SnowBall Music Festival 2014 Review

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BIO: SnowBall music festival moved from their usual ski town environment to the parking lot of Invesco Field At Mile High. The change in venue made it feel like a completely different festival. It was much easier to attend, but the previous SnowBall magic never really showed up.

Name: SnowBall Music Festival
Location: Denver, CO
Dates: April 6th-9th, 2014
Size: 7,000
Lineup: Solid

Stages: SnowBall offered four well done stages. They all featured solid sound (though there were times it could have been louder) and each of them had their own look and feel. One drawback to having the event in a parking lot was that the lighting was pretty awful. There were giant light poles that were really distracting during the evening’s sets.

Crowd: The crowd at SnowBall was much different than in year’s past past years. Previously the crowd was more fired up to be there, because everyone was on vacation together. When SnowBall moved to Denver the vibe changed from a vacation destination to more of your standard city festival where everyone would head after work. With that being said, the SnowBall crowd is still the friendliest one you will ever meet. Colorado people are the best. (I’m from Colorado so I’m biased)

Sponsors: SnowBall did a pretty good job with their sponsors. The best were sponsor was Mike’s Hard Lemonade who created a hangout area complete with hammocks, games and fake grass. There was also Frosted Leaf dispensary that had a shuttle that would take you to and from the festival to their dispensary. How cool is that? It wasn’t all good though. SnowBall organizers did drop the ball in letting one of their sponsors giveaway glowsticks, which is essentially like handing trash out to the audience.

Handicap accessibility: I asked a couple guys rocking wheelchairs how their experience was. They both said SnowBall was very accessible by wheelchair, but that it would have been nice if the viewing platform at the main stage was a little closer to the action.

Organization: SnowBall is always a well run festival. There were plenty of bathrooms. The venue was the right size for the crowd. My one complaint is that SnowBall decided to get rid of the printed programs and instead use their app. This does not really work because their app does not make it easy to pull up the schedule. I also have to give them negative marks for not having cloth wristbands. 

Greening: SnowBall did a great job with being green this year. They offered plenty of trash/recycle facilities, and had a crew that did a great job of keeping the venue clean.

Art: SnowBall did a great job of adding art to the festival. In addition to the 20 or so artists that were spray painting large masterpieces, SnowBall gave the crowd chalk to make art of their own on the concrete.

Security: The security at SnowBall was pretty standard. Nothing crazy to report.

Food: The food at SnowBall was all that you could ask for. There was a solid variety of dishes for usual festival prices.

VIP: VIP gave you access to a VIP bar and a couple raised platforms (with heating lamps) so you could watch the show from above the crowd. The VIP ticket was $399 which was quite a bit more than the $170 General Admission price, but those heating lamps were really awesome.

Value: The standard general admission price was $174, which is really cheap for a three day festival. If you do it right and arrive early you will have the ability to watch 24.5 hours of music over the three days which means you’re only paying $7 an hour for world class music. That’s a great deal.

What needs to be improved: SnowBall really needs to work out the lighting issues. The street lights really distracted from the music. Going back to the printed schedules and cloth wristbands would be a solid improvement as well.

Overall: I’m going to give SnowBall three stars. The producers did a solid job of creating the event, but it lacked some of the uniqueness that their previous events had. I would definitely recommend going next year if you live within a couple hours from Denver. You should go at all cost if they find another ski town location. 

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