Snowball Music Festival 2012: Day One.
Avon is a family-oriented town. Walking through its streets, you wouldn’t expect to find a music festival packing 12,000 womp-womp bassheads, bundled hipsters and new-age hippies. Yet the second-annual Snowball Music Festival could not have been set in a more beautiful and scenic venue; surrounded by mountain ranges and fresh powder, with an average of 26 degrees each night to kick off on Friday, March 2.
This line-up was stacked with genres ranging from glitch-hop to indie, dubstep to moombah, jam to hip-hop and everything in between. The first act I caught was in the Groove Tent, and that being the glitchin and jammin styles of Gramatik. Their set was on point, being more glitchy and dubby than what I expected, not hearing anything from their Beatz & Pieces Vol. 1 album, my personal favorite.
Next up was none other than South Africa’s MartyParty. This crazy jumping bean went buck wild behind his controller, cheesin’ like a kindergartner on picture day.
His set was full of a lot of originals, keeping to that MartyParty “purple” sound that he is known for. He was bustin’ out bangers left and right, all while slow-humping his MIDI controller behind the table.
I ran over to the Main Stage, where all you could hear was Jamaican voices screaming over the microphone, introducing Major Lazer. They brought the noise, and the support on stage put on a phenomenal show! His MCs kept the crowd going bonkers, and the dancers amazed everyone with their ass clappin’ moves.
About halfway through his set, the dancehallers grabbed this red-cheeked, awkward white boy from the crowd to dance on stage with them. One of the dancing girls bent over and started to dagger him across the stage, and you could tell by the priceless look on his face he had no idea what was going on.
He played originals, including “Original Don,” but the crowd went crazy once “Pon de Floor” dropped, with girls grinding on anything and everything up in the front.
After all that Jamacian fever, I headed over to the Heat Hut to check out Hollogramz. This duo was bringing it, but unfortunately to a mostly empty tent as Major Lazer drew everyone over to catch the ridiculousness. Their sound is sort of spacey-chill dub with some funky grooves. They wrapped up their set with an “I can’t stop” remix, pumpin’ up the crowd for SuperVision.
This was one of my most anticipated artists to see at Snowball, and he did not let me down. This PLM artist reminded me why I love his music, mixing all on Serato with a mixer and only one vinyl deck. None of this sync bullshit. He played a lot from his album Telescopic, including his hit “Arcane” and “Yes Indeedy.” He dropped a dope-as-fuck remix of “Stand Up” by Ludacris, adding a hint of thug life to his set.
Speaking of thugs, right about this time Big Boi came up on the Main Stage, drawing both a huge crowd and cloud of smoke. Now, I caught a little bit of Big Boi back last year during Bonnaroo!, but his set this time was a lot more clean. You could hear every word he said, and he wasn’t obnoxiously drowned out by the DJ. Almost every circle of friends in the crowd busted out their blunts and sparked up, bouncing to old school Outkast hits like “Ms. Jackson” and “Sweet Caroline.” He also threw in some of my favorites, such as “Ghetto Music” and “Bombs over Baghdad.”
Right about now, the sun went down and shit started to get cold with the temperature chillin in the mid to low teens. I shouldn’t have to tell you my dick was a freeze pop at this point, but it didn’t matter because the Groove Tent was packed to the max for MiMIOSA. People stood flooding out back of the tent all the way to the bar behind it. Some people snuck inside through holes in the side. Even with a press pass, it was nearly impossible to get up front.
MiMOSA dropped a lot of rap remixes, from Lil’ Wayne to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Niggas In Paris,” which had almost the whole crowd singing along. Every girl started shakin’ dat ass when he mixed “Ass,” all the while sippin’ on a hundo bottle of Petron with some dope white boy swag.
“Colorado make some noise! I can’t hear you make some fucking noise!” he screamed to the crowd, and If MiMOSA asks he shall receive with a roar.
After MiMOSA’s set, everyone rushed the main stage when they heard, “Who’s ready for some dubstep aerobics?!”
It was time for Rusko. He had great energy, pumping up the crowd at first with “Superbad” and yelling at everyone, “It reeks of weed out here Colorado, I love you for it!”
Then he dropped one of my favorites “Cockney Thug” and later “Stars Come Out,” but in the middle he would pull random songs out and mix right from house to filthy dub, with no build up or structure in between, which was a little disappointing. He dropped his latest single, “Somebody to Love,” mixed it into drum and bass, and from there had another remix of it, which I can dig.
The production team of Snowball released a few dozen, giant white balloons that looked like snowballs, bouncing all over the crowd. He dropped his classic, “Hold On,” which was foreseeable, but I didn’t expect (or need) two more mixes of it back-to-back. It might just be me hating, but I’m not a huge fan of hearing the same song being remixed for 10 minutes straight, unless I’m at the point of not knowing whom the fuck I am.
The night ended at 10 p.m., which was a problem throughout the whole weekend. Each night you had about 12,000 beyond fucked up kids let loose on the streets of Avon, letting the police skim the crowd for easy pickings. There were 143 SnowBall arrests out of 12,000 patrons. That’s 1 for every 85 people who attended, which is ridiculous.
Speaking of ridiculous, the SnowBall Express Shuttle Service was also something of a shock. The cost for the service was $45, but seemed worthless, as it was highly unorganized. People were sneaking on using other friends’ passes, and some of the bus drivers didn’t even know where the after party venues were.
When it was time to leave the late nights, the buses were “supposed” to come back and pick people up until 2 a.m. However, it stranded many, even when waiting for the bus around 1:30 a.m. A lot of people had to call cabs at about $50 each, and most didn’t show until 3 a.m. This would be fine in other areas, but not when you’re in the mountains of Colorado. But it was their second year. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes.