The SnowBall Music Festival 2013 survival guide

Britt Chester
For more photos, visit our Snowball 2012 slide show.

The third edition of the annual SnowBall Music Festival kicks off tomorrow night in Winter Park. Seasoned veterans that we are, we've put together an exhaustive survival guide for you to ensure that you have the best possible experience and don't become a human popsicle. We know what to bring, how much to bring and what not to bring, as we've weathered the storm since the beginning and know all to well the perils of wet socks, under dressing and breathing into hands to attempt to thaw them out. We've also got the full line up and set times for the fest and the drop on the after parties. Continue on to get the drop.

See also:
- SnowBall Music Festival's organizers on how it came together and what inspired it
- SnowBall Music Festival 2012: Day 1 travelogue
- SnowBall Music Festival 2012: Day 2 travelogue

If the idea of standing outside in the cold and snow sounds positively unappealing to you, either you're not from Colorado or you're new here. Whatever the case, don't let any of that dissuade you from heading up to the mountains for the aptly named SnowBall Music Festival in Winter Park. We're pretty sure that the exposure won't faze you amid all the great music you'll be, er, exposed to at the third annual edition of the festival. An avalanche of talent is lined up for the three-day fest: Pretty Lights, STS9, Big Gigantic, Porter Robinson, Kendrick Lamar, Portugal. The Man, Flying Lotus, Polica, Japandroids, Surfer Blood and much more.



  • Festival pass (bracelet, hard tickets)
  • Identification (license, state issued ID, passport)
  • Cash (for convenience and so you can avoid ATM fees)
  • Cell phone (don't lose your friends)
  • Keys (don't lose these in the snow, you will not find them)


  • Camera*
  • Glow sticks (any amount will do)
  • Rage stick (great for locating your group of friends)
  • Sealed water bottles (2)
  • Hand warmers (3) pairs
  • Empty camel back
  • Backpack (Be ready for this to be searched upon entry)

* If you don't have media access, make sure your camera does not have an interchangeable lens.


  • Socks (3) pairs
  • Thermal Underwear (1 set)
  • Pants (jeans, Carhartt, fleece lined works best)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeve shirts (2)
  • Hooded sweat shirt (2)
  • Ski pants (1)
  • Winter coat (1)
  • Scarf (1)
  • Gloves (1 pair)
  • Beanie (1)
  • Sunglasses (1)
  • Boots (1) pair
  • Shoes (2) pairs
  • Underwear (4) pairs

Additional notes:

Festival Pass: This might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised. In all your haste to head up up to the hills, you don't want to forget your tickets. Seriously. Double and triple check. Forget 'em, and you'll be that guy. Don't be that guy. Not to mention, it's a bit of a haul back to Denver.

Packing When packing, think about the kind of attire that would be appropriate for chilling with penguins or polar bears and bring that. You'll be in the mountains where the chance of snow is, well, high. Although that pair of snow boots doesn't really match your furry boot covers, practicality always trumps style, especially when it comes to braving the cold. Last year, it snowed several times during the festival, all while the big acts were hosting the main stage. Wear warm clothes, and don't go cheap on the fleece. Trust us: No matter how much you might love Pretty Lights, Kendrick Lamar or STS9, wearing ice cubes for shoes doesn't help you dance any better.

Parking: Parking is one of those things that typically works best when you approach it with the mindset of Clarke W. Griswold: "First in. First out." If you happen to find a good parking spot, hold onto that thing for dear life.

Stay Hydrated: Finally, and this is probably the most critical thing to remember: Stay hydrated! We repeat: Stay hydrated! Again, you will be in the mountains at a notably high elevation, so staying hydrated is of the utmost importance to stave off altitude sickness and keep enjoying the festival to the fullest.


This is pretty simple, actually: Think of SnowBall as an airplane and the ticket lines as TSA staff: If you wouldn't bring it on a plane, don't bring it to SnowBall. Pretty simple. Don't bring any weapons, drugs or outside food or drink. Camelback and Nalgene bottles will be not be permitted, and you certainly can't bring any glass. If you have a license to sell anything, don't, and leave promo fliers and such at home. And, again, unless you're media, don't even consider bringing your DSLR camera or any kind of audio recording devices.


  • Weapons, fireworks, knives
  • Outside food or drink, this includes alcohol
  • Illegal substances or drug paraphernalia
  • Coolers, flasks, glass
  • Lawn or camping furniture
  • Umbrella
  • Pets (service animals permissible)
  • Audio/Visual recording devices
  • Lawn or camping furniture
  • Umbrella
  • Large/Framed backpack
  • Any form of personal transportation (skis, snowboard, scooter, skateboard)
  • Water guns/laser pointers
  • Chain wallets (leave those in 1996)
  • Instruments of any kind

Keep reading for ticket info and the complete lineup/set times for the festival and the after parties.

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