The SnowGlobe Music Festival is one step closer to returning to the South Shore this December.
The Lake Tahoe Community College board of trustees agreed Tuesday night to continue working with event promoters of the three-day music series that takes place over New Year’s Eve weekend.
“We’ll move forward to work with the city to negotiate a contract that ensures the college costs are covered and that we have an opportunity to educate a safe and responsible event,” LTCC President Kindred Murillo said Tuesday at the meeting.
Those costs include potential long-term damage to the playing field at the college where the concerts take place. Options to cover the field during the series will cost about $250,000 while replacement would cost about $750,000, according to South Lake Tahoe City Manager Nancy Kerry.
Though the field needs to be replaced shortly regardless of whether the festival returns, SnowGlobe does shorten its life span, Kerry said Tuesday. Damage from the previous two years includes a couple of burn spots, trash and a gouge from an event truck.
“Taxpayers in my opinion have paid for a field to play, they didn’t pay for a field to have an event. So I think there’s a concern there of how we’re going to address the long-term replacement costs of that field,” Kerry said.
Kerry also said SnowGlobe Event Producer Chad Donnelly has requested $100,000 each year plus a five-year contract from the South Shore community to bring the event back. Last year, SnowGlobe paid the city and the college about $50,000 to hold the event in South Lake Tahoe.
According to Kerry, the business community voiced firm support of the event and could provide some of the requested funding.
“It was so wildly successful from various perspectives that it’s been courted by other communities and they have paid to bring the event. And that’s not uncommon for a big event such as this,” Kerry said. “There was a lot of significant change from the first year … We often don’t see something that went so bad turn around and be so good.”
Donnelly estimates that the event generates about $5 million of revenue for the community, according to Kerry. An economic study from the event producer that details those economic benefits is due next Friday, she said.
Some LTCC board members expressed a desire to educate concertgoers on potential dangers of the event. Several people alluded to the death of Alyssa Byrne, a 19-year-old SnowGlobe attendee who died of “probable hypothermia” after leaving the concert venue. The autopsy also cited multiple psychoactive drugs as “significant conditions” in her death, according to a previous Tahoe Daily Tribune article.
“I think it’s part of our strategic goal, our longterm planning, to build on partnerships. It’s an opportunity but it’s an opportunity to also throw in a little education and marketing for a safe and responsible event. Put in something to try and prevent accidents and put an education element into it,” LTCC board clerk Roberta Mason said Tuesday.