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MTV Acquires SnowGlobe Music Festival With Eye on Expansion, New Year’s Eve Programming

MTV has acquired SnowGlobe Music Festival, the annual three-day December gathering held in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., with plans to expand the brand as a music and lifestyle event and to help freshen up the cabler’s New Year’s Eve programming.

The deal is in keeping with Viacom’s goal of growing its activity in live events. SnowGlobe draws about 20,000 attendees in the three days leading up to New Year’s Eve with an event that mixes musical acts, extreme winter sports and art installations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MTV intends to expand the festival to other dates and locations around the world. The scene at SnowGlobe will be highlighted as a big part of MTV’s New Year’s Eve programming this year.

“With SnowGlobe, MTV is taking the natural next step in its resurgence by expanding deeper into live events, as we continue to reach our fans and capitalize on our strong brand in new ways,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo. “In a festival space where many events have become indistinguishable, SnowGlobe stands out with a unique mix of music, sports, and art that makes it a favorite among artists and its growing audience.”

The festival, founded by SnowGlobe CEO Chad Donnelly, began eight years ago. The event has faced some tension with the South Lake Tahoe community over damage to public recreational areas and noise complaints from residents who live near the site. SnowGlobe had to pay the city $250,000 for repairs for damages incurred during the 2017 festival.

The musical lineup for this year’s Dec. 29-31 gathering includes Above & Beyond, Diplo, Eric Prydz, Rezz and RL Grime. The fest will showcase more than 40 artists performing across three stages.

“With SnowGlobe, we’ve always endeavored to create an event experience that sets itself apart from the typical music festival model,” Donnelly said. “We are incredibly excited to be joining the MTV family, whose legacy of developing boundary breaking programming and events perfectly aligns with our long-standing ambition of creative innovation.”

MTV pointed to its long history of hosting big live events overseas such as the MTV European Music Awards and similar events in Brazil, Mexico and Malta. In February, Viacom acquired the VidCon digital media confab and has been building out festival components tied to the MTV VMAs and MTV Movie Awards in the U.S.

The push into fan-focused live experiences is also part of MTV’s bid to expand its horizons beyond cable TV.

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