When you hear that you’re going to be shooting the backstage photobooth for Rifflandia, you can’t help but be excited. Visions of rockstars, ridiculousness, parties, and debauchery all danced though my head. Friday afternoon, I rocked up to the party with my partner in crime and fellow Rocktographer, Tyson Elder, and we waited for the madness to come.


…and we waited, and waited.

The thing is, with a festival as special as Rifflandia the artists actually go check out things like Artlandia, main street market, and other acts. It was me and the Twisted Tea promo girls.


My crazy backstage dreams were dashed. It was lonely, there wasn’t much to do, and there was a lot of standing around…that is, until the Glorious Sons showed up. They were on tour with Airbourne and genuinely stoked to be playing the festival. Honestly, they were probably about as excited as I was to be backstage.

“Why is no one back here? It’s awesome!” asked Jay Emmonds, guitarist. “I don’t know, but look there’s a photo booth…and drinks!” cried Adam Paquette. It didn’t phase them that no one else was there, The Glorious Sons were obviously there to get the party started and we obliged.



The Twisted Tea girls got in on the action… and we laughed.


Glorious Sons had to beat Tyson into a party mood but he finally submitted… and we laughed louder.

Suddenly other people began to poke their heads backstage. There was stuff going on backstage now! It was the place to be! Look how much fun everyone is having – backstage is the place to be!

Then other people wanted in on the fun.


Tyson from Acres of Lions.


Kathryn Calder and Carl Newman from the New Pornographers.


Son Real.


Head of the Herd, Betty & Kora, and friends.

Soon there were 10, 20, …no 50 people backstage! All socializing, enjoying the festival, chatting, getting photos taken, and having a great time.

All finally culminating in my hands down favourite moment of the festival. When Pol Plastino from The Zone 91-3 rocked backstage, ordered some beers — free beers, of course, as we’re backstage — and just to revel in the extravagance and backstage exuberance poured it all over his head while yelling “DECADENCE!”


Yes, this was the backstage experience I’d been looking for. All it took was a couple of people to start the party, and people came flocking to the atmosphere. This is why I love Rifflandia. It doesn’t matter where you are, or who you are. If someone has that Rifflandia feeling, guaranteed you’re in for a ride.

Oh and if you want to see The Glorious Sons, the fine gentleman they are, they’re playing on Saturday October 24, at Distrikt Nightclub with Northcote & Poor Young Things. This time, it’s your turn to start the party for them.