Thumbnail image by @gudvibesphoto
So now that we’ve all returned to regular life, shaken off any remains of cold weather, and started (or failed to start) our New Years’ Resolutions, let’s recap #SnowGlobe 2018.
The music was simply phenomenal.
The after-parties hosted plenty late-night dance scenarios for music lovers of all the sorts.
The vibes, of course.
Free stuff courtesy of MTV. Lanyards, koozies, and light up toys. Everyone loves no-cost souvenirs.
The collab with Lyft. Last year, there were horror stories of post-festival Uber shortages and $200 cab rides to Stateline. Glad SnowGlobe figured this one out. They even had hot chocolate for anyone waiting on their ride. Nice!
Above & Beyond is worth a mention for the glacial countdown to 2019.
What Didn’t Work:
The Igloo or the House Tent – this stage was at maximum capacity throughout all three days. It will need to expand in the coming years if they’re serious about this whole festival thing…
Despite heading over to the Igloo early to find a good spot for Phantoms, dancing room became a competitive personal bubble battle. Some people had to go – and I willingly left. Despite my commitment to House music, it was Just a Feeling… wish it could be more…
Lastly, an almost unbearable, 9-degree NYE countdown – BUT – we signed up for this, we knew we were coming to Lake Tahoe. We certainly saw the weather in advance. It’s not something worth complaining about. It just feels a lot colder than it really is.
Overall, I’d go back in a heartbeat. Until next year, #SnowGlobe…
In case you missed the #SnowGlobeSpotlightSet on @avibecalledwest, here is a playlist you can listen to anytime. Enjoy.
Is Christmas finally over? We can start talking (hyperventilating) about SnowGlobe now? No need to mention the lineup – you’ve seen it by now.
Top 5 Sets Not To Miss:
RL Grime on Sunday – He is only performing at a select few cities in the U.S. this year and South Lake Tahoe is one of them. His latest album, Nova, which is in Electronic Roatation at KSJS features a hand full of Hip-Hop and R&B artists that I just can’t get over. UCLA ft. 24 Hours is on repeat.
Shoreline Mafia on Monday – Everyone thinks they’re from the Bay, so you can only guess why I like them so much. Shoreline Mafia has been a KSJS collectors’ item for some time now with several songs previously in Urban rotation. And with quite a few collabs with SOBxRBE (who are scheduled to perform just a few hours later on the same day), one can only hope for a cameo – just throwing that into the universe
Gorgon City on Monday – Can we just stop to smell the House Music right quick? Currently in KSJS Electronic rotation is this duo, who recently released a gem, Escape. Seeing them live in October overwhelmed me with happy vibes, especially since they played my favorite song twice hence the need to not miss this one.
NGHTMRE B2B SLANDER on Monday – Okay… rave round two, anybody? About a billion people went to NGHTMRE Before Christmas in The City two weeks ago and although we didn’t see SLANDER, that didn’t stop the Gud Vibrations from flowing.
Duckwrth on Saturday – Yes! Just yes! There is no better feeling than seeing an artist you’ve supported for years move through the underground world as effortlessly as Duckwrth. Almost every song he drops ends up in KSJS Urban rotation – like SOPRANO and FALL BACK to name a few. What’s even better, he genuinely supports our support.
It’s worth a mention that GoldLink just got added to the lineup. Bay Area attendees will be excited since he missed Outside Lands this past August. We’ve got a few Dirtybird Players in the mix, plus a “secret set” scheduled for Saturday
Now, let’s discuss these afterparties…
There’s plenty to do after the festival (after all, it ends at 10 PM on Saturday and Sunday) but since we can’t be everywhere at once, I’ve narrowed down the choices for you.
Brownies & Lemonade is taking over the Sierra Stage all day on Saturday, but they’re also hosting the first official afterparty at Mont Bleu. All we know is “secret guests all night long” and casinos don’t close ‘til the sun comes up.
Sunday night will be one to remember. Mont Bleu is also hosting Walker & Royce with Phantoms – which sounds like a match made in House Music heaven. All I can say is get your trap thighs warmed up – this is what we call a “house party”.
A few things to remember:
- Make sure to download the SnowGlobe app for iPhone or Android so you can plan out set times with your friends and get the latest updates
- DON’T YOU DARE LITTER
- Dress warm and in layers. It will drop below freezing temperatures at night. You are allowed a bag or backpack so it wouldn’t hurt to throw an extra jacket, gloves, scarf, or hat inside. Regardless of the weather, WATERPROOF BOOTS are a must!
- Read up on the allowed and not allowed items
- Parking will be a hassle – plan for it. There are several options including a shuttle and limited off-site parking. Local businesses and communities will be monitoring street/neighborhood parking so be warned
- Tune in to 90.5 FM KSJS on Thursday, 12/27/2018 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM for a very special #SnowGlobeSpotlight playlist curated by DEBO. Live stream: www.ksjs.org/listen
Check out some of last year’s #SnowGlobe highlights
I would have traded seeing “Low Life” performed twice to see even half of GoldLink’s set. And although The Weekend and Future, respectively, were amazing performances, many of us Hip-Hop heads still have a sour taste in our mouth from last year’s Outside Lands when A Tribe Called Quest got cancelled – not just once, but twice in one weekend.
Sure, Berner filled in, but does Burner really compare to GoldLink? I wouldn’t say so. GoldLink’s last album, “At What Cost” contains several of my all-time favorite songs, not to mention the track, “Crew” which was released in 2016 and is still spinning on mainstream radio. Rolling Stone even called it one of the 40 Best Rap Albums of 2017.
The weather was great. Typical San Francisco weather – warm in the sun, cold in the shade, foggy at times, and cold enough for fur at night. The grounds were well maintained (no porta-potty issues), minimal trash, and very polite volunteers and vendors. I spent most of my time at the Twin Peaks and Lands End stage with a few stops at Panhandle, but each day, I averaged 30,000 steps and 10 miles of walking during festival hours. The new clear bag policy made entry less stressful – I bought a $9 bag off Amazon that broke at the start of day two. Not recommended.
Some of my favorite sets:
N.E.R.D. – they played the track “Lemon” (yes – the one with Riri) like four times back to back. Sounds cheesy, but I was dancing just as hard to the fourth time around as I was the first.
Odesza – not going to lie, all my friends went to Outside Lands for this set. Well, mid-hype, I ran away from the group to use the restroom, heard this song, stopped, and danced with strangers until I almost broke down and cried.
Smokepurpp – the mosh pit went crazy. He performed one of XXXTENTACION’s songs, “Look At Me” as a tribute. Being signed to Travis Scott’s label, Cactus Jack, everyone went wild (including me) when he did, “Fingers Blue”.
SOBxRBE – this has to be one of the best sets of the weekend. SOB brought out Nef the Pharaoh for “Bling Blaow” and shortly after the festival, their single, “Anti” went certified gold. Since the trio was also featured on the Black Panther Soundtrack, they ended their set with the heavy hitter, “Paramedic”.
Future – I mean, do I really need to say more?
Whethan – I saw this guy on accident walking from one stage to another, but he caught my attention when he mixed Childish Gambino’s “This is America” with some EDM. From then on, I’ve been hooked.
Caleborate – an intimate, daytime performance was delivered by a long-time featured artist over at KSJS. “Soul” is one of the best tracks to come out of 2017. And I got a chance to thank Caleborate later in the day when we crossed paths in the VIP area. Definitely one of my Top 5 Festival Moments.
DJ Snake – real trappy electronic music closed out the weekend. The casual mix of mainstream Hip-Hop with dirty house music was extremely lit. I enjoyed myself. My EDM friends, however, were not impressed.
Overall, the weekend was more than I think anyone could ask for. I enjoyed yelling out “you heard it first on KSJS” at the top of my lungs for several songs. I met up with all my friends (if you are a seasoned festival goer, you know how difficult this is). I made a bunch of new friends. I stayed out too late, I drank a little too much, but I have some of the best festie memories to date. Until next year Outside Lands. Peace.
All Photography courtesy of Outside Lands by FilmMagic.com
For some people, a festival is just another festival is just another festival. But in anticipation for Northern Nights, many of my close friends boasted about how “Northern Nights is the best festival” and for some, even their “favorite” festival. I was skeptical – I go to a lot of festivals – how could this one be so great?
Well. Okay – now I see…
The Location – there is a weird geographic anomaly about Piercy, CA. Locals say there are some places where water runs upstream, gravity is “stronger,” and supposedly, a compass will flutter heavily at true North due to an overwhelming magnetic force surrounding this area. Not sure if any of this is true, but once you arrive at Cook’s Valley Campground at the Mendocino – Humboldt County line, you can certainly feel a sense of belonging. The grounds are beautiful. The trees are so majestic that if you look up at the tallest branches, you can basically travel through time. The overall sense of welcoming was incandescent.
The River – the river was probably my favorite aspect of the entire weekend – partly because it was almost 100 degrees and it kept most of us from dying of heat – but also partly because it was a fun-festival-sea-of-floaties. I saw everything from swans, peacocks, and flamingos to donuts and popsicles. As a matter of fact, an entire group of friends each had a single slice of pizza to form one large pepperoni pizza (squad goals AF). Huge unicorn islands dominated the river, while rafts with built-in canopies and coolers floated by too. A river dragon made its way through smaller floats which made way for the gigantic rubber ducky. An incredible sight for sure. The river stage was strategically placed right along the riverbed so you could hear the music while you lay there chillin’… What other festivals even offer that?
The People – there were soooooo maaaaaaany peopleeeee. Organizers say this was the largest crowd EVER. It was insane the number of festivalers who attended this thing. And to be honest, I recognized a lot of faces (and totems) from previous festivals this summer, but everyone’s squad seemed to be bigger than before – including mine. The whole weekend, everyone I met was so extremely kind. Neighbors peaked into our camp to say “hi” and introduce themselves. People passing by stopped to compliment our setup. Some of my crew came all the way from Tahoe and attracted other Tahomies. Someone let me take over our camp’s aux so while I was blasting Mac Dre, pretty girls stopped to get a little hyphy. Even people working the festival made a lasting impression. From the guy who guided us to our camping spot (and then was so patient and flexible when we asked to move a few spaces over) to the lovely lady who took her smoke break at our camp in the shade after picking up trash all day in the scorching heat. Yes – the people. You will NOT find these genuine people at any other festival.
The Vibes – needless to say, with the environment and the people on level 100, the vibes were beyond outstanding. Obviously, the music speaks for itself (no need to include how great it was – you saw the lineup!) There was yoga, a forest full of hammocks (perfect for mid-day naps), a cannabis area, a silent disco, art galleries, and tons of things to spend money on: vendors, plenty of food options, and a general store stocked with everything you forgot. I’m not sure what consumes one’s soul when going to Northern Nights, but even the shyest people seem to have the courage to come up and tell you how beautiful you are. Sometimes you just need that kind of energy and Northern Nights was just that. The vibes at the Bunker Stage were the strongest. I saw the sun set and rise from various spots at the Bunker. Weird-5am-shenanigans took place there, but during that time in space, it was anything but weird.
A New Family – so many crews linked up for this. I had my crew (who started festival season off at Serenity Gathering and kept screaming “Serenity Day 91” all weekend), my crew had their LIB and Buku crews, those crews had their friends. My friends ended up knowing their friends. My SnowGlobe squad reassembled… Never in my entire festival-going experience had I ever been in one place with so many loving people. Like it was impossible to get lost when everyone knew where to return you. I went with about 25 friends, I left with about 25 more, and I gained about a million new memories.
All music aside – now I see why everyone claims this to be the “best” festival ever. And while some of us are still not unpacked, still a little sunburnt, our voices barely returning – we so anxiously await next summer when we return to do it all over again at the 7th Annual Northern Nights Music Festival in 2019. See you all on the river (or at Bunker). Peace out, festie fam.
All photography by Kristina Baky @kristinabaky.
If there was one thing I wish more people talked about more when rendering their favorite festival experiences – is how peaceful the Hip-Hop environment was.
I realize a small (or perhaps, non-existent) number of people actually go to Electronic-based festivals to hear Hip-Hop so let’s take a moment to acknowledge Northern Nights Music Festival for always including some degree of Hip-Hop. This year: Sage The Gemini. In previous years: Living Legends, Adam Vida, Black Star, GoldLink, Amp Live, Zion I, and many others.
It’s hard to explain the scenery of a strictly Hip-Hop show or festival but imagine this – last year at Rolling Loud Bay Area, I saw a girl actively participate in a mosh pit and then immediately get upset when she got knocked down multiple times – while getting pushed around (as expected in a mosh pit) she threatened to pepper-spray everyone within reach. Wild right? At the same festival – Lil B got jumped backstage – of all people – Lil B?The Based God – who literally loves every single soul on this Earth including insects and trees.
Also, consider – numerous SOBxRBE shows in the Bay where chains get snatched and in turn, fights break out. At their most recent back-to-back, sold-out show in Santa Cruz, the second show didn’t even happen because someone brought their gun out. I’ve seen fights turn into brawls, rude girls throw drinks on one another, and aggressive attitudes from virtually everybody.
Not to mention – extensive searches, metal detectors, and pat downs upon entry. And don’t you dare try smoking a joint while you’re in there. Some will say it’s ego, others say pride, but what it really is – is the very content of the genre itself. Which is something that’s probably not going to change much in time. When you rap about drugs, violence, and bad bitches, that’s what you can expect when the energy is reciprocated in a live setting. But switch environments for just a second and watch how the scene changes.
HIP-HOP NEEDS FESTIVALS LIKE NORTHERN NIGHTS because the atmosphere is so welcoming and abundant in vibes. If you’ve ever tried, you know you can’t talk a Hip-Hop head out of Hip-Hop, so don’t try. It’s not about the music – but try enticing real Hip-Hop fans with friendly people, pretty girls, not-so-douchey men, caring neighbors, activities like cannabis and yoga – c’mon, have you ever seen anyone smoke weed or leave yoga mad or wanting to fight? No, you have not. This year, Northern Nights has also incorporated an Experimental Cannabis Activation where organizers simply wish to implement a re-imagination of how festivals incorporate cannabis. Plus, of course, yoga, live art, a silent disco, a river, workshops, and plenty more.
So much of Hip-Hop is resistance. Especially resistance to change. But a festival like Northern Nights will change your life, and maybe even your perspective on music in general. Genuinely coming from someone who sgoes hyphy to Mac Dre in between EDM songs at the most unexpected DJ sets at any given festival, I highly recommend this one over your typical festival.
Tickets are selling fast, and the set times have been released. Visit https://www.northernnights.org/ now for everything you need to know. #MakeTheJourney and see you all there!
Photos courtesy of Northern Nights Music Festival
Enchanted Forest Gathering took place last weekend at this little campground in Northern California called Black Oak Ranch about 3 hours away from the Bay Area. Enchanted Forest featured three music stages, a spa, fire dancers, a mobile art gallery, a kid’s play area, belly dancers, plenty of vendors, boutique camping (and of course, regular camping), ample drinking water, delicious food options, workshops, and hardly any cell service.
Many people, like those who pay thousands of dollars to attend EDC or Coachella, will see a lineup like Enchanted’s, where they don’t recognize most of names, and look right past it.
Here’s a suggestion: go to the shows, concerts, and festivals where you don’t already know half the lineup, even better – go early, catch the openers, and support the local, independent, and underground talent. This is the best remedy for anyone who has self-proclaimed Music-ADHD, like all of us over at KSJS.
At Enchanted Forest, there were certain things that you’d expect – long lines to check in, somewhat unknowledgeable staff on the first day, wooks everywhere, dust (lots of dust), less than ideal restroom situations, you know – the norm for camping festivals, however, there were certain things about Enchanted that stood out.
The Grounds: The camping area was goddamn beautiful. There were tall, sultry, droopy trees. We got a good spot next to one. Ample drinking was available throughout the entire festival and camping areas (YAAAS). There was river access – I would call it a creek, but all technicalities aside, it was the perfect amount of chill for my feet after setting up camp. On Saturday – much to everyone’s surprise – it rained all day. It never really got cold, and the rain cleared up before sundown so, overall, I would call it a successful little storm. Each row of campsites had a name making it easy to tell friends how to find you – we stayed between Oak and Maple. Little things like this make all the difference. Overall, nature was good to us and I would go back to Black Oak Ranch anytime.
The People: A wide spectrum of people were in attendance. Everything from families with children to hipster millennials, middle-aged couples to college grads, rave kids, yogis, people with disabilities, and every race imaginable. I never saw a fight. I never saw security ruffle feathers. I never saw anyone unhappy. Not to say that Enchanted Forest didn’t have to deal any issues, however, they were minimal and respectfully handled. The good vibes were strong and people were so kind. Some standard festival guidelines to follow in case you didn’t know:
- Help your neighbor
- Return all things that are lost
- If you get a gift, give a gift
Keys N Krates
The Pirate & Smasheltooth’s Anniversary Sets
DEBO also highly recommends this mixtape from Smasheltooth for your hyphy needs:
Del & Amp Live
To be honest, it was intimidating as hell walking into an amphitheater full of powerful women… Until I realized I was a powerful woman too. As I looked around the room, I thought about a book by Toni Morrison called Home, where a young black girl named Cee works as an assistant to a doctor. Lack of knowledge has her convinced he is a hero because he helps the sick regardless of them being black or poor. But really, he is a doctor practicing eugenics, which involves the manipulation of human breeding, often by sterilizing people without their consent. Long story short–her physical and emotional recovery is aided by several strong women. Women who “took responsibility for their lives, and for whatever, whoever else needed them.” These women are described as having “no excess in their gardens because they shared everything [and] there was no trash or garbage in their homes because they had a use for everything.”
The New Parkway Theater in Oakland was home to the Women In Music Festival’s Panel Day where several phenomenal women in the industry came together to share insight on: Women in Live Music, Women in Artist Marketing, and Women in Media. The panel also included a Live Artist Interview with female powerhouse: Rayana Jay.
It was refreshing to hear some of the conversation around topics and ideas I struggle with. And I felt less alone knowing that other women around me dealt with the same things.
Here’s some notes I jotted down from the Live Music panel:
- Practice process over perfection
- Stay confident
- No person is too high up to reach out and say hello
- Go after it–regardless
- In your come up, bring other women up with you
Things I took away from the Live Interview with Rayana Jay:
- You don’t need to move away to a “big city”–just travel
- Be your own marketing team
- Do business with your girls
- Find your lane and stay in your lane
- Be your own biggest critic
Artist Marketing panel take away:
- “You’re only as good as your single is”
- As important as sisterhood is in this industry, recognize your big brothers because there’s just some shit women shouldn’t deal with
- Stay curious and always seek knowledge
- If you’re the only woman in the room–boss the fuck up
- Don’t be that bitch on the studio couch
And lastly, from the Media panel:
- Be creative in your own style
- Don’t let middle-aged white men tell you that you can’t
- Organize your ideas and thoughts so they are easily accessible to you
- Men need us–remind them if you need to
- Organic traffic over everything
Listening to all of this, I realized something…
In my role as Urban Music Director at 90.5 FM KSJS, I am constantly surrounded by men. At the panel they referred to radio a “boy’s club”. And I laughed because it’s very true. Thankfully, I’ve managed with hardly any problems getting what I want or need… and although I’m shy around other women, “LET ME TALK TO A DAMN RAPPER,” is usually my attitude when doing business.
Epiphany: maybe other women feel this way. And maybe that’s where things get weird… The women-to-women interaction needs to be less frightening and more welcoming.
The Women In Music Festival sparked a lot of conversation about other themes: race, gender, homosexuality, oppression, equality. But it was comforting knowing that my feelings of empathy were being reciprocated. We were all feeling. And that was special.
The festival didn’t just focus on the panel discussion, in fact, it lasted a total of four days and had a variety of events ranging from an intimate DJ workshop in collaboration with Serato on Thursday, to a discussion showcasing four women from distinctly different parts of the industry, at the Pandora Headquarters on Friday.
The Oakland Museum of California was host to the first ever Women in Hip-Hop panel in conjunction with RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom Exhibit–the under-recognized story of one of the most influential cultural and social movements of the last 50 years–which is ongoing on every Saturday and Sunday from now until August 12. To top it off, this event was garnished with the typical First Friday arrangements: food trucks, cocktails, and live music.
Saturday morning was about self-care, which was a huge reoccurring theme throughout the event. Shakira Scott lead yoga classes that incorporated meditation and mindful vinyasa flow to 90’s R&B, alternative music, reggae, jazz with a splash of meditative sounds.
Saturday night, I attended the Women in Music Concert at Starline Social Club. In a judgement-free zone, we danced to music by Tiffany Gouche, Raveena, B-Side Brujas, Ah-Mer-Ah-Su, LadyRyan, Sweetest Threat, and Rayana Jay. While DJ Red Corvette was on the turntables, Fela Kutchii hosted the party. What can I say about this? Nearly every women in attendance came from an earlier festival event so we had nothing but good vibes among one another. It was an amazing bond to share with other women in the industry.
Sunday entailed a “Boss Brunch”–breakfast, mimosas, and women speaking about their wins, losses, and what it really takes to be a girl boss in this industry. Afterwards, an “Eat, Shop, Talk” marketplace went down which showcased local female entrepreneurs, business owners, and queen-ran services like nail design, tarot card readings, and henna artists. Art, fashion, jewelry, and beauty vendors were present alongside food and dessert vendors with sounds by Chulita Vinyl Club and Climaxxx. A seemingly wonderful way to end a weekend full of influential femininity.
Whether you attended one event or all of the events, the Women in Music Festival successfully empowered hundreds of women and intentionally brought awareness to the idea of sisterhood.
We needed this. Thank you ❤ ’til next year.
Every post-festival Monday always has me in my feelings about the worthiness of #FestivalLife, but here it is, Wednesday, convinced I was delusional because, YES, I am still very much all about it. That being said, the 2018 Santa Cruz Music Festival was a huge success, and having been to the festival last year, I can confidently say, each year is getting better and better.
Despite the light rain, the #SCMF brought together a versatile group of people. Everything from seasoned yogis to hipster millennials, to families, street faire enthusiasts, students, rave babies, foodies, hip-hoppers, and indie rockers. Downtown Santa Cruz was quite literally host to every type of festival-goer. It’s easy to bring together all the same kind of people, so by way of festival code, a huge virtual round of applause goes out to the organizers behind the #SantaCruzMusicFestival for entertaining such a diverse crowd.
If you only went for the Hip-Hop, you’re probably disappointed. Big name headliners like Ghostface Killah, Scarab (of Living Legends), and Smoke DZA took up less than two hours of the two-day show. And while practically every Electronic artist incorporated some Hip-Hop into their sets, most of the “real” Hip-Hop fans wanted less rave stuff and more rap stuff.
Author’s Note: the sarcastic use of “real” when referring to Hip-Hop simply refers the older Gen Y crowd who doesn’t support the evolution of Hip-Hop; and who seem to think the music created during their prime is ultimately the best thing to have ever happened. Also, they hate rappers with the prefixes “Lil” or “Yung” and preach about “hype”.
For many, the true gems are hidden in the earliest sets at the smaller venues. The lesser-known acts and up-and-coming artists are the ones really driving the crowd. Speaking of, I had the pleasure of meeting with The Rellies, a Hip-Hop duo from Santa Cruz and Maui who performed inside Streetlight Records on Sunday. They brought out Dave Steezy (of HBK) and went level-10 hyphy on us.
I’ve picked out some of my favorite tracks from The Rellies for you to get on:
If you like them, give ’em a follow!
If you listened to A Vibe Called West last week, you’d know that Pure Powers’ killed his set on Saturday (yes—we predicted it). Last year’s headlining acts were all squeezed into the big, but small Catalyst so the festival’s transition to the Civic Auditorium was much needed. It allowed us all to enjoy the show without being too close to the people dancing beside us, while also leaving plenty of space for people with a larger personal bubble in the back.
There’s a video out now for my current favorite Pure Powers song, which is phenomenal live BTW, check it out:
Other Santa Cruz Music Festival Highlights include:
- Bigger festivals charge $12-16 bucks a beer, but the venues participating in this year’s #SCMF sold regularly priced (and often, locally brewed) beer which made my pockets (and taste buds) smile.
- I lost my phone in the VIP area (because I saw pizza and was immediately distracted) and thanks to the wonderful ladies at the CloutKing table, I got it back along with a dope CloutKing t-shirt. You should get yourself one too!
- Icing on the cake for me: adding more really cool people to my network of #FestivalFamily ❤ Thank you!