By Will Compton
“SnowGlobe is like, so cold, but like, so worth it.”
That all too familiar quote is something I have heard ever since I was a sophomore in high school. All of my friends were going to this festival in South Lake Tahoe that they claimed was the “best time of their lives.” I never really believed it until I decided to go for myself this year and really evaluate what the festival is all about. If you’re like me and have had mixed thoughts about going to SnowGlobe or just wanted to know what it’s like as a whole, then this article is for you.
First off, what is SnowGlobe? SnowGlobe is a three-day music/EDM festival held in the heart of South Lake Tahoe every year for the past five years, ending after midnight on New Year’s Day. The festival grounds are on the South Lake Tahoe Community College activities field. Notorious for pulling crowds from all corners of the globe, as well as for being cold as hell, it’s becoming one of the fastest rising independent EDM festivals of the last decade. What makes SnowGlobe so cool is that it is independently run, and not by Insomniac Events (IE). IE is the biggest and really only EDM festival coordinating company, owning Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Beyond Wonderland, Outside Lands and much more. The fact SnowGlobe stands strong by themselves is something I admired from the start. Now that you know about the festival, let’s break it down.
Getting to and from the Festival: Shuttles went back and forth between the festival and pick up grounds every 20-30 minutes, taking loads of passengers at a time without delay. If you decided to walk, the pathway to the festival was extremely scenic and well-kempt. There was no harsh ice to slip on or steep hills. The flat concrete pathway to and from the festival created a safe passageway for everyone going. SG was also good at helping their attendees find places to live by partnering with local hotels, inns and renting companies to give people the best experience possible.
Getting In: In an otherwise stellar performance, this was one of the hiccups. I nearly wanted to cry when I saw the line for will call. The line stretched for what seems like half a mile, and when you got closer people were packed into an extremely overheated tent, sweating and waiting for their tickets to be handed to them over a white folding table. When I got my ticket, I walked down a small fenced passage way to get patted down. This walk was a little scary, as the grounds were marshy and muddy and black ice covered the corners of the walk down. When I finally made it a little ways down, I was met by seven different lines of security members, who asked me to come forward to get a simple pat-down. Once I was patted down, I walked up to the entrance gate, scanned my wristband, and went in. Security during this festival on the other hand was stellar. They were top notch, treated people with respect and got rid of anyone fighting or creating a scene. The security at SnowGlobe was genuine and froze their ass off to help out. I absolutely tip my hat to your security team SnowGlobe. Well done.
Inside: The festival layout could not have been more beautiful or professional. Right in between all the tall Tahoe trees and fresh air, it was refreshing at its finest. Right as you walk in, the main stage nestles on your left hand side, and on your right faces the other two stages (The Igloo and Sierra). Vendors for beer, food, snacks and merchandise are sprinkled all over the festival grounds, attracting people to always have something to do. The vendors and food were delicious and various, having choices from Chinese take out to cheesy fries. The food was a little pricey but that’s understandable. Alcohol was served throughout and was pretty cheap, which didn’t surprise me. SnowGlobe also gave attendees a test for their wallets with merchandise and apparel booths on the back right hand side of the festival, with the Sierra Stage facing them directly across. The stages were extremely well spaced out, and access to each one was very easy to get to. (If you think otherwise, its probably cause you got caught in the last minute swarm to the Sierra stage.) SnowGlobe security and staff were well involved, helping people get to where they needed to and answering my questions I asked them. Like I said before, extremely professional.
The Igloo: If you are that guy at parties who wears his shirt unbuttoned three holes down and has a little bit of face sweat 24/7, the Igloo is the place for you. Filled with the smell of marijuana and sweat, this deep house tent is almost like hanging with Will Ferrell during a Night at the Roxbury. Honestly, it was pretty fun. People were always jumping with the DJ, and it got pretty loud in there as well. If you are a deep house kind of raver, the Igloo is all you.
Sierra: I fell in love with the Sierra stage. Something was always happening. Whether it was Party Favor, Whethan, Lil Yatchy or even Snails, the Sierra stage was one of the loudest and craziest stages to be at. If you wanted a party, you were at Sierra. Occasional mosh pits and pushing occurred toward the front, which I’m not a fan of, but I know it happens from time to time regardless. This mayhem and party stage lived up to its name, and I have high hopes for it in the coming years.
Main Stage: The Main Stage was no question the highlight of SG2K16. The massive stage gathered crowds of awesome proportions. This was the stage you visited to just jump to the music or to go with your best buddies and girlfriend/boyfriend and feel the best feelings in the world. It was always loud and energetic, there was a never a dull moment (except Echoes. Sorry, the timing for the set was just really off, beautiful voice, though). Overall, the main stage was phenomenal.
The Lineup: You saw that lineup on Instagram. Oh my god, that was insanity. The chaos of day one’s Vincent to RL Grime to The Chainsmokers to Flume to Snails was an absolute ludicrous experience, as well as Whethan & Ashe on the Sierra stage. Day two started pretty well with JoyZu opening, but lost its momentum until Brasstracks took over the Sierra stage. After him came amazing performances from Lido, the Knocks, Big Gigantic, Party Favor, Big Wild, and of course, Major Lazer. Day three, with all the eyes on Odesza bringing in the New Year, seemed to overshadow some pretty amazing performances from Illenium, Hotel Garuda, Manilla Killa, Baauer and Bleep Bloop.
Last and Most Important: Weather: Overrated. The cold is not even a factor when you’re in a crowd of over 2,000 people belting “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers at the top of their lungs. Yes, dress warmly. That’s obvious. You’ll need about 2-3 layers of comfy warm clothing to stay nice and cozy in the crowds, but do not overdress, cause it sucks to carry around layers you don’t want to wear anymore. If you get too cold, there are heaters all around the festival for you to gather next to and stay warm. I wore Nike compression tights with wool socks, heavy sweats, snow pants over those, and a sweater and a hoodie, and I was golden. You will be too.
SnowGlobe was a festival I expected not to enjoy, but god I couldn’t have been more wrong. From the genuine service to the incredible music, the amazing people to the outstanding experience, SnowGlobe was without a doubt one of the best music festivals I have ever been to. If you don’t believe me, hear it from the guys who played it.
“SnowGlobe! Been dying to play this festival for the longest!” – The Chainsmokers
“Speechless” (In regards to post-performance) – Vincent
“It’s a good vibe out there, like it’s truly one of a kind. We’ve never done anything like this.” – Sofi Tukker
“We were attending this festival last year, and now were playing it. This is our favorite festival in the world, we love this place.” – JoyZu