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Lake Tahoe on the last days of 2014
Photos by Matthew Lew
September 30, 2014
Three months before New Year’s
My friend Brenna was ecstatic. She just purchased her ticket to SnowGlobe 2014, a three-day music festival in South Lake Tahoe, California. It was my first time learning about this outdoor festival in the snow. The massive three-day lineup was mouthwatering: Disclosure, Flume, Porter Robinson, Zedd, Phantogram, Odesza. It was now in its fourth year.
By the time I decided to go to SnowGlobe, it was too late. The tickets started at $169 but went up with each release of tickets until they were out. I hesitantly bought secondhand tickets on StubHub for double the face value.
But was it worth it?
December 29, 2014
Three days before New Year’s
We didn’t get to SnowGlobe until 8:00pm because we had to get our wristbands at the Montbleu Casino in Nevada and take a 20-min shuttle bus, crossing the stateline into California. It was really cold for this first day, with lows hovering around 16 degrees fahrenheit. As a San Francisco native, cold winter was never my favorite climate, but I was determined to “weather it out.” Disclosure was playing on the main stage and only half of the two brothers were there due to illness. But having seen Disclosure twice—once at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and OutsideLands in SF, I didn’t mind their DJ set.
Brosafari started to play right after in the Sierra Tent, a gigantic tent the size of a football field, but we opted for a more intimate night with Le Youth in the Igloo Tent. This was an insulated tent, which was naturally warm from the crowds’ body heat. Le Youth played a great house set and carried us throughout the long night.
December 30, 2014
Two days before New Year’s
It’s colder. A blizzard wept through the night before. The mercury has dropped to a nipping 10 degrees. This is the coldest climate I have ever endured and I yearn the warmth of pocket heaters in my paralyzed phalanges. Although the extreme weather, today was my going to be my favorite: Phantogram was going to take the main stage and play a savory set strung from both studio albums.
And then we saw an incredible combo lineup: Flux Pavillon, Classixx, Odesza and Porter Robinson. In-between each set, a snow ramp stage right would have amateur snowboarders and skiers jump and perform tricks. Despite the temperature dropping and the wind picking up, I was able to dance off the trembling numbness in my legs.
December 31, 2014
One day before New Year’s
The last day was supposed to be warmer. But at this point, it didn’t matter. Yesterday was insane and I couldn’t believe that I was going to stay awake longer and dance all the way through until New Years. There was only one headliner that we all had to see: Flume, playing his set through 12:30am. But before that, we saw Zedd, a special guest (which happened to be Cherub), Atmosphere and then Flume at 11:00pm.
And then Flume began. All of a sudden, I felt energy flash through me to push my mental burden through the last performance at SnowGlobe. The crowd was packed deep with fur coats and thick jackets. The ground was littered with lost gloves, beanies, and scarves. But none of those garments mattered as the heat packed in and cut out the crosswind.
January 1, 2015
New Year’s Day
Right before twelve o’clock hit, Flume held down the music for a countdown. He played his “You & Me” Disclosure rework, and everything in the world was perfect again. One by one, fireworks launched into the thin air and exploded softly, grazling in the snowfall. A grand finale of dazzled flares the marked the beginning of a new year.
Three days in the snow. I was grateful to come experience music in the unique conditions of fresh powder. This was far from any expectation I would have imagined and enjoyed creating memories with old and new friends. And on the car ride home, I had a high temperature.
Cheers to a new year!