40,000 expected to attend 3-day SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe


By Kathryn Reed

While SnowGlobe should still be a bass-driven event, the music lineup for the three-day South Lake Tahoe festival has been altered to help appease the neighbors who last year made as much of a ruckus as the musicians.

Plus, when the first act takes the stage at 3pm Dec. 29, the direction of the sound won’t be the same as in 2011. The stage and speakers will be set up in such a way to lessen the reverberation into neighborhoods.

The Dec. 29-31 SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe is expected to bring thousands of people to town. Photo/LTN 2011

Still, it’s a lot of techno acts that fill the main stage and two tent performance areas.

Headliners include deadmau5, Wiz Khalifa, Chromeo Live, Beats Antique, Big Gigantic, Laidback Luke and MiMOSA.

But it’s not just music and a smattering of vendors who will fill the community ball field adjacent to Lake Tahoe Community College.

“We’ve added so much, from décor to heating to action sports elements,” Chad Donnelly, SnowGlobe creator and general manager, told Lake Tahoe News. “There are so many new touches the fans will get to experience firsthand.”

The local non-food vendors include Tahoe Made Attire, Enlightened Jewelry, Luna Lobo Creations and UKY The Spot. Nonprofits that will be there are the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe and Sierra Avalanche Center.

LTCC involvement

Lake Tahoe Community College will have two booths on the field to be able reach out to music fans about what the institution is all about. LTCC is hoping this won’t be the only time some of the concertgoers are on campus.

“We are partnering with SnowGlobe this year to gain benefit from their marketing campaign worldwide. Basically, instead of renting the facilities we get marketing, booths, and some other perks for the use of our facilities,” LTCC President Kindred Murillo told Lake Tahoe News. “We are very optimistic that this will be a benefit for our community by having a structured event for young people on New Year’s, and by the marketing to the SnowGlobe target audience 18-34 age group, which is where we want to reach out in developing our destination market.”

Organizers have to pay for snow removal costs, which with the forecast could be an issue this year. But snow on the ground could be a good thing because it will help absorb the sound. Plus, it means the field should not be trashed as much as it was a year ago.

City’s concerns

South Lake Tahoe makes money off the event primarily through more people being in town – as in hotel and sales taxes.

Will SnowGlobe return in 2013? That remains to be seen. City officials say they won’t start talking about that until they see how this year’s event goes. Promoters have said they would like a multiyear contract and would entertain the possibility of moving the date. But dates would have to be coordinated with the college to ensure school is not in session.

“The police plan is essentially unchanged from last year as it went very well,” Police Chief Brian Uhler told Lake Tahoe News. “We will have amnesty bins and we will have undercover presence.”

Both of those were in place in 2011, too. The amnesty bins are where people can deposit (no refund) any drugs without question. The theory is officers would rather dispose of unused drugs than have people using during the concert.

In addition to local law enforcement, event organizers also provide security staff.

They have also increased the list of items not allowed at the festival; specifically glass containers. A complete list of items is online.

“SnowGlobe event promoters have been very supportive of community concerns from last year’s event and are taking extensive measures regarding a sound management plan, increase in the number of shuttle stops, waste management, and local business integration,” Tracy Franklin, spokeswoman for the city, told Lake Tahoe News.

Bus service

At the Dec. 14 Tahoe Transportation District meeting, the board agreed to enter an agreement with SnowGlobe organizers to increase bus service.

The music festival will pay for more buses to be on Route 53 Dec. 29-31.

TTD staff anticipates between 60 and 80 hours of additional service will be required to accommodate the festival demand.

Like last year, the festival will also provide chartered bus service for people to get to the Lake Tahoe Community College campus.

According to TTD, the plan is to add one to three Route 53 buses before and during the festival times, with an additional seven buses operating for 90 minutes when the festival ends each night.

Donnelly expects more people to attend this year – with about 40,000 people throughout the three-day festival. This compares to the approximately 10,000 who attended each day in 2011.

He expects to sell out on Friday or Saturday.


Things to know:

• Dec. 29-30 3-10pm

• Dec. 31 3pm to Jan. 1 12:30am

• Fireworks will be shot off New Year’s Eve

• Jan. 3 field will be cleared

• South Lake Tahoe has a webpage dedicated to SnowGlobe

• Dedicated SnowGlobe phone line – (530) 542.7429.

Here is a video from 2011:


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Comments (37)
  1. Tom Wendell says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    “the..festival has been altered to help appease the neighbors who last year made as much of a ruckus as the musicians”.

    Too much egg-nogg yesterday Kay? A little overdose of Bass Nectar at a Christmas party perhaps? What were you thinking? That is the most insulting, disingenuous and frankly unprofessional statement I’ve heard you make since 2006. It’s right up there with Tony O’Rorkes’ “I don’t care if someone gets a slight headache” proclomation to the city council re: snowglobe.

    People were DRIVEN out of their homes! Families were forced to cancel Holiday plans because they could not even hear themselves talk in their own livingroom. Walls cracked, pictures fell, babies wailed in pain and party crashers trashed and defecated in our streets and yards. That sort of assult on your home, your health and your sanity deserves more than a simple “tisk, tisk” wouldn’t you agree?

    Now we’re all looking forward to this years event eliminating those problems so the only piles left behind are piles of money in our city’s cash registers. Hold on to your butts.

    To characterize the good citizens of South Lake Tahoe as a bunch of whiners because they sought to protect their health, home and pursuit of happiness is wrong and just plain un-American!

  2. fromform says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    just a NIMBY whining, with a dose of culture clash. this event brings money and new blood, both of which slt needs…

  3. Tom Wendell says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    New blood= inevitable
    Money= goes without saying

    A sound intensity beyond even close to tolerable for most. “normal”, not radically chemically altered human consciuosnesses=unacceptable

    LSD addled brains repeating the same ‘talking points’ as 11 months ago= just plain stupid Doug.

    IF this is the new culture…you’ll fit right in. Disruptive, over-the-top and full of BS.

    I’ve always strived to maintain a civil tone on this site but when I read crap like this, the gloves are coming off!!!!

  4. perspective says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Without the “ruckus” everyone made, the changes for this year would not have happened. Our voices were metaphorically as loud as the music. I don’t have a problem with the story. Tom, I think perhaps you are the one with the Christmas blues. Chill out, man and put the gloves back on.

  5. Kathy says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Lets bring on the New Year ,Have fun,and Enjoy,My Grandson who is 20 years old will be going ,and so thrilled for this ,Be safe out there and cheers,HAPPY NEW YEAR , Your only young once.

  6. Tom Wendell says - Posted: December 26, 2012


    I believe I gave snowglobe its’ due kudos for the money it brought. Agree that our “Our voices were metaphorically as loud as the music”…..fortunately that came in measured doses at a volume that did not cause physical damage (infrasounds have beeen weaponized fyi).

  7. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    If the changes being implemented result in an event which creates a continuing new tourist attraction then we’ll all win. The music at El Dorado Beach and the concerts at Harvey’s in the summer can be disturbing to neighbors but then haven’t we chosen to live in a tourist town? Let’s hope for success for all!

  8. John S says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    First off I want to state that I am all for events in the area. They bring people to the area that in return spend money. It will be interesting to see what happens this year. I can that last year it was very unnerving to be subject to Snowglobe. We had pictures fall off our walls, couldn’t sleep and had to deal with a young child that was very uncomfortable. (As were the adults in the house.)
    To the people that say “Suck it up, your being a NIMBY” I say that isn’t a very thought out argument and doesn’t really address the many issues.
    To the people that say rent you house out and/or leave the area. I say do you know what it takes to prep your house as a vacation rental? Do you know what type of logistics are involved? Do you understand that we have jobs to be at during this time of year because the town is busy.
    Again I am all for events in the area but they need to be held at a proper venue. The college is not a proper venue.
    I would encourage anyone who is negatively affected by the event this year to call the City Council members. Call them at home to see if they like the disturbances to their household. And to the City and PD – The hotline you set up to “record our complaints” That is truly an insult to the people that live here.

    Again – Hopefully the issues have been addressed and it will be a better planned event than last year. I am waiting….

  9. FULL TIME says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    First I am glad this event is back, yes I did hear it last year. Now someone can corrrect me but last year we had no snow on the ground and one thing people did not like was everyone walking were they wanted to, with all the snow this year will that not help the sound issue, it should keep it more contained. The town it packed right now and we should all be so glad.

  10. HangsUpsFromWayBack says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    The snow help soak up some Bass,LOL!

    The amnesty bins are where people can deposit (no refund) any drugs without question. The theory is officers would rather dispose of unused drugs than have people using during the concert.

    Happy 2013……..Never look back!

  11. dunbfounded says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    The outdoor concerts are great. I hope that SnowGlobe is a success and that the promoters do what they say they will. Certainly, there is a big difference between outdoor music at 9:00 pm and outdoor music at 12:00 midnight. With the snow, there should also be an evacuation plan that takes into account the heavy snow.

  12. Steve says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Can’t help but wonder, seems the only positions they could realign the loudspeakers toward so as not to impact the residential neighborhoods would be toward the mountain or up to outer space.

    And instead of collecting rent for use of its facilities, LTCC is instead receiving booth space “and some other perks”? Maybe LTCC gets to empty the amnesty bins?

  13. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    The return of SnowGlobe!
    Every job I’ve had since I was a kid growing up in So. Shore was related to tourisim in one form or another.
    If this event brings in 40,000 kids thats great. Our local economy could use the influx of some cash.
    I feel last years event was poorly planned. The volume was way too loud from where I live here in “the ghetto by the meadow”, (aka, Sierra Tract).
    The”thump thump” of the bass rattlled my windows, it ran too late and some of the concert goers were pissing and barfing in front of my house, empty beer cans and liquor bottles littered the street.
    I’ve been to many concerts over the years so I’m no stranger to loud music and huge crowds and all the madness that goes with a live show.
    Hopefully this years event goes a little smoother. Old Long Skiis

  14. Louis F. says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    If 40K people come to town for several days and spend an average of say 500 bucks each, that means SnowGlobe has 20 million trump cards in any showdown card game with a group of(righteously) disgruntled citizens.

  15. John S says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    One other thing that I think people are missing. There wasn’t any snow to deal with last year. They have thought about lack of snow but they haven’t thougth about snowballs and snowball fights……

    I don’t know if you remember the Beastie Boys concert that they had at Sierra at Tahoe (It might have been Sierra Ski Ranch then) They stopped the concert after a huge snowball fight broke out. One of the performers got hit with a snow ball and called it quits. Then a huge snowball fight broke out. They called in riot police and helicopters to break up the crowd. It was ugly

    Now not wishing ill on anyone but I bet there will be snowballs flying this year at Snowglobe and I bet performers will be hit or their electronics will be hit and get wet. I would also bet that if some are thrown within the crowd that a huge snowball fight will break out and people will get hurt.

    And also think about what it was like with 10,000 people. What is it going to be like with the expected 40,000.

    I am hoping for the best but I don’t see it happening…..

  16. sunriser2 says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    $40,000 visitors?? I call BS on that number. Give them the benefit of the doubt and say three people per car. That would equal 13,333 cars. Where are they going to park during peak occupancy and snow removal conditions??

  17. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    sunriser2—with the city’s new plan for raising revenue it should be a bonanza. Put up paid parking or no parking areas and then write citations to everyone who remotely violates them. They’ll raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  18. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Maybe it’s 40k after adding all 3 days up, ie 13+K each day attending, so some will be repeats.

  19. Steve says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Not even Heavenly does 40,000 over 3 days. Somebody must have gotten into those amnesty bins already.

  20. Nancy Kerry, City Manager says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Thank you to all the community members who participated this past year in making the much needed changes to this event. Events are important for the community and welcomed, absolutely. They must be as balanced as much as possible with the interests of the community. Community members that suffered through harsh impacts of this event last year stepped up to help bring a balanced approach to solving the issues and that is appreciated. They participated in meetings, offered meaningful suggestions for improvement, ideas and solutions.

    I also appreciate the producers making all the changes. They have stated they want to be good community partners and have made many changes to make that happen. The City Council requested a $50,000 deposit from the producers, which has been paid, to be used for fines and expenses, depending on how the event goes and to ensure compliance with the Agreement. It’s not easy to produce an event, it’s a financial risk and difficult to estimate costs, concerns, issues, weather, community etc. The producers have been hands on to solve the issues.

    One note, the number of participants to the event, reported widely of 40,000, I don’t believe is correct (SnowGlobe staff have been giving that figure, not reporters). As I understand it, directly from the producers, they have sold about the same number of tickets as last year, which is about 10,000; it remains if that number will be present every day or vary by day.

    As for the hotline number, our Public Information Officer checks it twice a day, we’ve received three calls, callers wanted to volunteer, buy tickets or one wanted free tickets as compensation for the noise.

    For all the information, including the Agreement, event site plans, trash management and so on, visit the webpage we established to keep everyone updated:

    Thank you to everyone for helping to mitigate the negative impacts, and offer an opportunity for positive impacts. I think we are all hoping for a better outcome as a result.

    ~Nancy Kerry

  21. thing fish says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Tom sounds like a reasonable and insightful person, we should listen to him.

  22. yo mama says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    I only had a problem with the loudness when it was late on a Thursday night. I had to wake up early for work the next day. This coming Monday is not a holiday so hopefully the same thing won’t happen on Sunday night.

  23. dunbfounded says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    “Kathy’s” comment reminded me about the Meyers School incident. Any further reporting going to be done on the person who smashed into the school building, or is that off-limits?

  24. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Nancy Kerry,
    Thank you for making a statement in regards to SnowGlobe. Any information is better than none.
    Will the members of the city council do the same? Mayor Davis, Mr. Cole, Ms. Swanson? Ms. Conner you have posted here before so you get a pass(thats why I voted for you!).
    I’m not talking just about SnowGlobe but other issues as well.I’ve watched a few city council meetings on TV, (that’s how exciting my life has become!). But I would like to hear from the people in office about the issues that face this community, spoken candidly to Lake tahoe News. The loop road, parking meters, planning for development… etc. etc. The list is long.
    So come on city council follow Nancy Kerry and JoAnne Conners lead. Tell us what you REALLY think. I dare you, I double dog dare you(from the movie “A Christmas Story”).Take Care, Old Long Skiis

  25. Louis says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    OLS … I don’t know if council members can post here. Not their fault though, but as I had read and understood in an article elected officials who post on message boards, certain email collaborations, work though newspapers, all could be a violation of the brown act. Not their fault. Then again there has been no test case before a judge that I know of. Regardless they have to be careful of what they post.

    Sucks that they as private citizens on the side lose a little of their first amendment rights.

  26. Bob says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Seems like music and these type of events are very popular. Maybe the hole in the ground should be made into a musical arena of sorts to compete with Harvey’s outdoor, Snowglobe, ect. We don’t need another conference hall if you check Stateline results.

  27. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    Interesting comment louis.I Don’t know the details of the law but since the city manager already spoke out on this SnowGlobe issue the council can’t follow suit?
    Also, what about the council appointing someone to fill a chair for our suddenly vacant seat that was hastily vacated by Mayor Claire Fortier, is that legal? I would suggest the council consult with the city attorney but he quit as well.
    Sometimes it seems we are out in the lake on a windy day on a boat with no rudder. OLS

  28. HangsUpsFromWayBack says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    The”thump thump” of the bass rattlled my windows, it ran too late and some of the concert goers were pissing and barfing in front of my house, empty beer cans and liquor bottles littered the street.

    Wow long…You should try dealing with State line Mad,Mad,Mad World New Years Bang your drum against my window crowds.
    Never ceases to amaze me what loaded(booze)people do on New years, I’ve dealt with many INSAIN CRAZES OVER 41 years,peeing on my snow man,taking his cheap sun glasses,kids so horny making love on the trunk my parked car,crying loves gone bad,Violence just because that’s where it ended up after peace ,love, left for warmer Crib.

    I always wonder what happen every year, be smart don’t back you cars or nice pick ups looking toward street, we get a lot crazes tossing beer bottles at windshields.

    PEACE .

  29. Dogula says - Posted: December 26, 2012

    You’re right, Hang-ups. Young and newly liberated from parental influence makes for wild, fun, painful times.
    Kids can be thoughtless when they’re involved in it. Last year with the milder conditions, most survived with just the usual hangovers. This year, with the snow and cold, I hope they manage to be prepped for it and don’t get frostbite, or pass out and freeze to death somewhere.
    Keep track of your buddies.

  30. snoheather says - Posted: December 27, 2012

    Triple dog dare.

  31. dunbfounded says - Posted: December 28, 2012

    You’ll put your eye out.

  32. Gia Schrauben says - Posted: December 29, 2012

    I am an Al Tahoe resident and the only time I can hear Snowglobe is when I step outside, which is a slice of heaven compared to last year! The bass is not shaking my windows this year. I give the City and the Snowglobe producers credit, who I believe worked together to bring this event to Tahoe as well as please the residents that are surrounded by this event.

    Nancy Kerry, thanks for the update and great job! I know you have my “back” and my sanity this year.

    Ted how is the noise in your neighborhood?

  33. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: December 29, 2012

    My hope is that Mr. Wendell and those living in his neighborhood are having a much better experience this year.

    It’s COLD out there all you attendees–dress warm, be safe and have fun!

  34. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: December 31, 2012

    How’s everyone doing down in the neighborhoods near LTCC? I can hear it over on Pioneer and Ski Run, but not too bad.

  35. thing fish says - Posted: December 31, 2012

    I went out to check on my lawn to see if any whipper snappers were smoking the devils lettuce on it, and I heard the music. But my lawn was OK.

  36. JoAnn Conner says - Posted: December 31, 2012

    I drove the neighborhoods this evening, about 10pm, after spending another night at SnowGlobe. I drove with my windows down, stopped, listened, and heard nothing. I was on Ski Run, back by Fairway, up Glenwood, around on Al Tahoe, Pioneer Village, drove down Black Bart and up behind and around the area by STPUD. Also drove up into Montgomery Estates, and all around Sierra Tract, particularly on O’Malley, an area that registered the most complaints last
    I have personally heard from a large number of residents and talked to business owners. Residents weren’t complaining, they were positive. Businesses from Stateline to the Y were, for the most part, experiencing increases in sales. One said “My business is up more than it has been in five years for this time of year.” The “Globers” I talked to ranged from college age to senior citizens to families with young children. All were polite and the merchants said they were nice to deal with.

  37. Aaron says - Posted: January 3, 2013

    It was a success this year and events like this have my support provided they continue to respect the residents. However, that said, making light of a very stressful three days last year, as a journalist, left a bad taste in my mouth.