Skip to Main Content

On-Site Delivery at Rifflandia Festival

Rifflandia Festival is making headlines for being one of the first live music events in Canada to deliver cannabis to festivalgoers on-site and in real time.

About Rifflandia Festival

Established in 2008, Rifflandia Festival is one of the longest running large-scale music and arts festivals in Western Canada.

The Victoria, BC-based festival now includes six days over two full weekends. This year it takes place September 7-9 and 15-17. As a decentralized festival with two primary venues, Rifflandia is held at Electric Avenue (a 19+ licensed venue) on Weekend 1 and at The Park (all ages venue) on Weekend 2.

Splifflandia

According to a 2022 study, 37% of festival attendees use cannabis. Cannabis is largely smuggled into these events, so Rifflandia is asking attendees to leave their stash at home.

This year, the festival launched Splifflandia, an on-site festival cannabis ordering and delivery operation. Rifflandia says this project is the first of its kind in BC and allows legal-age attendees to place online orders and receive cannabis products on-site at the festival venue, ensuring safe access and supply.

This has been made possible by a special exemption from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch and in partnership with Vancouver Island’s largest licensed cannabis retailer, Original Farm Cannabis. They hope that Splifflandia is a step towards a more unified experience for cannabis consumers and live event producers.

First Weekend a Success

“At Original Farm Cannabis, we are really happy to share that the first weekend of Splifflandia at Electric Avenue went incredibly well. Rifflandia festivalgoers were very excited to have the opportunity to safely order their cannabis and we were thrilled to see that the logistics of the operation were also very smooth,” says Daryl Houston, Vice President Sales.

“The extensive and needlessly complex backend we’ve had to put in place for this activation to meet all legal requirements really demonstrates the need for updated legislation. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun event for everyone in attendance while also ensuring we can put on an incredible show year-after-year” adds Nick Blasko, President & CEO of Rifflandia Entertainment Company Inc. “Cannabis has always been used at music events, and likely always will be, but it’s time to let event producers have a stake in how it is being sold and consumed on their sites to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved, just as they do [with] alcohol.”

How Delivery Works

Rifflandia hosts a designated delivery point on the festival grounds, dubbed Splifflandia. Orders can be placed either in advance of the festival or in real time using UberEATS. It’s a similar user experience to pre-ordering a cup of coffee. UberEATS is partnered with Leafly allowing for a streamlined interface and age-gated purchase. The order goes to Original Farm.

Jill Van Gyn, Brand & Business Development at Rifflandia Entertainment, says once the Original Farm receives a batch of orders, the retailer deploys a driver. The driver enters the festival through a secure entrance and delivers the cannabis on-site. Rifflandia collects a consumer’s phone number and name. They text them order updates and IDs them again before they can receive their order.

Strategy for Future Exemptions

Van Gyn says the festival had to have a comprehensive and inclusive security plan in place to get the exemption approved by the LCRB. They paid attention to the Cannabis Retail Handbook and Selling It Right protocols and incorporated this into an overall security plan that is partnered with a liquor license. The event is also unique in that they have a liquor license and both liquor and cannabis are offered on-site.

Rifflandia has on-site security and multiple ID checks. Attendees have to show two pieces of ID to enter and the festival has a 19+ venue. Everyone has a wristband showing their ID has been checked.

“We are hopeful that post-event we can bring a strategy to the LCRB for other special events. We’re not suggesting that the floodgates are now open but have shown that a model like this can be executed well, safely, and in the interest of public safety.”

Photo Credit: Rifflandia Entertainment Company

 

Tags: British Columbia cannabis (45), British Columbia Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (12), cannabis delivery (24), cannabis festival (4), cannabis live event (4), Cannabis Regulations (102), Daryl Houston (1), Jill Van Gyn (1), LCRB (14), Nick Blasko (1), Original Farm Cannabis (1), Rifflandia Festival (1), Splifflandia (1)