Snowball 2013, year three, a new location, and a familiar adventure into the cold with ten thousand of fellow festival goers; I feel like I have had embarked on this journey before, but this has a new feel to it. The first thing I noticed when I arrived into Winter Park were the hordes of young, colorful, and truly aimless kids wandering around the streets until the festival opened up. Winter Park doesn’t know what they are in for.
The first night held the promise of best rapper in the game, Kendrick Lamar, and one of the hottest electronic acts, Big Gigantic all in a two and a half hour span, brilliance. Both acts knew exactly why they were on the bill and performed to the highest standard. Earlier in the day other notable acts included local jam band Yam, a sweaty Groove Tent set from RAC, and a California inspired performance from Zion I.
Day two started with a storm that coated the festival grounds with fresh powder and an overcast sky. The stormy day was held tightly together by the music which featured main stage set by Delta Spirit, spirited dance parties in the Groove Tent with Run DMT, Gigamesh, and Teed, as well as energetic sets from indie rockers Polica, Portugal.theMan, and Japandroids. A furious day of stage hopping was finished off by one of Colorado’s biggest acts in recent memory, Pretty Lights. Pretty Lights (Derek Vincent Smith) seemed quite comfortable wrapped in a large parka while putting his decedent high wattage stage show on display to a sold out crowd.
After two days of cold temperatures, heavy snow, and 34 musical acts, the final day of SnowBall 2013 had arrived. Early highlights during the day included Colorado favorite Michal Menert pouring his soul out to an enthusiastic Groove Tent crowd, a soulful and infectiously groovy set from Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and light-fueled performances from producer duos Grizmatik and Flosstradamus. As Sunday slowly slipped into night, Sound Tribe Sector 9 took the main stage for their festival closing performance. STS9 pulled out all the stops and proved why they were the main headliner of the festival with the an impressively well rounded set which seemed to stimulate all of the senses.