic Park will be set up for 7,000 concertgoers

Rifflandia organizer Nick Blasko’s promotions career started with postering telephone poles like this one outside Market Square. Rifflandia music festival runs Sept. 22 to 25 at Royal Athletic Park and several night venues.

Rifflandia organizer Nick Blasko’s promotions career started with postering telephone poles like this one outside Market Square. Rifflandia music festival runs Sept. 22 to 25 at Royal Athletic Park and several night venues.

Without a proper roll of packing tape, Nick Blasko is hesitant to affix a Rifflandia poster to the clutter of ads adorning the base of a Johnson Street lamppost.

Long before Blasko was a lead organizer with Atomique Productions, which is staging the Rifflandia music festival Sept. 22 to 25 in Victoria, he was taping posters on the streets of Victoria.

“That’s where it started.”

Today he’s still that guy, though he admits poster duties are now in the capable hands of the next generation.

The full-colour, 108-page guide for Rifflandia 2011 is, however, a magazine of previews and features clearly influenced by the art and design seen in street posters.

It’s the magazine of choice in coffee shops and waiting areas downtown these days and is the fruit of a deadline met with “non-stop over-nighters,” Blasko said.

“We lived with the production of the guide for so long – you just pray you don’t have a typo on the front page.”

The guide is also full of even more big-name acts. Rifflandia has moved its main venue outside and has sold nearly double last year’s 3,250 passes. “This year is all about the day festival at Royal Athletic Park,” Blasko said. “We’ve focused heavily on making it a full day’s affair. No one should be bored or want to leave early, there’ll be so much to do.”

In only its fourth year, Rifflandia is beginning to be mentioned as one of the premier music festivals in the Pacific Northwest.

RAP will handle up to 7,000 people daily. Combined with nighttime venues, overall ticket sales could surpass 10,000.

Seven venues will host four shows nightly beginning at 8:30 p.m., around the time RAP headliners Broken Social Scene (Friday), City and Colour (Saturday) and De La Soul (Sunday) wrap things up.

To accommodate both day and nighttime concertgoers, Rifflandia offers alternatives for festival admission. Instead of forcing patrons hopping from one bar to the next to purchase an all-events wristband, Atomique has “sliced and diced” the options into park passes and night passes.

The one-for-all, super pass to the park and night stages is still the prime ticket at $165. However, a single-day pass to RAP is $75, while a night-stage only pass for the weekend is $55.

Blasko hopes the change will eliminate the criticism of years past – that venues for particular acts filled up and left concert-hopping fans on the street.

“We’ve capped things at a reasonable level so there shouldn’t be so much downward pressure on the night passes,” he said.

RAP’s main stage will feature five acts per day and five more running simultaneous on a side stage. The park will also host a cinema tent, Artlandia exhibit tent and a Phillips Brewery beer garden.

Night venues are Phillips Brewery, Club 9one9, Sugar nightclub, Victoria Event Centre, Lucky Bar, Metro Theatre and the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Alix Goolden and Wood halls.

For tickets or more information visit www.2011.rifflandia.com.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read