The Victoria music scene observes a venerable milestone this weekend with Rifflandia Festival returning to rock the city’s downtown core for its tenth straight year. Things got underway Thursday night as 30+ artists performed across eight different stages.

The main pilgrimage point for the evening was the 7,000-person capacity Electric Avenue, which features a cluster of venues within a closed-off two-block radius adjacent to Phillips Brewery. That’s where festival co-headliners Zeds Dead ran the anchor leg on their craftily curated Dead Beats Block Party, featuring fellow EDM acts G Jones, Grandtheft, and Boogie T on the Phillips Backyard stage.

As is the case every year, a sizeable contingent of local acts will be on hand to rep the CRD this weekend. Thursday night’s lineup offered Team Rocktog a chance to catch up with a handful of our favourites, including LABS and Stinging Belle at the newly minted Capital Ballroom, and Lovecoast and Fox Glove at the Copper Owl.

A couple of the night’s most memorable moments came from two Seattle-based artists we spotlighted earlier this week in our Who to See feature. The enigmatic, genre-defying J GRGRY delivered a visually arresting early-evening performance at Lucky Bar, while electro-pop duo SISTERS charmed a packed house at Capital Ballroom with their upbeat, anthemic melodies and nerdy stage banter.

The festival goes full bore on Friday with the first performances at Royal Athletic Park, and Team Rocktog will be on hand to snap all the action. Stay tuned for daily recaps and follow us on Instagram for real-time coverage throughout the weekend.

J GRGRY – Photo by Tyson Elder

J GRGRY – photo by Lindsey Blane

LABS – photo by Lindsey Blane

G Jones – Photo by Tyson Elder

G Jones – Photo by Tyson Elder

Happy Birthday – Photo by Tyson Elder

Stinging Belle – photo by Lindsey Blane

Lovecoast – photo by webmeister Bud

Fox Glove – photo by webmeister Bud

Zeds Dead – photo by Lindsey Blane

Stinging Belle – Photo by Kirsten James Creative

Zed’s Dead – Photo by Tyson Elder

Zeds Dead- photo by Lindsey Blane

Sisters – Photo by Kirsten James Creative

Sisters – photo by Lindsey Blane