ADVENTURER | KYLE YOUNG
Day two of SnowGlobe, day one for my girlfriend Kaitlin and me, began as we pulled up to MontBleu around 6:00 p.m. As Reno locals, we had both worked that day and had to work the following day, so we only planned to watch Flux Pavillion before heading back home. The idea was to conserve energy Tuesday night in preparation for New Year’s Eve the following night. Flux Pavillion started around 7:00 p.m. so we were eager to snag our passes and hop on the shuttle. We piled onto the bus and made it to the festival in less than fifteen minutes.
Our first priority was to check out the press area. The “official” press area was a basic room full of tables to allow journalists to interview artists. Much to our surprise, members of the press also had access to the artist dressing rooms and general lounging area found in the gym. The giant room was full of curtain-clad booths for the artists, couches complete with blankets, cheeky décor, hot coffee, bottled water, mixed nuts, and glorious free beer. Kaitlin and I turned to one another and said, “This is the height of luxury!” After donning our Eskimo gear, we breezed through the VIP line into the festival. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to experience a music festival with the aid of a press pass, jump at the opportunity. Worth it.
Flux Pavillion was set to play on the main stage. He came out in what looked like a letterman’s jacket. I thought, “Ooo, you gonna be cold!” Despite his evident lack of planning with regards to attire, right out the gate, he set the crowd on fire with bass and melody. Immediately upon shuffling our way to a decent vantage point in the back, it soon became clear that I simultaneously felt the height of my age and the pull back toward adolescence.It crossed my mind, “Why has jumping up and down superseded actual dancing?” This thought further plunged me into the realization that my desire to rage has waned since college. I thought, "Can't you move your body in a more interesting way?" Directly after came, "Slow your roll, old man. Let the wee babes bounce free, and save your bitters for the Manhattans of yesterday."
The mood and atmosphere were fluid. I filled 40 seconds with rage against the flailers rolling their faces off, moving seamlessly to a smile at the sight of Kaitlin's smile, and ending with a jaw drop in sync with Flux’s auditory slap of a bass drop. As Flux got into the heat of it, my nostrils became immersed in farts, Vick's VapoRub, and weed. The movement of the crowd was somewhere between awkward sexual undulation and the warding off of an Africanized swarm of bees. Flux was a pro at conjuring unusual associations with a backdrop of juxtaposed time-lapse cityscapes, Indonesia, supernovas, landscapes, 90's visualizers, and geometric shapes.
Flux ended his set abruptly at the start of the hypoxic-brained segment of the crowd chanting, “U.S.A.” Awesome British DJs aren’t into drugged out 20-somethings professing their undying love for America. Shocking? Nope. Everyone seemed to be too messed up, not enough, or searching for that sweet spot that would allow for the amplification of beats while muting the less desirable deets. Flux bid us adieu with, “I’ve never been so cold for a set. Happy New Year and good night!” As the herd scattered and shifted for its next desired set, Kaitlin and I made our way back to the shuttles. We swapped mental snapshots of all the cool totems we saw, totems being objects used to identify particular groups. We saw Chinese dragons, giraffes on drugs, frat flags, Adventure Time flags, cacti, pandas, the rising sun, Tina Belcher, and more.
Our day two, the final day of the festival, New Year’s Eve, began with a much different shuttle experience than the night before. This time, we arrived at MontBleu around 5:00pm. Sporting our fifteen layers of clothing, we headed toward the shuttles. “Huh, longer line today. Makes sense,” I said to Kaitlin. Longer could be used to describe the difference between a ruler and meter stick. The difference in shuttle lines between Tuesday and Wednesday was a never-ending anaconda of sloppy, drunk, and obnoxious youths. There were hundreds of us shivering around the building. Eventually, maybe twenty busloads later, we made our way onto the shuttle and off to the festival.
Again, our first stop was the press area. We arrived at the final day of SnowGlobe better, faster, stronger than we were the day before! This go-around, we had the brains to put oxygen-activated hand warmers in our boots. This small life-hack upped our enjoyment and general comfort ten-fold.
We exited the gym just in time to see Zedd. Like the biggest tool in the shed, I said to Kaitlin, “I’m not really into Zedd. He plays the Christian Rock of the EDM world.” I based my conclusion on a handful of Zedd’s recorded singles. Obviously, I had undertaken the proper amount of research before black-balling a DJ as the Creed of the EDM world. As if hearing my unfounded foolishness, Zedd came on stage and immediately began melting my face off. My eyes bounced between onesies and black holes, spirit hoods and the universe on a molecular level, snow boots and unknown dimensions, magnificent bear jackets and the center of the earth, El-wire suits and strobe-licious light storms. There were fireballs being shot into the air at the same intervals as the bass. Bass driven fire balls! I danced and shivered my way through Zedd’s set with a smile plastered to my stupid dome.
After Zedd, we perused the vendor booths a bit. The vendors seemed to primarily be selling overpriced winter merch. The SnowGlobe merch tent had some cool ladies T’s, but nothing eye catching for the gents. Kaitlin and I debated about whether or not to get a poster then, or wait until we were closer to festival departure. Ultimately, I persuaded her that our lives would be ruined if they sold out of the posters, so we bought one on the spot.
Next on the agenda was food. I didn’t have particularly high hopes for the food because I figured the frigid temps would have kept the best of the best at bay. There ended up being what appeared to be decent options: pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, pulled pork, mac n’ cheese, baked beans, slaw, and smoked pork chili. Our vendor of choice sold “Southern Sundaes.” These intriguing creations were composed of a plastic cup layered with pulled pork, mac n’ cheese, and baked beans. About half way through the thirty person line, we heard the food slinger shouting, “No pork! No mac n’ cheese! Cold beans!” Kaitlin and I cursed our timing. We settled on a decision of two chili cups.
We pretty much guzzled our chili, meat chunks falling down our faces, in an attempt to eat while walking toward the main stage to see Atmosphere. Atmosphere, the genius that he is, hopped on stage wearing a black beanie and a gangster, Moscow-ready, snow jacket. About fifteen minutes into his set, the nine degree Fahrenheit weather was shutting Kaitlin’s organs down. She threw in the white flag and headed into the gym while I hung onto Atmosphere’s syllables like a junkie. At the end of his set, I joined Kaitlin in the gym.
Kaitlin capitalized on the free beer and coffee while I got down on the mixed nuts and tea. We knew that Flume was soon to start, but the warmth of the couches and free-ness of the amenities kept us glued to our seats. Before we knew it, Flume was half-way through his set and it was twenty minutes until midnight. We agreed to sack up and rally!
We made it outside just in time to hear a few of Flume’s songs before the fireworks. Holdin’ On blasted, and our booties bounced. Drop the Game dropped and so did our body temperatures. Flume gave us the cookie we were all waiting for seconds before the figurative ball dropped. He played his remix of Lorde’s Tennis Court as fireworks blew the sky up. It was probably the cold, but I would like to believe that the sweet bass-accompanied melodies flowing in unison with the exploding rainbow above triggered orgasmic chills in the totality of the bundled mass. Though his set continued, the end of the fireworks signaled the end of SnowGlobe for 60% of the crowd. We all had one thing on our minds, “Get to the shuttles before the rush.”
The shuttle line at MontBleu at the start of the night and the food lines at the festival paled in comparison to the chaos surrounding the departure zone. I’m pretty sure a full-blown zombie apocalypse would have had more order and courtesy than the exit shuttles leaving 2015 SnowGlobe. We eventually got on a shuttle. We survived, albeit with tanked immune systems and flu symptoms to make Ebola tremble. SnowGlobe is a call, nay, a command to shake what your mother gave you. Whether you’re shaking because of the beats, or shaking to keep your body from succumbing to hypothermia, shake it until you break it. I shook; I broke, and then I tried to settle the feathers for a warmer, quieter New Year’s Day.