Written by Tom Hellauer
Photos by LiveLoud Media
Looking for electronic music, mountain lakes and ski resorts? Look no further than this year’s Powabunga festival on the northern shores of Lake Tahoe in Crystal Bay, Nevada from March 20-22. The event’s first year in Lake Tahoe will be headlined by Bob Moses, Eli & Fur, Claptone and a Desert Hearts takeover. The down ticket artists have attendees excited too.
DJ Mark Farina, an OG disc jockey out of Chicago, is best known for his downtempo house and acid jazz mixes. He has been releasing his now eight installment “Mushroom Jazz” series since 1996, with the most recent dropping in 2016. Farina’s jazzy take on house and other electronic music genres are just one of many reasons to check out this fest’s deep roster.
Beschloo, a DJ out of Los Angeles, typically brings disco, progressive house and other imaginative sounds to his sets. Fellow Los Angeles DJ and artist, Tâches just released a smooth, uptempo four track EP titled Sacred Heart that has been garnering attention.
In addition to the killer lineup, Powabunga has become known for its mountain town scenery. After stopping by Tahoe, the Powabunga team will head to Vail to catch the last weekend of ski season in what should be a can’t miss party.
Music goes from around 4 to 10 p.m. everyday, but organizers have set up official after parties each day, with late night tickets going between $20 to $50. The nearby Biltmore Hotel and historical Crystal Bay Club play hosts to these after parties. The Desert Hearts crew gets their own after party on Sunday at the Biltmore, making the “Never Miss a Sunday Show,” mantra more than true.
If after party tickets are too expensive, other nightlife includes casinos and breweries. Be sure to do some of the daytime activities in Lake Tahoe, which are plentiful. Although Lake Tahoe hasn’t received much of the Pow in Powabunga’s name this season, nearby resorts Squaw Valley, Northstar, Mt. Rose, Sugarbowl and others will be sure to provide excellent runs for all skill levels. Several backcountry runs are good for adventure seekers and a decent amount of hiking trails are melted out enough for those just wanting to soak the Sierra Nevadas in.
Powabunga and a wave of other similar festivals are bringing music to mountain towns and other remote settings. Last year’s Powabunga helped form new group Ski House, composed of Alex Golden, Chris Cauldron and Austin Gavlak, all of whom will play both of this year’s Powabungas. The trio also aim to host events, curating big names like Zhu, while leaving enough time for their own sets. Mountain culture, snowboarding, skiing and more are a staple of the Ski House vibe.
The wide range of electronic artists, outdoor activities and more should have something for everyone even the casual fan. If you’re looking for a spring getaway, Powabunga could be the place. Both of this year’s events and more spring events should kick off this summer’s festival season with a bang.