Ringing In the NYE with SnowGlobe 2018
As we are looking forward to good health and fortune in 2019, how did you ring into the New Year?
After several years of watching past Youtube videos of this phenomenon event, it was a matter of time before I gave in. And when I saw the line up for SnowGlobe 2018 , I just couldn’t help but be enticed with names like Above & Beyond, Eric Prydz, Diplo, Rezz, and Kaskade who was later added to the line up. Since its 2012 inception, MTV acquired the rights to SnowGlobe to expand its brand as a music and lifestyle event, so I knew I had to make major plans because there was a reason why this event was called SnowGlobe.
Winter in Tahoe is a ski paradise which means snow and freezing temperatures. For those who have not been to South Lake Tahoe which is located just under 2-hour east of Sacramento, CA, it is a majestic place year around offering much to do such as chilling beach side by the lake in the Summer time to Winter skiing; it is a sanctuary for outdoorists and a place to get away from the 9 to 5 hustle ‘n bustle. But for a 10-12 hour outdoor event, it was important that I was well prepared for the cold because I love my poolside weather.
As far as the travel goes, if the drive there was going to be a challenge due to the element, SnowGlobe made sure to provide
daily shuttles from the surrounding areas to as far as Reno; and even very affordable round trips to Tahoe from various cities throughout California like Sacramento, San Francisco and as far down to San Diego.
SnowGlobe 2018 was a 3-day event starting on the 29th of December taking you into the eve of the New Year with an eclectic range of music from hip-hop to dance, but no matter what your taste in music was, the essence of this show is the experience in itself. Contrasting from the scorching heat of EDC, partying in the altitude with snow surrounded by pine trees is something that was never on my bucket list, but would it be cheating to say that I crossed that off; nevertheless, it’s something I’d recommend at least once for music lovers.
We left Sacramento around 10am and did not check into our hotel ’till about 1pm. The drive was slightly longer than usual (but gorgeous) because it was the weekend of New Year and many travelers had their plans outside of SnowGlobe. Unlike most festivals where I’m fitted with shorts and tees, I had three layers under my jacket and a thermal under my snow pants with wool socks to go along with my snow boots; though it didn’t snow that night, staying warm was key to having a good time.
We got to the show around 5pm to check in at the box office and upgraded for VIP because with the amount of partying I have done over the years, I like the perks it offers, it keeps me away from the young ragers and plus I can afford it. VIP offered a good elevated view of the show and a place to stay warm, but even general admissions provided some much-needed thaw out in three different areas – MTV Lodge, The Igloo and an indoor food place – because I could not fathom being out in the elements throughout the whole show.
Walking through the main entrance, a small trek took you directly onto the left side of the main stage as Kaskade was already on playing some of his classics such ‘Disarm You’ and one of my favorite from his, the ‘Eyes’ which I never get tired of listening to it live. I just cannot imagine any other artist who would try to play this track live because it is so much associated with Kaskade.
As my adult beverages started to settle in and Kaskade finished up, I wanted to check out the rest of the place as I made my way to The Igloo and Sierra Stage. At that point, the vibe was not quite peaking as I was waiting for the man of the hour, Eric Prydz. The Igloo was playing some down tempo hip-hop but I needed something much harder and hung out at the Sierra Stage bobbing to some 1788-L until 7pm because I did not want to miss a single minute of the man who could have been the fourth of member of the Swedish House Mafia.
Back at the VIP as I was patiently waiting, Big Gigantic was wrapping up their funkydelic groovy and jazzy electro set which was quite entertaining for the few moments I caught them; however night-1 reached the pinnacle when Eric Prydz came on. The Swedish veteran did not disappoint one bit, as he had his usual set which started out with a very banging melodic tracks that slowly elevated the crowd through some trancey and groovy drops which went on for a good 3 to 4 tracks before diving deep into some hard progressive.
The best of parts of any Eric Prydz sets are always the middle 30 to 40 minutes stretch defining the true maestro in him. Conducting and taking the crowd into a techy, frenzy, mind numbing journey where every tracks pounded hard on the chest with the kicks, snares and claps. Eric‘s sets are the quintessential of what modern progressive ought to sound like (as I pay hommage to Sasha and John Digweed). But all good things must come to an end as the main stage closed out with Rezz.
Rezz following Eric Prydz was a little too mellow for the moment and I was only able to take in about 20 to 30 minutes of her set because I needed something thrashing which was when I decided to finish off my night with Party Favor at the Sierra Stage.
Night-1 came and went so fast that I wished the party had not ended at 10pm, but things worked out well because I could feel the need to rest my body as we skipped out on any after parties.
Unfortunately I was not able to attend the 2nd day because I came down with a fever and flu-like symptoms. Though I thought I was going to feel better by the evening, I didn’t want to jeopardize my health and so I ended up staying in my hotel room missing out on Diplo and Chris Lake.
After recovering from a much-needed rest, the illness was still lingering in the morning but by afternoon my body was ready for what was expected to be a very good night. I was antsy to see Gorgon City and Above & Beyond but bummed that I was going to miss out on AC Slater due to time conflict.
We arrived at the show around 330pm, the place was still filling in as we were welcomed to some hip-hop on the main stage. Though, I’d preferred a festival of this magnitude to be all EDM, a little bit of hip-hop early on was a good filler to kill some time. I know MTV caters to a wide audience but honestly a show like this should entail all Electronic Dance Music, and personally, I would have programmed the early set with breakbeat, trip-hop, progressive house and perhaps some techno.
To kill time, I hung out at the VIP for some complimentary Don Julio before the crowd kicked in but my body was itching for some four-to-floor so I settled for Yung Bae in The Igloo. He wasn’t playing at 125 BPM+, but the music was good enough to hang out and the place was packed to the rim. The set was a good mixture of some funk, disco and hip-hop house music which I did not mind a bit. You definitely felt the vibe in this cramp place and I found myself staying longer than expected.
As the night progressed along, so did the weather. New Year‘s eve in South Lake Tahoe was forecasted in the low tens and single digit, and although I had four layers under my jacket, the cold found ways to impinge my body.
Back at the VIP, I was waiting for Gorgon City as Nghtmre vs Slander wrapped up their set but only to be disappointed with another hip-hop performance. At that point I remember telling myself that whoever programmed the main stage really did not have a clue on the flow of a party. As a former promoter myself, I understand the gist of artists billing but I did not think that a hip-hop act needed to be placed between two EDM set. For me, the progressive flow of the night was very stagnant with long intermissions and unwatchable hip-hop acts.
When Gorgon City came on, I was finally more content, my mood had changed for the better and that was when the party finally kicked it off for me. They played some very groovy melodic house bangers and at times threw in some progressive percussions that had the crowd eager for the main act of the night. Though, Gorgon City had a peak time slot, it felt as if they were opening up for Above & Beyond because you could definitely feel it among the crowds in the VIP as we were all patiently waiting. Gorgon City‘s set was a good way to warm up for a highly anticipated Group Therapy with the ‘ones and only’ A&B.
Above & Beyond are world-renowned artists and they were one of the reason (beside Eric Prydz) that I made this trip. I have seen them in San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas (the list goes on), and I would have to admit that their SnowGlobe set was probably some of the better ones I have seen even though they would play some of the same tracks. What made this performance stood out more for me was (1) the countdown and (2) the single digit temperature.
Looking into the sea of people from VIP, I remembered seeing steam and hot breath just hovering above the crowd while lights and lasers just penetrated through it. This view had me thinking of a ‘Frozen Tundra’ and the absurdity of how thousands of people were just partying in this crazy cold weather including myself, and I was embracing every last minute of it.
But in all, Above & Beyond gave the crowd an epic journey into their music to finish off 2018 with an awesome production that carried us into 2019.
SnowGlobe was an event not for the ‘faint of heart’ and I’m glad I was finally able to attend one.
Overall, I really enjoyed the event but with the good comes with some bad, and there were some things which I felt they could try to improve on such as shorter intermissions and a better job at music programming. Another aspect I’d like to see is another VIP area closer to the side of the main stage similar to the Sierra Stage.
Other than that, SnowGlobe is an event I would reconsider (depending on the acts) but probably for only one night.
Hope you had a good time ringing into the New Year.