One of the greatest parts of early Rifflandia (I’m still unclear of how to pluralize Rifflandia. Is it like an octopus? Rifflandii? Well, let’s say it’s Rifflandii because it’s the 8th year and octopii famously have eight tentacles) was running from venue to venue to catch all the bands you wanted to see. It feels like that’s going to happen a lot for the night stages this year. It’s a lot of fun, and everyone you meet along the way doing the same thing understands the battle.

Before the Royal Athletic Park was added as the main venue for the big acts, everyone squished into places like the Metro Theatre, Market Square, and Alix Goolden Hall for some uniquely intimate shows.

It was at Alix Goolden Hall where I stumbled upon an old pal, Aidan Knight, opening for Tegan and Sara. This was probably his first time playing in there, and it was certainly my first time shooting in there. He talked about his love of cereal. I tried to take photos with the crappy Panasonic camera I used to use. It was a bit of a struggle for me. Maybe it wasn’t such a struggle for Aidan. He sure liked to talk about cereal though. It came up several times.

After his show I ducked outside getting ready to head to the next venue. He came flying out the door, gave me a quick hug, and started speed walking with a guitar and a suitcase towards Element (a nightclub several blocks away).

He was playing with Maurice within ten minutes of his set at Alix Goolden Hall.


The last moments of our walk to Element together was a sprint — me with a camera around my neck, and Aidan with his gear in hand. When Aidan got into Element he ran down the stairs, across the dance floor, and jumped on stage. All while pulling his guitar out of its case and grabbing a cord to plug it in.

Seconds after his arrival, he was playing with Maurice, and no one was the wiser that he had just come from a show across town.

This was, hands down, one of my absolute favourite memories of all the Rifflandii. I will always remember it fondly. Except for the running part. That sucked.