Know before you SnowGlobe: From what to bring to getting there, surviving the annual music festival |

Know before you SnowGlobe: From what to bring to getting there, surviving the annual music festival

Signs are essential at SnowGlobe Music Festival.
Autumn Whitney / Tahoe Daily Tribune

The biggest music event of the year is back.

SnowGlobe 2018 officially starts Saturday, Dec. 29.

The three-day electronic music festival, known as The Chillest Festival Ever (literally and figuratively), showcases the talents of over 50 musicians. This year’s headliners include Above & Beyond, Diplo, Eric Prydz, Rezz and RL Grime.

Apart from the music, there’s also the Big Air Exhibition, which features a mix of snowsport athletes.

With so much on the lineup, it can be overwhelming. And when you’re overwhelmed, crucial preparation typically goes out the window.

Take a deep breath, relax and check out these crucial tips for ensuring you’re prepared to have the best time possible.

What to wear

People often forget that Tahoe is cold. You’ll need at least six pairs of pants, three sweatshirts and a heavy jacket to maintain the standard 98.6-degree body temp. Please don’t forget ear-warmers, beanies and scarves, either. Might as well throw a bandana into the mix, too.

Make sure the layers are all as flamboyantly colored as possible — it’s an unspoken competition over who has the most vibrant and outlandish costume. If you have an animal print onesie, this is a chance to wear it.

There’s an app for that

Wondering when and on what stage Hex Cougar is performing? In need of a map to help you navigate the grounds? Relax. SnowGlobe has its very own app for Apple and Android. The app has everything you need to know, including set times, stage schedule, a site map and real-time updates.

However, make sure to look everything up before venturing out. Why? Because cell service is notoriously horrible on busy weekends in Tahoe. Your cell phone is pretty much going to be an expensive camera unless you’re on a private WiFi network.

Pro tip: Open the app and take screenshots before heading out.

Get there

Remember what we said about wireless service during busy times? Yeah, if you’re planning on using Uber or Lift … you better have a backup plan.

SnowGlobe offers a shuttle service, available at low cost, for all three days of the festival. Purchase a shuttle pass and learn more about the shuttle routes at

SnowGlobe also has a limited amount of off-site parking available at South Tahoe Middle School. However, spots must be reserved in advance. Visit for information and to reserve a spot.

The signs

Does anyone really know why this is a music festival staple? Like the outfit, make sure your sign is as strange as possible. Relate it to your favorite SnowGlobe performer or a cult classic movie for brownie points. Pro tip: Place a large cardboard cutout atop a tall stick, so you can block at least 16 people’s views of the stage.

We’re not sure if there’s an exact science that supports this claim, but we believe creative signs are sure to make you some new friends.

What to bring

Apart from the outrageous signs, other SnowGlobe must-haves include a water bottle or CamelBak (stay hydrated, people — you’re at altitude) and hand sanitizer. There are on-site water stations, so don’t stress about rations.

As far as the hand sanitizer goes, trust us: You’ll want it for when you have to use the porta potties.

What not to bring

Equally important is “what not to bring.”

While music festival culture has deep ties to mind-altering substances (brown acid … Woodstock … anyone) drugs are strictly prohibited at SnowGlobe. There is a strict zero-tolerance policy at the festival.

“Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you are found intoxicated at entry, security will not allow you to enter the festival site,” per SnowGlobe.

Other prohibited items include: e-cigarettes or vapes; aerosol cans; emotional support alligators; bouncy castles; phonographs; nunchucks; drones; laser pointers; your g-bong (or any paraphernalia); your case of Natty Ice (or outside food/drinks).

Head to for a full (and serious) list of prohibited and allowable items.

There you have it — with these tips for success, you’re sure to smoothly sail through SnowGlobe.

SnowGlobe Music Festival is held at the Community Playfields located at 1 College Way in South Lake Tahoe.

Learn more about the event online at

Autumn Whitney and Ryan Hoffman contributed to this story, which was originally published Dec. 29, 2017. It has been updated to include details pertinent to SnowGlobe 2018.

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