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Big Gigantic Tag


Partying for three days straight in single digit temperatures? Who wouldn’t be at least a wee bit trepidatious about uncomfortable at best, unbearable at worst, conditions for a music festival? But for thousands of denizens who descend onto South Lake Tahoe during that ecstatic stretch of time around the New Year holiday, wintry weather is part of the allure. For the second year in a row, the AEG produced SnowGlobe Music Festival swept into a local community college campus for a three-day extravaganza, and the kids came out in droves to party it up through New Year’s Eve. I attended last year and had a great time; the weather was mild and the event very well-managed. But this year I was a bit more hesitant when the forecast prophesized what seemed to me an arctic apocalypse

For the past 22 years over the 4th of July, 10,000 music loving souls have descended on the little community of Quincy, California transforming the Plumas County Fairgrounds into a spectacle of music, people, and celebration in the name of High Sierra. Dare I say this is one of the happiest places on earth? (I’ll dare.) The experience is as rewarding as it gets: High in the mountains, the setting is intimate, clean, and beautiful. Most bands camp and play multiple shows throughout the weekend. You can walk around to any of the stages with your own food and booze. The days are hot and sunny, the nights cool and clear. The people, many of them longtime attendees, are fun, warm, and welcoming. With kids underfoot, color, ambiance, and décor abounds. Smiles stay plastered. For me, it’s the best kind of fest. Unlike other music festivals I attend, the lineup does not dictate my attendance, or experience; just being there is so cathartic, celebratory, and all-out fun. This year’s lineup was eclectic, as always, with bands ranging from rootsy (Delta Spirit, Railroad Earth, the Devil Makes Three) to rock (Built to Spill, Heartless Bastards, Deer Tick) to electronica (Big Gigantic, Sound Tribe Sector 9) to funk (Galactic, The Motet, the New Orleans Suspects).