South Lake Tahoe City Council to consider 5-year agreement with SnowGlobe
City Council will consider a new special event agreement with SnowGlobe that could keep the electronic music festival in the city for at least five years.
Among the changes in the proposal, the new agreement eliminates the city’s subsidy for the event and requires compliance with Tahoe Regional Planning Agency noise regulations, which could mean a 10 p.m. shutdown time for all three days.
A safety deposit and performance bond requirement to protect the community playfield are included in the proposal as well.
City staff have been in negotiations with SnowGlobe — an MTV-owned, three-day music festival staged at Lake Tahoe Community College during the last three days of the year — since January.
As noted in January during a recap of the 2018 festival, the event made many improvements, particularly in the area of sound mitigation — a point reiterated in a staff report detailing the changes in this year’s agreement.
“While sound mitigation remained the greatest concern for citizens, efforts to monitor and manage sound were greatly improved over previous years.”
Although some of the festival’s staunches critics recognized the improvements at the January recap, they reiterated their calls to find a different venue for the festival, ideally one that is not surrounded by residential neighborhoods.
The proposed agreement does include a provision requiring SnowGlobe to work in good faith with the city to try and identify a suitable alternative location.
“City staff will be working to identify a safe location that preserves the appeal of SnowGlobe, preserves the positive economic impact in our community, and that further minimizes noise impacts on the community,” states the staff report.
On the subject of sound mitigation, the agreement states that the festival will comply with TRPA sound regulations detailed in the Bijou/Al Tahoe Area Plan.
Those regulations, as currently written, would require the festival to shutdown at 10 p.m. each night. Typically the festival has continued until midnight, with the final night on New Year’s Eve extending past midnight into New Year’s Day.
The staff report notes that the city is working with SnowGlobe and TRPA to try and find an alternative strategy that would allow the festival to continue to 12:30 a.m. on the final day of the festival.
“It is in both the City’s interest (in order to prevent large congregations in the Stateline area at midnight) and SnowGlobe’s interest (for economic and broadcast reasons) for the event to continue at least until slightly after midnight, and alternative strategies will continue to be considered. It certainly seems reasonable for any New Year’s Eve event in any community to continue until slightly after midnight.”
The agreement also eliminates the $35,000 subsidy previously paid by the city. Instead the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority will pay that amount, which SnowGlobe views as a sponsorship fee.
The agreement is for five years, with a mutual option for a five year extension.
City Council’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Lake Tahoe Airport, 1901 Lisa Maloff Way (Airport Road).