This year’s Rifflandia Festival, scheduled for September is officially postponed to fall 2020.
“At the end of the day we’re a business, so that has to make sense. We’re a business that has continually delivered a great product,” said Nick Blasko, of Atomique Productions that produces the event.
It takes years to build both a festival brand, and a profitable festival, a target Rifflandia hit in 2017.
“We took a bit of a step back last year… enough to think we’ have to be aware of the changing demographics changing nature of the city and changing nature of music,” Blasko said. “This decision was to make sure we can continue to exist. We have seen so many festivals completely collapse and disappear.”
At the 11 year mark, their goal is to return next year and hold optimism for 2020. Those who purchased early bird tickets for Rifflandia can get a refund at the point of purchase, or use them next year.
“We can work on it from a perspective of a true 24 months or longer cycle,” Blasko said.
The goal is to return to the “groundbreaking” roots of Rifflandia, taking the time to book talent and understand audiences, while maintaining the modern family-friendly event at Royal Athletic Park that Atomique has developed.
“We were doing something that was groundbreaking … we want to be able to continue to do that,” Blasko said. That means looking at more engagement and creating new experiences in potentially new venues.
Organizers made the announcement on Facebook Thursday afternoon.
“Building Rifflandia has been an incredible journey filled with amazing musical memories and accomplishments. But as our city continues to change before our eyes, our region’s unique festival landscape is evolving and this requires our careful attention to ensure that Rifflandia is able to thrive for years to come, alongside our artists, audience and partners.”
Rifflandia was established in 2008 and showcased more than 1,500 artists, including some of the biggest touring acts in the world today.
It is the second show produced by Victoria’s Atomique Productions to take time off with Rock the Shores 2019 cancelled in March.
“We aren’t certain what the future holds for this event as it will depend on business conditions and talent availabilities in our region,” organizers said at that time.