Combining life’s two greatest pleasures, beats and snowboarding, Colorado’s beautiful Vail Valley was transformed into a snow-glazed Coachella last weekend at the first annual Snowball Festival. Enticing music lovers was a wide range of artists and genres, including the crowd-drawing indie band Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, west coast dubstep stars Bassnectar and 12th Planet, and the world’s most banging electro by Diplo and Porter Robinson. Also in attendance came the notorious Canadian duo Zeds Dead and the ever-stimulating Pretty Lights.
Ruling the performances on Friday came none other than Denver, Colorado’s very own Derek Smith, best known as the aforementioned Pretty Lights. Rocking the final show on the mainstage like a crazed native, Derek’s set stood out as one of this best performances to date as he lead the crowd like he owned the place. Preceding his set on the Groove stage was some bass-heavy carnage with four back to back sets by Porter Robinson, Zeds Dead, 12th Planet, and Major Lazer’s Diplo. All I can say is I’m glad to have survived the deafening massacre.
Consuming the crowd Saturday was none other than the villainous Bassnectar. Doing what he does best, the San Franciscan shook the ground with his banging drops and gave us a taste of what he’s been up to since Wildstyle. The second day also welcomed some fresh sounds including an innovative iPad set by Paper Diamond and a new artist named Alex Botwin who was recently signed to Pretty Lights Music.
Topping off the festival was an explosive performance by Oklahoma’s The Flaming Lips. Standing out with the event’s trippiest psychedlic intro, the crowd grew wild when the leader singer Wayne Coyne crowd surfed in an inflated transparent ball.
Overall, the Snowball Festival delivered far more than you would expect for a promoter’s first gig. Throwing down unforgettable acts for three days straight, this event more than doubled its perceived worth.