The SnowGlobe Music Festival could become a staple of South Shore’s New Year’s celebrations.
On Tuesday the South Lake Tahoe City Council directed city staff to negotiate a multi-year contract with promoters of the three-day music festival, despite concerns over impacts to the playfield next to Lake Tahoe Community College where the event is held.
SnowGlobe representatives have said they are being courted to move the festival to the North Shore and have asked for a five-year contract with the city, a waiver of all city facility rental fees and financial support from the city and business community to keep the event at the South Shore, according to a staff report by City Manager Nancy Kerry.
“This is a great event,” Kerry said Tuesday. “We don’t want to lose it to the North Shore.”
SnowGlobe promoter Chad Donnelly said during a Tuesday phone interview that several cities have approached him about taking the event elsewhere, but he hopes to keep the event at the South Shore. Two Colorado communities where Donnelly promotes the SnowBall Music Festival contribute about $115,000, Donnelly said.
“We started this in South Lake Tahoe for a reason and our priority is to call South Lake Tahoe for many years to come.”
Although council members expressed concerns with impacts to the playfield from the event, each council member said they felt the electronic dance music festival is a good fit for the city.
Councilwoman JoAnn Conner said the council should protect the playing fields, while also encouraging the festival to return.
“I think it’s a good event for our town,” Conner said. “We need to pursue everything we can to keep it.”
“I’d hate to see us lose SnowGlobe,” Councilwoman Angela Swanson said. “I do believe it’s an economic engine.”
In addition to allowing staff to enter negotiations with promoters, the council asked for more information on what fees are appropriate for an event of SnowGlobe’s size, as well as the financial benefits the festival brings to city. Rough estimates put spending from concert attendees at $5 million.
Kerry said she also plans to talk to the business community to see what kind of sponsorships are possible for the festival, as well as seek hard numbers from SnowGlobe about the festival’s economic impact.
The playfield will need to be replaced in the coming years regardless of whether the festival returns, Kerry said Tuesday. The field has had issues since its construction and the contractor on the project has since gone out of business, Councilman Hal Cole said. Donnelly said he would be happy to look into a possible donation to the city for maintenance of the playfield.
Options to cover the field during the festival start at $250,000, with replacement costing up to $750,000, Kerry said in the staff report.
In other council news
The council approved rules regulating events at Lakeview Commons Tuesday. Although a previous draft of the rules caused concern among the promoters of popular events at the newly remodeled El Dorado Beach facilities, no protests were made Tuesday. Rob Giustina, the promoter of the Live at Lakeview Thursday night concert series said he was hopeful the concerts would return this summer and thanked the council for working with promoters on the rules.