SnowGlobe Music Festival kicks off Monday
There’s no escaping electronic dance music. Many of the biggest musicians in the world create their art on a laptop, and some of the best-attended music festivals globally are dedicated to gathering the largest number of thumping bass tracks in one place as possible.
Lake Tahoe’s South Shore has become part of that popularity in recent years, hosting one of winter’s most massive dance music festivals.
Now in its fourth year, the SnowGlobe Music Festival returns to the community play fields next to Lake Tahoe Community College Monday-Wednesday. The festival attracts more than 10,000 people each night. The venue, surrounded by towering pine trees, is pure Lake Tahoe. The music is a mix designed to warm up a crowd as the mercury drops.
“It’s really, really super stacked,” said event producer Chad Donnelly about this year’s lineup, which includes electronic heavyweights like Skrillex, Zedd, Disclosure, Phantogram, Flux Pavilion and Odesza, as well as hip-hop stalwart Atmosphere.
“We’ve been able to bring eclectic lineups to South Lake Tahoe each of these years,” Donnelly said. “This year is really going to be just massive. People are going to be extremely excited. I’m really excited about the festival this year.”
Atmosphere’s presence in 2014 is part of Donnelly’s effort to inject diversity into a lineup that has included decidedly nonelectronic acts like Fishbone and Snoop Dogg in the past.
Bringing artists outside of the EDM world to the festival adds a sense of discovery to SnowGlobe’s lineup, which is chosen based on a wide variety of factors from an initial list of several hundred artists, Donnelly said.
“Most people who are coming to see an electronic show are not expecting to see Snoop … It switches up the rhythm and vibe in a big way. I’m definitely committed to diversity,” Donnelly said. “It’s wild science experiment in picking the acts. Each year it is a very, very new adventure.”
SnowGlobe includes a large main stage with two tented smaller stages, one of which is dedicated to house music. The festival also includes off-site, late-night shows. Three nights of fireworks and a warming hut and bar were among the new additions to last year’s festival.
“I think that one of the things that I’m certainly very excited about is that I feel like each year we’re getting better at doing different things and ultimately increasing the fan experience. Heightening that experience is one of the things we’re certainly most passionate about,” Donnelly said.
The fans are nothing short of eclectic. An oversized printout of actor Jim Carrey’s face on a stick, a grown man pleading with security to allow him to bring his Buzz Lightyear doll into the venue and countless brightly dressed, fist-pumping dance music fans were all spotted among the crowd in 2013.
For Donnelly, who expects this year’s show to sell out, seeing the festival go on after a year of work is particularly special.
“There’s nothing more magical than seeing it all come together and seeing people — friends with their arms around one another to tons of people kissing at midnight on New Year’s Eve, whatever it is,” he said. “I think that it’s really cool to see the joy that comes with an experience like a music festival.”
More information on the festival is available at http://www.snowglobemusicfest.com.
Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the 2014-15 winter edition of Tahoe Magazine, a product of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Sierra Sun, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Lake Tahoe Action. The magazine is available now throughout the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region.