Snowlive likely an annual event; Wanderlust continues to grow
Reggae singer Matisyahu put his faith in Tahoe’s support when he dove from the bandstand into the crowd at the Crystal Bay Casino. The people did not let him down. Instead, they carried him back to the stage where he continued his performance.
Matisyahu’s acrobatics were displayed during the fourth and final night of Snowlive, which had such enthusiastic support it also is expected to continue. Held two weeks ago, Snowlive probably will become an annual event, according to the organizer who also started Squaw Valley’s Wanderlust Festival.
“We definitely have the intention of bringing it back and making it a yearly thing, and there might be some twists,” said Jeff Krasno.
“We’re very committed to Crystal Bay and to Brent (Harding, its music promoter), but we may think of some creative ways to keep it there but maybe do one in a bigger blowout show somewhere.”
Krasno called Soulive, the trio who were the on-stage hosts each night, the modern day Funk Brothers, which was Motown’s studio band in the 1960s. Each night had a theme and guest artists: reggae with Matisyahu, rock with Luther Dickinson and Anders Osborne, New Orleans with Karl Denson, George Porter Jr. and Ivan Neville.
Soulive this week is the host of the third annual Bowlive, a 10-day event in a Brooklyn, N.Y., bowling alley, a few blocks from Krasno’s office. Soulive is composed of brothers Alan and Neal Evans and Krasno’s younger brother, Eric.
“When they came back from Tahoe, they were super jazzed and said it was one of the best runs they’ve ever had in their lives,” Jeff Krasno said. “They are so suited to backing and collaborating with guests by the nature of who they are and what they do. They can go in so many directions. They can do a hip-hop set, a reggae set and then Dave Matthews will jump up or Derek Trucks or Robert Randolph, and last night Jon Scofield was up and they busted into this country bluegrass jam.”
Three of the four shows in the Crown Room were sellouts, with more than 600 attending each night.
“Tahoe’s been a good market for them over the years, but not 2,400 tickets,” Krasno said. “We’ve gone in one time and have blown to the next level.
“With Bowlive, we don’t even have to announce any guests. People just come and know it’s going to be great. I think in a very short period of time we will be able to establish that with Snowlive. I think by next year people are just going to be buzzing about this thing.”
An East Coast native, Krasno as a child visited his grandfather, who had a home in Truckee. During his time in college, he stayed at Tahoe during summer trips to the California home of his wife, Schuyler Grant. Krasno’s appreciation for Tahoe grew as he and Grant scouted locations for the yoga and music festival to be named Wanderlust, which will be held here this summer for the fourth time.
“The first year was tough getting out of the gates, and it was right in the heart of the worst stage of the recession,” said Krasno, who came to Truckee 34 days before the first Wanderlust in 2009, attending Squaw Valley’s Bluesdays concerts, Truckee Thursdays, the farmers markets and events at Kings Beach. “Me and my oldest daughter hit the road with fliers and posters and a lot of passion. We went to literally every event there was to go to that next month and met so many people. I can’t imagine having the time to ever do that again but I think it resonated in the community and also this incredible love affair for me with the land and the people. I feel a pretty deep connection.”
Wanderlust will be held in four locations this year, but Krasno said Tahoe’s event – July 26-29 – will always be the flagship.
“We’re just going to continue to challenge ourselves and continue to build new things that are interesting and keep it fresh and new,” he said. “This is not an event that’s simple. A lot of big festivals you just set up a couple stages and book a bunch of bands, but this is not that way. It’s very nuanced with lots of smaller micro experiences within the experience, running 15, 20 different venues on the side of the mountain, wine and food and all this yoga.”