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January 2, 2013
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SnowGlobe rings in 2013

Chromeo led the countdown to the new year Monday night in front of a massive, high-energy crowd at the SnowGlobe Music Festival.

"This is just so great. It's awesome. The atmosphere's great and Tahoe's gorgeous," concertgoer Lindsey Wallingford said just hours before 2013 arrived.

And unlike last year's concert series, which caused hundreds of homeowners to call the city with noise complaints, the 2012 SnowGlobe delivered strong performances for attendees while keeping the volume down for the community.

Over the course of the three-day festival, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department received only 6 unique noise complaints, according to Sgt. Jeff Reagan.

That's compared to last year, when the city received about 200 noise complaints from residents who didn't like the event and from others who couldn't take the noise. The complaints represented 2.5 percent of South Lake Tahoe households, former City Manager Tony O'Rourke told the Tribune last January.

The discontent made the city look closely at bringing the event back to the South Shore. The City Council deliberated for about two hours in August before approving a motion to move forward with a second SnowGlobe.

But the decision came with caveats. The council increased the event's security deposit to $50,000 to cover city services, required collaboration between the music series' producers and the community and mitigated sound by reducing the decibel level and rotating the stage. The city also implemented a 10 p.m. curfew every night except Dec. 31.

Those qualifications seemed to have paid off. Not only were noise complaints down, fewer arrests were made.

Police arrested 22 people during the 2011 SnowGlobe. That number shrank to two this year, Reagan said. One arrest was due to public intoxication while the other was theft-related.

Police made 14 arrests total in the casino core during the evening, according to a Douglas County Sheriff's Office press release. Charges included assault, domestic battery, disorderly conduct and illegal alcohol consumption. Crowds at Stateline were much lower than in previous years, a change that Reagan attributes to other venues like SnowGlobe that drew people away from the casinos.

"It was pretty quiet. We put everybody we had out there and everything went great," he said.

City Councilwoman Angela Swanson toured the SnowGlobe site throughout the three days and drove the adjacent neighborhoods as her own sound-check. She said she didn't a single serious complaint and that from what she's witnessed, business is booming.

"Cash registers are ringing and the patrons are cheerful. It seems gloves, boots and hats are a scarce commodity. I have enjoyed the many compliments of the concertgoers for the town. South Lake Tahoe is showing its true colors and giving our guests a warm welcome," she said.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 2, 2013 12:10PM Published Jan 2, 2013 11:50AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.