I walked into Snowta on Sunday night with a mission. Having been at the festival on Saturday night, I felt like I knew the lay of the land and had seen pretty much everything there was so see. I walked through security, got my pass, got my wristband for drinking, and entered the familiar maze of stages, vendors, and attractions. Having arrived early, I made it through the VIP security before many people had made it through the long lines of general admission. I walked through the next to empty halls and was in complete awe just as I had been on Saturday night.
It’s quite amazing what the crew and masterminds behind Snowta have pulled off. They have truly created this world inside the Minneapolis Convention Center and, even though that world may only last for two days, it had been created with a sense of perfection in mind. I peeped in each room as I walked down the halls and was struck by just how massive each room was. Sure, I mean, the event felt big on Saturday night when the rooms were full of people but being able to take away the people and see the sheer size of these empty rooms was truly impressive.
Even though I felt like I knew the lay of the land and was on a mission to get to the main Snowta stage in time to see Post Malone, I quickly found myself getting distracted by nearly anything and everything. After a little time spent at the skateboard park, I moved over to the human bowling for a quick laugh. When I finally made my way to the Snowta stage I was shocked to see how many people had taken over the room. I took my spot next to the stage and waited for my night of music to begin.
Post Malone was clearly a favorite of the day drawing a huge crowd super early in the night (he had various other performances to make it to last night so he was the second act to go on the main stage). As soon as he took the stage, the crowd seemed to melt into a sweaty mess with everyone screaming along to every word. Although I had to sit there in silence since I had never heard Post Malone’s music prior to last night (although I did recognize his hit song “Rockstar”), I found myself getting wrapped up in the hype over this twenty-two year old rapper.
There were three acts performing on Sunday that I told myself I absolutely had to see and one of them was performing right after Post Malone on the main stage. As the massive crowd dispersed into the halls and other rooms, I made my way closer to the stage so I had the perfect spot while I watched Prof do his thing. Full disclosure- I’m a huge fan of Prof. Out of all of the local rappers and hip-hop stars that I’ve fallen in love with over the years, Prof is probably in my top three. As soon as he and his DJ Willie Wonka came out on stage, I got a sense of excitement that I had yet to feel throughout the other acts of Snowta. As amazing as all of the music had been, Prof was the first act that I actually knew and knew I loved. When Prof and Willie Wonka jumped into their first song, I traded my fly on the wall shoes for some dancing shoes and found myself lost in a sea of people. Although the vocals were hard to hear, Prof powered through his hour long set with the same feeling he has when playing a more intimate show. He did all of his geeky dances, he and Willie showered the crowd with confetti and water throughout the set and, at the end, showered the youngsters with champagne. Prof’s set was nothing short of a party and, although that can be said for many of the acts that performed over the weekend, Prof’s set is one of the few ones where I felt like I had an invitation to the party, not like I was just brought by a friend.
When his set was done, I had some time to kill before the next act I absolutely had to see so I did some wandering. Although I had seen all of the attractions the night before, it didn’t stop everything from feeling fresh and new. I watched the skateboarders for a bit, watched the snowboarders, and spent majority of my time watching the crowd. At one point during my aimless wandering, I found myself at the “Gray Duck” stage watching a reggae band. I loved the fact that, although majority of the music seemed to revolve around the EDM world, Snowta had acts like Prof (local hip-hop) and Jon Wayne and the Payne (the local reggae group I had stumbled upon) and they didn’t stick out like a sore thumb or anything. Regardless of what kind of music was playing on what stage, there was a sense of fun and love that was impossible to ignore. I may have been alone at this giant festival but it sure didn’t feel like it!
Gray Duck Stage
I somehow lost track of time and found myself racing through the maze of hallways to get to one of the smaller side stages in time for H09909 (pronounced Horror). Ho99o9 was definitely the main reason I wanted to spend my New Year’s celebrations at Snowta (well, that and just the sheer experience of it). Hailing from New Jersey but currently based out of Los Angeles, Ho99o9 is one of those bands that I stumbled across at a small local festival a couple of years ago and could not wait to see again. Their unique blend of hip-hop and punk is something unlike anything I have heard before and their live show is nothing short of electric. As soon as the trio took the small Hideaway Stage, I was reminded why I fell in love with this group. They didn’t care that there was next to no one in the small room for their performance (it was nearing midnight and people were trying to get the best spot they could in the main room) the trio was giving the audience everything they had. The energy, the music, the uniqueness– it was everything I had hoped for. Their set alone made me more than okay with my decision to spend my New Year’s at this festival alone rather than with my friends.
As the clock ticked down to midnight, I reluctantly left Ho99o9’s set and made my way into the main stage. I placed myself directly underneath the balloons that were inevitable going to drop at midnight and waited. The excitement around me was electric and the bottle of champagne that was being passed around me was nearly empty before the countdown even started. The countdown started and, at the strike of midnight, the balloons dropped, the confetti cannons went off, and Excision kicked off his set.
You see it in the movies all the time. That big New Year’s party with all of the confetti, all of the smiles, the hugging of strangers, the dancing– I had never been a part of that but this year is my year and I kicked off 2018 the way I’ve always wanted to. As Excision performed his infectious dubstep music, I found myself yet again getting lost in a sea of strangers. I danced like I had never danced before because, well, at that point the vodka Redbulls and the champagne were starting to kick in and I didn’t know anyone so– why not? Although Excision for an hour and half, time flew by and it seemed like it was over as soon as it had started.
Thank you Snowta for giving my the New Year’s Eve experience I have always only dreamed of. Happy 2018 everyone!