Diplo, Pretty Lights thaw night one of Snowball Music Festival, 3/4/11
Photo Britt Chester
Pretty Lights • Diplo • Zed's Dead
12th Planet • LazerDisk Part Sex
03.04.11 | Vail Valley
If there was one thing the organizers of the Snowball Music Festival took into consideration, it was the time management with transitions between artists. Everything on that end ran smooth and record rates. If there was one thing the organizers did not take into consideration, well, that was the weather.
Freezing temperatures in the Vail Valley, however, did not seem to deter festival-goers, but it probably did give a few people a lesson in how to dress for the occasion.
Owing to traffic on I-70, along with a group of mostly disorganized twenty-somethings who think "packing appropriate" is a snowboard bag with some spare socks, I didn't arrive at the festival until late on Friday evening. I walked in just as Zeds Dead was finishing up in the Groove Tent, which could be referred to as the Sweat Lodge (at first, I thought the water that dripped on my camera lens was from the outside, but it was, in fact, the tent sweating profusely from the enormous mass of bodies packed inside.)
At the close of ZD, the tent unpacked relatively easily, revealing the mud pit in which we were all standing that came up to my shoelaces. No, I did not pack a pair of boots. No, I did not bring the right socks. The squish of each step was only complemented by the lining of ice that ran around the tent, giving way to some awkwardly hilarious falls from unsuspecting, careless fans. The lack of heat in the tent allowed for them to cool off rather quickly at the ends of sets, but that temperature would rise the second an artist would take to the tables.
12th Planet brought the mercury up when he stepped out to play his set. With Diplo on-deck, the tent was shoulder-to-shoulder from front to back, with a large group hemorrhaging out of the VIP area. (Is it really VIP if it's packed full of people? If that's the case, then it's just a blocked off general admission section that some people can't go into.)
Photo Britt Chester
12th Planet kept the heat pumping by occasionally instigating some sort of rebellion with comments like, "make some fucking noise if you paid too much money to come to Snowball!" which would set the crowd off before he would drop another robotic, bass-heavy track.
The Heat Hut is the third tent at Snowball, slightly closer to the main stage, but still tucked away behind a large ice sculpture. It's smaller in size, but with some heat lamps nearby, a much more inviting tent, and less sloppy than the Groove Tent. I walked into Lazerdisk Party Sex -- whose name was listed on the flier as "Lazerdisk Sex Party," a grammatically correct statement, but factually inaccurate. Two storm-trooper helmets, one atop a suited body, the other atop a plaid/casual stature, bobbed in sync on the small stage. Fans were allowed to be closer with no "photo pit," which made this tent just seem to smile better than the Groove.