Snowglobe is probably the most unique festival I have ever been to. It’s a New Years Eve festival that takes place in South Lake Tahoe. What makes it so unique? It’s outside. All three days. In the snow. Which means getting creative with your outfits and preparing ahead of time so that you stay warm! (See my previous blog post for tips on how to prepare and dress properly) I loved seeing how crazy people got with their outfits, there were people in onesies, retro snowsuits, furs, shimmery glitter, and everything in between!
I still have yet to find a better way to spend New Years than in the snow, dancing, with fireworks going off in the sky.
New Years Eve is always the last day of the festival, meaning sometimes the festival falls on a weekend and other times it’s in the middle of the week! This year the festival fell on a Saturday, Sunday, Monday which was pretty perfect. This was my third year going to Snowglobe, so I was interested to see if some of the issues I had previously encountered were fixed. A big issue I had with previous years was how disorganized it was entering and leaving the festival. The last couple times I went it was always just a mass of people trying to get in, with very disorganized lines and lots of people cutting. I have to say they vastly improved the experience of entering the festival. This year there were very clear lines laid out and metal detectors, which made the whole process of getting in go by faster. Keep in mind I skipped 2017, so some of this could have been fixed last year!
Snowglobe is a pretty small festival space-wise, but that makes it pretty easy to split sets and jump stage to stage. The Main stage and Sierra stage are both outdoor stages while the Igloo stage is indoors. I spent most of my time at the Sierra stage which had all of the bass and trap artists. The Igloo is known for mostly having house artists. There were artists I wanted to see in the Igloo, but it was so packed every night that it was impossible to even get in most of the time, which was such a bummer. Even if you did get in, you were pretty squished, which isn’t how I want to see music. It reminded me of when the Sierra stage used to be covered and had that same problem. I hope Snowglobe will move toward making this another outdoor stage so everyone can enjoy the artists they put in there. Snowglobe does have other indoor structures so I just don’t really see the need to have an indoor stage!
There was a food lodge and a drinks lodge (called the MTV lodge), and every time I went inside one of them, they were full of people sitting on the ground camping out (I assume because they were freezing haha). I appreciated that there were a lot of different places to get a drink (the drink lodge plus multiple outdoor spots to order drinks) because I never had to wait in line too long. My favorite was the hot drinks spot where you could order a spiked hot cider, hot toddy, or hot chocolate. That pretty much saved my life on Day 3 when it was the coldest and windiest. Warmed up our souls!
So I’m going to lay out my favorite acts of the weekend, and then try the impossible task of picking one absolute favorite for each day, along with my surprise act of the day (this always goes to an artist I didn’t really have on my radar and played a great set!) Keep in mind this was so unbelievably hard to pick a favorite act of the day, but for some reason I thought it would be fun and I forced myself to, so go easy on me! I think my picks might be surprising since I didn’t really pick the huge names (which I wasn’t really expecting!). I also missed sets I wanted to see, especially if they were in the Igloo or earlier in the day (still crying over how early G-eazy was).
Top acts of Snowglobe 2018 (in no particular order): RL Grime, Big Gigantic, Ekali, Slumberjack, Nghtmre B2B Slander, Manila Killa B2B Chet Porter, Kaskade, Cray
Favorite Saturday Act: Big Gigantic Surprise of the day: Party Favor
Favorite Sunday Act: Ekali Surprise of the day: Sam Gellaitry
Favorite Monday Act: Slumberjack Surprise of the day: Medasin
I wish I could write about all of the sets I saw at Snowglobe as there were so many I enjoyed, but I’m going to try to limit myself to my top 3 favorites so that I can try to finish this review within my lifetime (and stay sane in the process).
If you have not seen Big Gigantic live before, then you really need to. What I love about this duo is they so perfectly mix electronic and funk music, that every set I see them just becomes a huge, funky, dance party. You can’t help but smile and have the best time at one of their sets. Dominic always plays the sax during their sets (just more reason to love Big G), and I have to give him major props for playing in that cold weather. It’s my absolute favorite when an artist or group can mix electronic music with live music like that. Their music is always big and thunderous; it’s addicting, it just invites you in. Big G is always full of surprises, and you honestly can’t put them in any one genre, you never quite know what they’re going to pull out next. During their Snowglobe set, they got down and dirty at times, throwing down some harder tracks. You could tell how excited the crowd got too, and I gotta say they did a great job at transitioning these tracks with their funky music.
Full disclosure, I love Ekali, I will always love Ekali, he’s the freaking best. I’ve seen him so many times and will always go see his set at a festival no matter how many times I’ve already seen him. Not only is he just a good human who’s very open about mental health on twitter and very encouraging/grateful to his fans, but his music is so hard-hitting and fun to get down to. His music is trappy goodness where you’re just throwing down and getting grimy the whole time. This is a you-never-stop-moving-the-whole-set kind of set, trap music at its finest. He released some new remixes during his Snowglobe set and the crowd went freaking crazy for it. He really knows how to remix a song, but his original music is so good too, and I hope he puts out more of it. His new EP, Crystal Eyes, features some more airy music with really catchy lyrics, featuring some well-known female vocalists like Elohim and K.Flay. In my opinion these songs show a softer side of Ekali, and during his set, he manages to remix these songs so that they start off beautiful and then after the drop you realize they are complete bangers.
Okay so I have been waiting to see Slumberjack for what feels like forever! I first discovered them back in 2016 when listening to artists on the lineup for Northern Nights. I put them on my playlist and was stoked to see them, but as happens often at music festivals, plans went out the window and I missed them. I’ve regretted it ever since and have been patiently waiting for my next chance. Slumberjack is a duo from Australia whose music (in my opinion) is always melodic, catchy, but then also unbelievably dance-y and hard-hitting. I love how they can combine two ends of the spectrum like that. They really experiment with their music and give it such depth. Their set was a great mixture of their own original songs and remixes they’ve done (that I had heard on Spotify and was dying to hear in person). I can tell you I definitely did not stop dancing during their whole set, and it was so fun being toward the front, watching them do their thing! The energy was amazing and everyone needs to go see Slumberjack right now.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Manila Killa and Chet Porter for absolutely exhausting me with their set because I couldn’t stop dancing. They remixed all of my favorite songs and their set just made me so happy. It was just pure and good and absolutely worthy of a shout out! I didn’t give them my surprise act of the day because I already love both of these artists and knew without a doubt their set would be so fun!
And Kaskade is just always going to have my heart. I can’t tell you how much jumping up and down I did when he last minute got added to the lineup. I actually first discovered Kaskade years ago at Snowglobe, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Not much can compare to listening to his song Eyes in the snow…talk about MAGIC.
Okay I want to take a moment to comment on the shuttle situation at Snowglobe because boy have they STILL not fixed the same problems they have had for years. First of all, you have to pay extra for a shuttle pass, which would normally be fine except they don’t even check if you have a shuttle pass to get on the bus! Each time I got on, no one checked that I had a wristband, which made me feel like I completely wasted my money. The organization of the shuttles also leaves a lot to be desired. Each shuttle line was just a cluster of people all trying to shove their way on, with many people having no idea which shuttle went where. They need to have more clear signs, and more people working to organize the lines. The one good thing is I appreciated that they had two different shuttles this year (Yellow line and Blue line) rather than just the one to the casinos like they normally do. It provided more options for attendees. But the Yellow line just dropped off in a liquor store parking lot (with no signs anywhere) which was kind of weird and unofficial. So shuttles were helpful, but disorganized.
To bring this to a close, I had an amazing time at Snowglobe this year! Shout out to Above and Beyond for bringing in the New Year with some crazy fireworks and emotional songs. Even though it’s not really my kind of music, it was definitely memorable. And a thank you to all the new friends we made, you guys were the best! This was absolutely a festival for the books, and if you haven’t made it to Snowglobe yet, you gotta put it on your list! Now excuse me while I continue to revel in my post-festival blues…