Cultivora's Guide to Winter Festivals

posted by Kelsey Stoulil on December 05, 2012

Summer may be long gone, but that doesn't mean that your festival season has to come to a screeching halt. Winter festivals are kicking into high gear, with a variety of options for beach bums and snow bunnies alike. Check out our top festival picks for the this season, and festivalize your winter!

SnowGlobe Music Festival

Who: Deadmau5, Wiz Khalifa, Chromeo, Beats Antique, Polica
When: December 29-31, 2012
Where: South Lake Tahoe, California
How Much: $155-$450
This three-day end of the year blowout is back to help ring in 2013. Located in South Lake Tahoe, one of the country's most amazing ski towns, this festival has plenty to offer. Whether you're on the slopes or checking out bands during the day, be sure to look into the official SnowGlobe After Parties to keep the party going after dark.

Vail Snow Daze

Who: The Shins, Michael Franti, Wilco
When: December 13-15, 2012
Where: Vail, Colorado
How Much: $39-$99
This year, Vail is celebrating its 50th anniversary by bringing some of the biggest names Snow Daze has seen. Concerts take place December 13-15, but festivalgoers can enjoy an entire week of Snow Daze and anniversary celebrations with movie premieres and other events.One major change this year is the price tag; while Snow Daze concerts have been free in the past, this year you'll need to buy a ticket to get in.

Contact Winter Music Festival

Who: Deadmau5, Nero, Alesso
When: December 26, 2012
Where: Vancouver, British Columbia
How Much: $65-$150
Contact Winter Music Festival, a new, one-day EDM festival, is kicking off its first year with big names. Contact will take over the the 54,000 capacity BC Place, which is newly renovated and waiting to be broken in by its first electronic show. Mark your calendars for Boxing Day, December 26th, and get ready to make history at Western Canada's largest EDM festival.

The BPM Festival

Who: Benoit + Sergio, Carl Cox, Xassy, Art Department
When: January 4-13, 2013
Where: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
How Much: $200-$600
Back for its sixth installment in 2013, The BPM Festival offers world class electronic music along the sunny beaches of Playa Del Carmen. Located an hour south of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen has all the excitement of its northern counterpart, but in a smaller, more intimate atmosphere. This years lineup includes some of the best DJs from around the world, all gathered in paradise for a full 10 days. If you're heading to Playa Del Carmen, check out our BPM festival guide for everything you need to plan your trip.

Lights All Night

Who: Tiesto, Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, A-Trak, Diplo, Ghostland Observatory
When: December 29-31, 2012
Where: Dallas, Texas
How Much: $185-$999
Lights All Night is back this year in the heart of Dallas. Spanning three indoor and outdoor venues in Fair Park, this festival offers great weather and even better headliners, along with New Year's festivities.

White Wonderland

Who: Avicii, Above & Beyond, Dash Berlin
When: December 31, 2012
Where: Anaheim, California
How Much: $89-$175
Insomniac Events, the same crew that produces The Electric Daisy Carnival, brings you White Wonderland, back for its second year. The festival will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center on New Year's Eve. Age limit is 21+ and all attendees must wear white to be admitted, no exceptions.

Tomorrow Never Knows

Who: Born Ruffians, The Walkmen, Father John Misty, Freelance Whales
When: January 16-20, 2013
Where: Chicago, Illinois
How Much: $15-$100
Tomorrow Never Knows (TNK) consists of five days of evening shows in downtown Chicago. While the windy city may not offer some of the same activities as other winter festivals, TNK's lineup makes it a strong contender this season. You can buy a five-day with access to all shows and venues, or you can purchase tickets to individual shows, but heads up - only 50 five-day pass holders will be allowed into The Walkmen and Father John Misty show, so make sure to check the RSVP list, coming soon.

WinterSalt and Streets of San Francisco NYE

Who: Diplo, A-Trak, Travis Barker & Mixmaster Mike
When: December 28-31, 2012
Where: San Francisco, California
How Much: $55-$6,000
Streets of San Francisco's New Year's Eve event is expanding this year with the addition of WinterSalt. WinterSalt is the two-day lead-up to the NYE bash, turning this one-night event into a three-day party. Shows for both WinterSalt and NYE will take place in the Festival Pavilion at historic Fort Mason. In addition to music, the festival will feature live art installations, an array of food trucks, and a bayside fireworks show, and we can't think think of a better way to ring in the new year.

See Also
Cultivora's Holiday Gift Guide
Survival Guide: Cold Weather Festivals
Phase 1 of the BPM Festival Lineup