- Vancouver Island's live-music scene is about to get a whole lot more vibrant thanks to two moves by Canadian promoters the MRG Group.
The company that runs the Vogue, Biltmore, Imperial, and Yale in the Lower Mainland has teamed up with Victoria-based indie promoter Atomique Productions Ltd. One of the big spinoffs from the partnership will be the return next year of Vancouver Island's celebrated Rifflandia Festival. Founded in 2008, Rifflandia announced a hiatus earlier this year for 2019, citing factors like shifting demographics in Victoria and an exchange rate that's made it hard to land major artists.
“We are excited to work with The MRG Group to continue to bring world class concerts and events to Victoria and Vancouver Island,” Atomique co-founder, Nick Blasko said in a press release to announce the union.
MRG Group Matt Gibbons added.“My colleagues and I have a lot of respect for Nick, Dimitri and their team. We are excited to use our national presence to bring more experiences to Vancouver Island and build on the history and commitment to concerts and events that Atomique has cultivated on Vancouver Island."
MRG has also bought the Capital Ballroom in Victoria, adding the 575-capacity venue to a stable of live-music rooms that now stretches across Canada.
“We are proud of the work we’ve done over the past three years to create Victoria’s best live music venue, and we look forward to seeing The MRG Group continue this legacy as our city grows” Capital Ballroom president and director Dylan Willow said in the press release.
One of the MRG Group's marquee events, Westward Music Festival, returns to the Lower Mainland for a third year this fall with a deep lineup that includes Japanese rapper/producer Joji, Iowa singer-songwriter Lissie, Australian folk upstarts the Paper Kites, and Vancouver-born rock monsters Black Mountain.