There is something magical about the Lake Tahoe area that words struggle to justify without experiencing it yourself.
From its majestic, seemingly untouched landscape to the tranquil atmosphere of the local towns, a sense of wonder lingers in the air. A powerful energy resonates in South Lake Tahoe that is capable of bringing people together.
When you add the magic of a music festival to the mix, profound things are likely to occur.
For its fourth campaign, SnowGlobe Music Festival once again brought a grand spectacle to South Lake Tahoe that demonstrated why it is one of the most unique and enticing winter music festivals in existence.
Before beginning, there was already a palpable feeling of excitement in the atmosphere as 15,000 festival-goers convened for the impending three days of dance and celebration.
Sidelong glances and coy eye contact in the convenience stores and restaurants would elicit “SnowGlobe?,” inquiries that were reciprocated with cheerful smiles.
The festival created a sense of unity as it united folks from across California and the country, ushering in the new year in a winter wonderland. Even with the I-50 getting backed up for hours the day before the start of the festival, people remained positive, sharing greetings as they waited on the frigid concrete corridor.
Those who took up SnowGlobe on their early will-call for tickets the day before the show started were rewarded with not having to wait at all. Most everyone waited until Monday morning, the first day of the show, to acquire their tickets. Faced with a line nearly out the door of the MontBleu Casino pickup location, the SnowGlobe staff diligently worked to ensure everyone was on their way in a timely manner.
The experience obtained from the success of previous events was apparent when event staff was faced with crucial logistical decisions.
No matter your method of arrival, the elation in the air and the crowds simultaneously grew thicker as the venue drew near. Most were already anticipating something magical and it was hard to keep the excitement from bursting out of yourself as the college came into view. Despite the literally freezing temperatures that are a defining aspect of SnowGlobe, many were not deterred from getting festive with their attire.
With three different stages, numerous food stands and merchandise booths, art installations, and heating booths, there was always something available to stimulate your senses. This proved to be important, as standing still in glacial temperatures would cause your extremities to quickly go numb.
The bitter climate created a sense of togetherness between that was distinctive of SnowGlobe.
Friends and strangers would bundle together for warmth when not at one of the stages, creating new bonds that would extend beyond the festival.
With 5,000 more tickets sold than the previous year, the venue approached capacity. SnowGlobe continued to demonstrate the reasons behind its growth. It is great to see more people pick up on such a great experience. Despite a packed house, the tight-knit crowd was ultimately a great way to fight the cold and make new friends.
Day 1 – Monday, December 29
Monday the 29th saw our crew head out from the warm confines of our cabin and trek to the venue on foot. Starting off the night was Emancipator Ensemble on the main stage. Their excellent instrumental concoctions provided an ambient warmup for the festivities ahead.
Disclosure came on next, and despite Howard Lawrence not being able to make it from falling ill, Guy still laid down a deep house set that was a truly eye-opening experience for those who had only seen Disclosure’s live set up to this point.
Feeling the house vibes and needing a break from the cold, Le Youth was in the igloo tent. The up-and-coming house producer had everyone dancing no matter where you looked. The disco-house legend Aeroplane took the stage next, and after some technical troubles with the mixer proceeded to lay down one of the most impressive sets of the entire event.
The amount of times someone proclaimed “Wow!” during his performance could have drowned out the cacophony of every casino in Nevada. As the first day came to a close, it started to snow; an ideal conclusion to the magic of the first day and picturesque preface of what remained.
Day 2 – Tuesday, December 30
With the completion of our well received totem, Team Boner Jams 2015 trudged toward the second day of SnowGlobe. What would prove to be a valuable asset throughout the weekend, our totem served as a humorous beacon amid the snow and wind of day two.
We kicked things off with Overwerk in the Sierra tent, whose fresh electro bangers and 15 minutes of extra time provided a welcomed catalyst to increase our blood flow.
Djemba Djemba followed up with a stank face inducing recital, relentlessly laying down trap beats with a fervor that put the crowd into a frenzy.
Needing to cool off from the suddenly packed Sierra tent, Phantogram was next. Their unique live show was a great change of pace, with their hit “Fall In Love” receiving a resounding cheer from the crowd.
After that it was back to the igloo for Anna Lunoe and J.Phlip, but for some reason they were not present.
Before thoughts of venturing came to fruition a house duo by the name of Graff took up the torch, convincing everyone to stay a while. Up next was Porter Robinson. After being named Thump’s artist of the year and receiving critical acclaim, missing Porter’s set was not a option. Porter wowed the crowd with incredible live performances from his new album Worlds and a spectacular light show that told a story of a video game version himself. Before long though the whipping winds suggested a return to the igloo for Justin Martin’s set.
There he did what he does best; laying it down Dirtybird style with some of the best tech house beats available for aural consumption.
Day 3 – Wednesday, December 31
The final day saw the Boner Jams 2015 totem battered and windswept, though still standing erect.
The crowd this day was brimming with excitement, the anticipation running high with the forecast of a snow free evening. Day 3 was all about the main stage where the crew set up shop for the entire night.
Due to a scheduled “special guest” not being able to make it that night, the main stage docket was slightly shuffled. Music commenced with the band Lex, a trio who provided an enjoyable start to the night. After an extended wait the crowd was treated to one of the weekend’s main headliners. With the most impressively complex visuals of the festival and fan-favorite songs galore, Zedd put on a dazzling show that ranged from acoustic ambiance to head thrashing jams.
Cherub followed Zedd before the crowd was graced by hip-hop legend Atmosphere. Performing his familiar hits like “Sunshine” and “Yesterday” provided a nice contrast to an electronic filled weekend. As midnight quickly approached, Atmosphere dipped out and we were treated to the show that had been at the forefront of everyone’s mind – Flume.
The Aussie producer soaked the crowd in bass, even sprinkling in some What So Not originals for those who had not been able to catch him with Emoh Instead earlier at the Sierra tent.
As the clock struck midnight and fireworks illuminated the desolate sky in a blaze of color, Flume dropped his famous “You & Me” remix amid everyone’s cheers of “Happy New Year!”
Flume succeeded in providing a magnificent start to 2015 with a show we will never forget.
Despite some issues from the cold and the size of the crowds at SnowGlobe, there was far more positive than negative to take away.
Whether just getting started on experiencing the festival life or having been around the block a few times, SnowGlobe provided a majestic and memorable New Year’s celebration.
The sense of unity and excitement bubbled up before arriving at the venue and lingers with us even after returning to our corners of the country. Friendships forged here extend well beyond the confines of a festival stage and the memories have earned a permanent place atop the mantle of our minds.
There are a copious amount of holiday events these days but few possess the mystique of SnowGlobe Music Festival.
The calendar is already marked for our return to South Lake Tahoe.
Be sure to check out our complete SnowGlobe Music Festival photo album.
Relive the 2013 SnowGlobe experience below.
Photos Courtesy of SnowGlobe Music Festival – Break Point Photography