Rolling Stone Features Victoria Music Scene and Rifflandia Festival

VICTORIA, B.C. – Thanks to groundwork laid by Tourism Victoria, one of the most recognized popular-culture publications in the world is featuring Victoria’s music scene.
Rolling Stone sent a production crew to Victoria last month to cover our city and its culture, as well as venues that will be used for the 10th annual Rifflandia Festival, which runs Sept. 14-17.

The coverage is the result of hard work by Tourism Victoria to leverage partnership investment through the provincial and federal government tourism marketing agencies, Destination B.C. and Destination Canada.

“We knew that Rifflandia would be a perfect fit for Destination Canada’s Connecting America Program because they have identified travel passions, including music, as key motivators for the U.S. source market,” says Paul Nursey, President and CEO of Tourism Victoria. “This is one more example of how our organization is able to attract millions of dollars in investment and marketing partnerships that promote Greater Victoria and directly drive our regional economy.” has more than 13.3 million unique visitors and 105 million page views per month.

The Rolling Stone crew, hosted by Tourism Victoria’s marketing and travel media team, covered the Phillips Backyard Weekender. That festival is produced by the same Victoria firm that puts on Rifflandia,  Atomique Productions. This allowed the crew from Rolling Stone to produce a story that could run before Rifflandia, perhaps inspiring viewers to make the trip to Victoria and see the show for themselves.

“Having Victoria and its vibrant music and cultural scene featured on Rolling Stone will position a big part of our destination story to millions of global consumers,” says Paul Hawes, Chief Marketing and Distribution Officer of Tourism Victoria. “Added excitement has come from teaming up with Clipper Vacations, our fulfilment partner, to convert travellers from the Pacific Northwest and drive visitation over the next few months as our summer events season continues.”

Rifflandia, Victoria’s largest music and arts festival, takes place Sept. 14-17. The festival runs day and night, with a full schedule of arts, music and community events.
“This is great coverage for Victoria as it will inspire potential visitors to come here during a time we traditionally consider our shoulder season,” Nursey says. “Rifflandia is unique in the way it combines music and art, transforming breweries, surf shops and art galleries into one-of-a-kind concert venues — all of which are a short walk from our downtown core.”

One of the notable things about Rifflandia is that, within a few blocks, you can go from being in a stadium with thousands of fans watching established performers such as Modest Mouse, Courtney Love or The Flaming Lips to experiencing a DJ at an art gallery with a handful of other people.

“We were thrilled to work with Tourism Victoria and their partners to bring this campaign to life, capturing the eye and audience of Rolling Stone,” says Nick Blasko, Festival Director of Atomique Productions. “As we embark on our 10th year, it is unique initiatives like this that help us continue to build our brand and profile as a premier destination festival.”

Over the years, the festival has given music fans an early look at bands and artists just before they’ve exploded on the scene. Acts such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Arkells and Half Moon Run have appeared here before achieving international fame.

“From a marketing perspective this coverage creates great excitement and is a huge win for increasing awareness of Victoria as a thriving festival destination,” Hawes says.

“Victoria is nicely positioned as a culturally rich and authentically local city that is different than other cities in Canada. Victoria has a unique vibrancy and Rifflandia is a great metaphor.”

Greater Victoria’s tourism industry generates about $2 billion in economic activity every year and employs about 22,000 people.

You can check out Rolling Stone’s coverage of Greater Victoria and Rifflandia Festival here.