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January 21, 2011
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Snow Ball fest all the buzz

AVON, Colorado - It's called the snowball effect for a reason. Upcoming music event Snow Ball Festival is gathering speed like a fast-expanding snowball rolling down Pepi's Face. The three-day festival, which fans have dubbed "Snowchella" (a play on Coachella, the popular three-day California music festival) is still six weeks out and already nearly a third of the tickets have sold; more than 3,000 of the 10,000 tickets per day being offered, according to organizers. And that's without spending money on traditional marketing means, like radio, newspaper and television ads (though organizers did recently partner with AEG to help promote the event).

The inaugural event is set for March 4-6 in Avon and there's 45 bands on the final lineup, which was solidified Wednesday night. Headliners include Colorado's own Pretty Lights and San Fran-based DJ Bassnectar. It's the first time the two electronic music producers have played a festival together in Colorado, which is a big market for both musicians.

The third and final headliner, The Flaming Lips, was announced Wednesday. Other highlights include Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Lotus, Portugal. The Man and more.

"The lineup is so eclectic and it's like nothing Colorado has seen before," said Scotty Stoughton, one of the producers of the festival. "It's the first-ever electronic indie rock thing in the mountains; it's a model of electronic, indie festival with DJs and multiple stages. It's just going to be a huge dance party."

Three-day passes are on sale through Jan. 23 for $149.50; after that date, the price goes go up to $164.50.

"At this rate, we might not sell one-day tickets. We're on track to sell out the three-day passes," Stoughton said.

Denver resident Nick Mueller, 27, bought his ticket for the festival when it was first announced, back in late December.

"Everyone was waiting for them to release the third headliner. Flaming Lips? That's a party and a half, that'll be a weekend highlight," said Mueller, who already booked a few condos in Avon for him and the nearly 30 friends who are planning to come to Avon for the festival. He even has friends from Chicago flying in for it, he said.

Buzz about the festival has been spreading fast in large part thanks to social media. Mueller said he found out the majority of information about the festival thanks to Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as the festival's website, www.snowballmusicfestival.com.

"The group Savoy, big in the Colorado and Brooklyn scene, said if they get 10,000 fans on Facebook, they'd bring their laser setup to the festival, which is pretty amazing," Mueller said. "I just read that on a Facebook feed about 15 minutes ago. All of these bands have so many followers on their social networks, things can happen so quickly just with a simple post."

Eagle County native and Eagle-Vail resident Ryan Souto is excited to have a festival of this caliber in his backyard, he said.

"The kind of music coming is what all the kids are into these days," said Souto, 27. "The whole dub step, indie rock kind of thing. Personally I'm really excited to see Pretty Lights, Bassnectar and Diplo. Flaming Lips is a great addition to the headliners and it'll bring a lot more people to the festival I'd imagine. There's nice diversity with the lineup. It's not just one genre, and there's a lot of up-and-comers as well as some big names."

"I applaud the town of Avon for using (Nottingham Park) for something more than the once a year Fourth of July, fireworks thing. It's nice to see something like this happen in Avon, in our neck of the woods."

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 24, 2011 04:27PM Published Jan 21, 2011 12:21AM Copyright 2011 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.