Guest column: It’s been 7 years of SnowGlobe, can you turn it down? (opinion)
January 11, 2018
As many of you know I am vocal critic of SnowGlobe. Well after another year I feel like it's kind of tradition for me to write my letter and vent about the event.
I will preface this letter with a reminder that I am not against events in the area. I just want events to be at a proper venue and I want them to not shake the walls of my house.
Days before SnowGlobe I reached out the City Council to try to get them to turn down the bass. There were numerous articles that they were expecting louder than usual sound and I thought maybe I could get a jump on it and talk some sense into the people involved.
I was fortunate enough to acquire a meeting with Nancy Kerry and Tom Davis (they were the only ones to reply) to express my frustrations about the event. They offered to pick me up where I live and give me a tour of the event.
During this meeting I found out that they refer the area where I live as "the war zone." This term was used more than once. For them to know that the noise/bass is overwhelming for this area and do nothing shows very poor leadership. The utter disregard for the residents of Pioneer Village was really surprising.
I asked if they could turn it down and was told that at one point in the past they turned it down 20 percent and it did nothing. So I asked them if they could turn it down more. They said if they turn it down more then it doesn't have the impact that the artist or the concert goers want. What about the residents?
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I asked what the long-term plan was for the event. Any chance of it being moved to a proper venue? They said it's staying in its present location. What about the disruption to our area, surrounding areas and the wildlife center that's going in? (Yeah, I played the cute animal card.)
I asked why it keeps growing and why it has moved closer to the road/my house when it has been controversial from the first time. Blank stares.
I mentioned a well run event is held at a proper venue and that it is also courteous to its neighbors. This event does neither. More blank stares.
A well run, well placed event doesn't cause this much controversy within the community.
I offered for both Nancy and Tom to stay at my place for the three days that the event ran and was promptly told no.
I'll just mention that there is a bunch of VHR's next to me. I think the people who OK SnowGlobe should stay there during the event.
At one point Tom Davis asked me if he should call Harvey's to complain because he can hear their music in the summer. Really? That's your response to my complaint, deflection.
Now on top of all the existing issues over the last few years the community now has to deal with a road closure and it slowly taking over Bijou park.
So just to recap … the event has been controversial and disruptive from the first time, it's in a spot that is not conducive for an event like this, it disrupts many surrounding neighborhoods with noise even though we have continuously requested they turn it down. And now we have it growing and closing our roads.
I find it a bit amusing that the city and the people who put on this event get surprised when you point out that they are putting a round peg into a square hole. "Ya know, it just doesn't fit there. It's a nice peg but it doesn't fit the space."
This morning I read that Lake Tahoe Community College wants to distance itself from the event. I ask "How can this event move forward without the cooperation from LTCC." Will it want more of Bijou park?
I also read that the city wants to mitigate the sound. Tom and Nancy had mentioned a soundcloud technology when I met with them, but they also freely admitted it would not help with the bass issue.
There were also statements that the city thought it was better than years past. It wasn't. At times the bass was as bad or worse than years past. Add in the additional fireworks and road closure, I would have to say it got worse. (Really? Fireworks in the middle of a forest?)
I will say that the clean up/breakdown has been better than in the past.
Some people have said I should compromise. I reply, are they compromising with me? I asked them to put it in a proper location, I asked them to turn it down. I got an event that grew bigger, moved closer to my house and is still rattling the walls of my house.
It's been seven years and we constantly ask them to turn it down. It's a constant valid complaint from more people than just me.
I'll say it again: It's been seven years and we want you to turn it down.
If you eliminate the bass that invades people's houses you might find most of us tolerable to the event.
Now I have come up with another compromise. I am asking the city and/or SnowGlobe to pay to relocate me and my family to a VHR in the county for the three days the event runs. (Look I know a lot of you are laughing at this request but that is where I am at with the noise/bass level.) You have my email. I await your response.
Again, have your fun, listen to your music, make some money, bring people to the area, but be courteous to your neighbors and act accordingly for the area you occupy.
PS: You want to hear a crazy thought, all of this SnowGlobe fiasco could have been avoided if the City had required a completion/surety/performance bond when they OK'd the convention center.
John Spinola is a South Lake Tahoe resident.