An eclectic mix of headliners — the majority making their Victoria debuts — have been announced for this year’s Rifflandia festival, set for Sept. 15-18 at various venues.
Grammy Award-winner Lorde and Grammy Award nominees the Black Pumas, multi-platinum hitmaker Charli XCX, rap icons Cypress Hill, and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who performs club music as DJ Diesel, have all been booked to appear.
“We are extremely proud of this lineup, and it is hands-down the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” said Rifflandia founder Nick Blasko. “It feels incredible to take that next step. We feel that we’ve got a lineup now that would resonate in any city across the country.”
The daytime and early evening programming at the festival will be held at Royal Athletic Park. Phillips Brewing on Government Street and other venues in the area surrounding Discovery and Store streets will be enacted each night of the four-day event as part of Electric Avenue.
Rifflandia last took place in 2018. It was paused in 2019 but was expected to return in 2020.
“By the time we open, our doors it will be four years,” Blasko said. “I never would have thought that taking a year off [in 2019] would lead us to a pandemic and two more cancelled years. But that gave us the chance to really put some energy into this thing and make sure we could get a big return.”
In previous years, Rifflandia was produced by Atomique Productions, which ceased operation in 2019. Blasko said he is now at the helm of Rifflandia as an independent producer.
A further 50 acts will be announced at various points, Blasko said, joining a list of performers announced Wednesday that includes Ben Harper, Bikini Kill, Pussy Riot, Cat Power, The Funk Hunters, BBNO$, Allan Rayman, Bran Van 3000, Chali 2na, and Cut Chemist.
“It’s a beautiful balance of really exciting music that is happening right now mixed with icons and pioneers of certain scenes,” Blasko said. “End to end, this is the most diverse lineup, genre-wise, that we’ve ever done.”
Three-day passes for the event go on sale Friday through rifflandia.com.