As I boarded the plane leaving Reno, I looked up at the snow-dusted mountains and thought to myself how funny it was to be jumping from one snow dusting to more snow covered mountains.
The weather for Winter Park, where Snowball 2013 called home, predicted some true Colorado cold and some Rocky Mountain snowfall. While the potential of teen temperatures reminded me how warm I needed to dress for the festival; my ski junkie heart hoped for a little infamous champagne powder.
Upon arrival in Denver I met up with my old friends and roommates for a mellow afternoon. We headed up to Winter Park Friday morning for some skiing before joining in on the festivities of the weekend long music festival. While there was no fresh snow yet, the conditions were wonderful. The snow was crisp and the sun was warm.
Winter Park Ski Resort
We checked into our condo and headed out to SnowBall 2013 for day 1. The venue was set at a snow packed park within the general area of Winter Park/Frasier. They had great public transportation set up so people from all over—since it is not exactly a cityscape—could easily and safely get to and from the venue. Once you made your way through security and had you wristband scanned for entry you faced an open space that housed, among other accommodations, three locations for music. The main stage, the groove tent, and the ballroom. Within these three locations Snowball hosted music for nine hours each day. The festival itself featured over 50 performances and after parties to boot for those of us that we were not done dancing and groovin’.
The quality of the sound on the main stage was better the closer to the middle of the stage you were able to remain, but overall the quality of music and crowd accommodation was well done. Each night finished off with fireworks and plenty of locations to see the same artists from the festival or ones you missed.
Saturday, the middle day of the festival, brought on the coldest temperatures and the most dangerous conditions. I say dangerous conditions because while it was only slightly warmer on Friday; the warmth made the snow soft, which then led to basically a sheet of ice for Saturday and Sunday. Straw was spread out to help curb the amount of people who fell but in some ways it was beyond inevitable. Another credit I must give the event grew who put on this amazing festival was decent credit for the bathroom situation. While there is nothing glorifying about portable toilets; having enough of them and maintaining them on a regular basis definitely helps.
The Groove Tent
The weekend resulted in the discovery of some great new music and the reinforcement of my love for some I already knew. From the jam band sessions of Orchard Lounge in the ball room to the unique sound of STS9 on the main stage I can overall say I would be sure to attend another SnowBall.