There’s always a different feeling in the air in Tahoe over the week of New Years. As a top winter destination it’s no surprise that the population seemingly triples and the partying seems to go on nonstop. And thanks to Snowglobe the air is full of heavy bass and people ready to brave the cold in the name of music.
Compared to the mild weather last year this year’s fest brought cold temperatures, but also more snow. This meant more people were out on the slopes during the day enjoying the best conditions since the festival first started.
The first day the Igloo tent (compare to Yuma at Coachella except heated) was taken over by Dirtybird Records who celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2015. The takeover started with the newly signed Will Clarke kicking things off and going through the ranks with Justin Jay, J Phlip, Shiba San, Justin Martin and last but not least Claude Von Stroke. The tent seemed most packed for Shiba San whose hit Okay has crept into just about every DJ’s set recently. Claude Von Stroke played after the main stage closed down and then went straight to the after party for a B2B set with Justin Martin.
Kaskade keeping the crowd warm
credit: Jorgensen Photography
The second day started off much different with the hype being on rapper/comedian Lil Dicky who has blown up recently via youtube and collabs with some well known artists i.e. Snoop Dogg. For playing such an early set there was still a huge crowd that was ready to party. I moved around quite a bit until later in the night trying to catch as many sets as I could. I made a point to catch Kaskade and was not disappointed. He played Snowglobe two years before and continues to show that he can play a diverse mix to keep the crowd on their feet. The visuals of his set were also the most mind-blowing of the whole festival. After I caught Cashmere Cat who had the crowd entranced with his smooth bass music to end night two.
Of course New Years Eve is when the energy peaks and the lineup proved it with heavy hitting hip-hop group Run the Jewels early in the evening. I caught Moving Castle All Stars instead and they were the best artist that I hadn’t heard of during the fest and I highly recommend checking them out. By the time Dillon Francis came on the main stage the temperature had dropped which meant everyone danced harder and crazier to Dillon’s fun but heavy mix of electronic music. Then on another end of the spectrum Ghostland Observatory brought their funky electro beats with a laser show that flashed across the venue. After this I took a break watching some of the skiers and snowboarders hit the jump next to the mainstage until What So Not started his set. Half way through he stopped and started the New Years countdown and dropped the bass to bring in the New Year along with a massive firework display and balloons and giant inflatables being released into the crowd. Of course the bars were ready with champagne to keep the party going with Louis the Child playing until 1 am due to a set change that everyone was happy with.
The one set that I was disappointed in missing was Alison Wonderland who also played the after party that night. The organization of after parties this year was a mess to say the least. Snowglobe held them at venues that were way too small compared to past years and many people were denied access because they were over capacity. Although I’m sure this made for intimate sets every night looking on the bright side of things.
Having attended the past 4 Snowglobe’s it’s easy to notice how much the festival has grown and changed. Most notably the venue has been outgrown although Snowglobe has learned a lot about how to manage the crowds much better than it was the first few years, which made the flow of 16,000 people between 3 stages seem effortless. The tents (Sierra and Igloo) were both over packed for certain artists, which may have been more of a scheduling issue. There was a lack of merchandise vendors and not as many food vendors although the ones that were available were great. White Guy Pad Thai was a hit as told by the line “out the door”. In just 5 years Snowglobe has proven itself as a top New Years destination and is one of the only outdoor winter music festivals. Plus they have continued to bring in some of the best electronic artists along with upcoming artists for people discover. Snowglobe has plenty of room to grow and if you haven’t experienced it yet there is plenty of time to add it to your list of resolutions for 2016.