With 10,000 people counting down — and an array of fireworks exploding above the Main Stage and illuminating the pine forests surrounding the festival grounds — SnowGlobe, South Lake Tahoe’s annual EDM winter music festival leading up to New Year’s Eve, blasted into 2019. Then headliners Above & Beyond launched right back into its set, capping off the fest’s eight-annual gathering.
Temperatures were hovering just above single digits as midnight hit, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the crowds that had been dancing at the mostly outdoor festival for the previous days.
As far as music festivals go, SnowGlobe began with an aim to put on an event that was uniquely Tahoe, with electronic and hip hop performers known on an international scale. With local pro skiers and snowboarders launching off a big-air ramp and shooting down a grind rail between main stage acts, lights and lasers pulsating from the multiple stages and into the pine canopy of the forest surrounding the fest — and post-festival after parties and events taking place at venues throughout the Tahoe area each night — the festival continues to carry on Tahoe’s unique vibe and sensibilities.
MTV acquired the festival just a couple months ago, immediately adding some more big names such as G-Eazy, Kaskade, Tyga and Rae Sremmurd to the lineup. Thus, this year’s festival felt even more indendiary, with stages placed only a couple minute walk from each other, and only 15 minute breaks between performers. One of the biggest problems was being able to fit in seeing every act that sounded interesting.
That said, MTV wasted no time in affixing its branding to everything – from the large lounge tent where you could sit and warm up, to all of the fest signage. SnowGlobe, which welcomes all ages, tends to have a younger audience, so a fest partnership with MTV may have been a genius move on both parts, provided it continues to keep its uniquely Tahoe personality in the future.
One of the most noticeable and fun characteristics of SnowGlobe is that unlike the summer festival season events, temperatures can hover around the 20s-30s after sunset, and rather than dressing down, everyone tends to dress up. Bright ski suits, onesies, furry hats and wookie jackets. The creativity on display of large groups dressing to withstand the cold brought on compliments from other attendees.
Notable performances included Sofi Tukker, a duo that suffered some luggage incident on their flight out, forcing them to play a more electronic set than usual. They made up for it, though, with both members climbing the fencing and crowdsurfing mid-set.
Tyga’s sunset-timed set was full of dancers onstage with plumes of flames shooting up from the stage and at the rear of the audience area.
A DJ set from LP Giobbi hit the audience with far more energy than could be considered healthy, bringing the Igloo Tent to a sweaty fever pitch as she played jazz piano over house music.
Rezz, Eric Prydz, Anna Lunoe, G-Eazy and Shallou also had some of the more memorable sets over the weekend.
Unfortunately, only a couple performers of the nearly 60 acts, such as Nevada City’s CharlesTheFirst and Sacramento’s GhostDragon, were from the local area. But that may have been the only downside at an otherwise epic counting down the final hours of 2018.
If SnowGlobe’s days-long massive dance in the Tahoe wilds is a sign, 2019 is going to be an epically fun year!
— Shaun Astor