SnowGlobe Hopes To Keep Rocking Lake Tahoe

SnowGlobe Music Festival founder Chad Donnelly met with the South Lake Tahoe City Council Aug. 15 to make his case for signing a long-term contract to host the annual winter event in the California resort city. 

The EDM-heavy festival, which began in 2011, is scheduled to take place on Dec. 29-31 at Lake Tahoe Community College campus’ athletics field. SnowGlobe’s current contract runs through 2018. 

The proposed contract Donnelly presented is a 10-year lease agreement, starting in 2019, with two five-year extensions.

City Manager Nancy Kerry pointed out that the city would continue to have annual reviews so “there is always an out clause if the measures are not met,” according to Lake Tahoe News.

SnowGlobe Music Festival
– SnowGlobe Music Festival

If South Lake Tahoe agrees to the new contract, Donnelly is offering to nix the city’s annual $50,000 contribution, which consists of a $25,000 sponsorship and $25,000 for services reimbursement, according to the proposal documents posted on the city of South Lake Tahoe’s website. This would take effect with the 2017 edition.

SnowGlobe said it will also make an upfront investment of $25,000 to an entity of South Lake Tahoe’s choice upon signing of the contract, as well as contribute an “increasing amount of money per ticket sold to the City of South Lake Tahoe over 2017-2028.”

SnowGlobe is offering to begin by donating 50 cents per ticket sold in 2017, working its way up to $1.25 per ticket by 2026.

Based on SnowGlobe’s financial projections, which is dependent on increasing the number of three-day tickets sold from 20,000 to 27,000 by 2024, festival organizers estimate that “the total projected direct cash contribution from SG to SLT during the life of the agreement is $295,000 and total economic benefit to the City of SLT of $895k over the life of the contract.”

Snowglobe touted the economic impact it has already had on the community since launching seven years ago, with “$14,000,000 in annual net economic impact.” The 2016 event brought in $52,000 in sales tax and more than $403,000 in hotel tax to the city of South Lake Tahoe.

Donnelly also promised to “address noise and trash complaints and invest in protection for the Community Play Field, the new home of the festival,” according to South Tahoe Now.  

As for criticism about how long it took to remove equipment and outhouses from the college campus after the 2016 event, Donnelly vowed during the meeting that it wouldn’t be a problem again. A previous report from Lake Tahoe News noted that city officials and the promoter said that heavy snow the day after the festival concluded prevented Snowglobe from immediately wrapping up its clean-up efforts.  

A vote about the contract will take place at an upcoming council meeting, with SLT City Manager Nancy Kerry presenting a new contract including proposals from the Aug. 15 meeting, according to South Tahoe Now. The publication points out that the Lake Tahoe Community College “would still need to be a partner with bus drop off areas and parking on the campus.” The college board of trustees plans to discuss the festival’s future on Aug. 29, Lake Tahoe News reported.

“SnowGlobe is honored to host our event in such a stunning setting, and we are incredibly grateful to the City of South Lake Tahoe for the opportunity each year,” Donnelly told Pollstar. “An extended multi-year permit would allow us to continue improving and evolving the festival.  As always, SnowGlobe remains committed to being collaborative partners with the city and the community, which includes understanding concerns, adjusting operations where we can, and giving back to this community that, after six years here, we are grateful to feel part of.” 

The lineup for the 2017 festival hasn’t been announced yet but the allotment of presale tickets have already been snatched up. Ticket sales will resume again in September.

Last year’s festival featured The Chainsmokers, Big Gigantic, Flume, Lil Uzi Vert, RL Grime and more.

As part of the proposed contract, SnowGlobe requested event exclusivity for its genres within the city of South Lake Tahoe. During the meeting the council agreed to “60 days before and after SnowGlobe, but not the whole year,” South Tahoe Now reported.