Rifflandia 2023 is almost here and with two weekends of music and an expanded Electric Avenue on weekend one, there’s a lot of music to take in.
Changes to Electric Avenue include a larger main stage in an area closer to Government Street and the former Electric Avenue main stage at the Phillips Brewery loading bay redubbed the ‘Base 2 stage’ featuring artists curated by MusicBC. Electric Avenue features expanded hours with gates opening at 5:30pm on Thursday and Friday and 2:30 in the afternoon on Saturday.
With the likes of Iggy Pop, Herbie Hancock, Stephen Marley, Diplo, Run The Jewels and Paris Hilton in the topping the bill, there’s a lot of big names in the lineup. As is tradition, we want to focus on the local artists with Victoria ties. This year is noticeably lighter in quantity of local artists in the schedule, but the quality of those part of the festival is top notch.
One area that might feature more local talent could be the “Big Night” event in The Dome at Electric Avenue Thursday night. Not much is known about what the “Big Night” will be. None of the DJs for it have been announced. Will there be more than just DJs? Who knows?
So, who are the Victoria artists that we know are performing at Rifflandia 2023? Here is your Rifflandia 2023 Local Artist Preview.
Pony Gold – Friday September 8 – 6pm – Electric Avenue Base 2 Stage
Pony Gold are a west coast ald-country band from Victoria. The band is led by singer-songwriter Theresa Bromley and guitarist Matt Bromley. The couple are no strangers to the Victoria Music Scene with Theresa being a former vocalist for The New Groovement and Matt being in former Victoria band Shoestring Bourbon. Pony Gold have performed at Sunfest and Song & Surf in the last year and released their debut single ‘Paradise’ in July. Their follow up single ‘Love You Anyway’ was featured on The [email protected] for their run as Zone Band of The Month in August.
Xana – Friday September 8 – 10pm – Electric Avenue Base 2 Stage
Xana is a pop musician from Victoria. She is currently based in Vancouver. If you ever saw a show at Logan’s Pub, you might remember her as one half of acoustic pop-punk duo Coffee Eyes. Xana’s solo music is far different from those days. Xana’s 2020 debut single ‘Goddess’ has been streamed on Spotify more than 11-million times. The LGBTQ artist’s sound is described as multi-genre bending with elements of pop, rock, electronic and alternative and her music has themes of LGBTQ romance, female empowerment, sex positivity, self reflection and discovery. She was a Zone Band of The month in June 2021 and her debut album ‘Tantrums’ was released in April 2022. This will be first show in Victoria for this solo project.
Idle Lane – Saturday September 9 – 3pm – Electric Avenue Base 2 Stage
Idle Lane are an alternative rock band from Victoria. The band’s sound is heavily influence by 90s era grunge bands as well as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Their debut album ‘Despite Decay’ was released in August.
Mt. Doyle – Saturday September 9 – 3pm – Electric Avenue The Dome
Mt. Doyle is a Victoria DJ and is the resident DJ for Victoria hip hop group Illvis Freshly. His sets include a mix of Drum n Bass, Doyle Funk, House, Hip-Hop and Bass. Mt. Doyle has performed numerous festivals over the years and his love of pizza is well known by fans.
The Choirs YYJ – Royal Athletic Park (all three days)
What’s Rifflandia at Royal Athletic Park without The Choirs YYJ? What started as a handful of non-auditioned vocalists performing original arrangements of pop, folk and indie music to a membership of more than 200. The Choirs YYJ have been a staple opening up each day of the festival at the park for years.
The Poor Choices – Friday September 15 – 3:30pm – The Park Main Stage
Victoria punk rock band The Poor Choices will open the main stage at Royal Athletic Park on Weekend 2 of the festival. The Poor Choices have been performing garage punk since 2010 and as an all-female group have been busting stereotypes with buzz-saw guitars, hot licks, thumping beats and catchy hooks. They will set the tone for the main stage early on before Iggy Pop closes out the day.
Lindsay Bryan – Saturday September 16 – 2:05pm – The Park Main Stage
Lindsay Bryan is a singer-songwriter from Victoria. It’s been 7 years since she has released music as a solo artist. It’s been longer since we last saw her perform her solo music with a full band. During that time she has been concentrating her time as the frontwoman of electro-pop band LABS, a co-vocalist for cover band The Bright Side and most recently toured as the vocalist for electro-jazz band Astrocolor. Her new single will be released September 15, a day before her Rifflandia set. One thing we’ve always loved about Bryan’s music has been her lyrics.
Miina – Sunday September 17 – 4:05pm – The Park Rifftop Stage
Miina are root/soul rock band from Victoria. Most may recognized them under their previous band name, Carmanah. In an interview with Monday Magazine, Miina’s music is described as less folky than the former Carmanah sound and conveying a “groovier, more mature feminine” vibe. The band debuted new music at their sold out final concert as Carmanah at the McPherson Playhouse on May 20th. Miina’s debut EP was released on August 14 featuring the single ‘Hiccup’ that features 2022 Rifflandia performer, and Vancouver Islander, Lowell.