SnowBall Music Festival 2014 wrapped up on Sunday April 6 to the funky sounds of GRiZ. The producer/musician born Grant Kwiecinski, accompanied with special guests, closed down the main stage with a massive dance party.
Only days after SnowBall's finale, fans are already missing and reflecting on the eventful festival weekend. In fact, SnowBall is still sharing photos on Facebook, on Tuesday the #Snowball Day Three gallery was released.
SnowBall in the city was definitely a unique experience, very different from it's usual takeover of small mountain towns in the Rockies. In contrast, SnowBall felt very small and intimate in it's new setting in the parking lot of Sports Authority Field at Mile High. An area often used by the popular Vans Warped Tour.
SnowBall appeared to have attracted a much smaller crowd than what is typically seen at the annual punk festival or at previous SnowBalls. In fact, the festival layout in the parking lot didn't allow enough space for an adequately-sized main stage area.
The first stage after entering was the SnowBall main stage, which had a small grassy area that was cut short by the sound board. For future festivals it would be advised to either move the sound board and vendor booths further back to or turn the stage so it faces west and opens up a larger dance floor.
For the smaller Sunday crowd the space seemed adequate, but for the popular Saturday night headlining set from Pretty Lights the crowd struggled to fit, causing some uncomfortable moments.
The placement of the restrooms all in one area at the front of the venue didn't make too much sense either. It would have been a good idea to separate the porta-potties, half in the front and half in the diagonal corner by the Groove Tent.
On the contrary, the way the festival grounds were arranged made it feel intimate, which can rarely happen with many of these big headliners, including Knife Party, Pretty Lights, GRiZ, Busta Rhymes and Yeasayer, to name a few. Those who went with a crew could easily find friends, at least during the daylight hours.
The festival felt like an urban playground with a mixture of Denver's cultures and generations. Artistic expression in the form of graffiti art on a zig-zag line of walls was definitely a highlight. Denver has some very talented graffiti artists, attendees could witness their unique and colorful artwork come to life during the weekend. SnowBall commissioned Denver's Chris Haven and Josh Nelson of Secret Skwadron, as well as some other impressive street artists.
The fire performers in the fenced off area near the food trucks was a sight to see, as well as the participatory chalk art decorating the pavement at the Heat Hut.
Sierra Nevada and their partners offered happy hour deals, the first hour of the festival drinks were $1 and then increased by $1 every hour, never going higher than $4. The typical mixed drink came in at $5, not bad at all. Don't think anyone can complain about those endless happy hour deals. Affordable drinks are hard to come by in the city, especially at concert venues.
As with every festival, SnowBall had its ups and downs, but to many it was so convenient how accessible the venue was. It's a lot more difficult to book a condo in the mountains and find transportation to and from the festival in freezing temperatures. The Denver location allowed for the spontaneous fan to buy a ticket last minute with no hassle.
Finally, the most important part of a music festival - the music - and discovering new artists. Below is a list of artist recommendations that were revealed during the three-day festival.