Reggae to rock. Country to bluegrass. Music comes to the mountains east of the Rockies this spring. These multi-day festivals let you sink into the mountain groove by skiing or riding the slopes and strutting your stuff to the sounds. Lift, lodging and music packages bundle up the whole gig for easy tickets to party-land.
1. Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia: Ballhooter Spring Break Festival
March 10-13, 2016
From Friday’s pre-party to Sunday’s demos, Snowshoe Mountain packs the Ballhooter Spring Break Festival full of fun. This fourth year of the festival promises a wild time, with DJ parties, human bowling, bikini competition, snowball shooting, rail jam, Silent Rave and costume contests. Fill up on burgers, brats and beer… and a few Bloody Marys.
The menu of musicians for the long weekend headlines Saturday night with Brooklyn’s American Authors. The international touring band fires up the crowd with their mix of alt-rock and Queen-inspired harmonies. Additional free concerts feature Lissie, the Davisson Brothers Band and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.
2. Lutsen Mountains, Minnesota: DuLutsen North of North Music and Ski Festival
March 16-21, 2016
Ski and ride by day, and rock out afterwards to the rhythms of Duluth musicians at Lutsen Mountains. DuLutsen North of North Music and Ski Festival fills seven days with après musical grooves to late night rocking.
A mix of free concerts and ticketed events stack the lineup for Lutsen’s festival: guitar-strumming folk musicians, indie pop singers and country rockers. Top Duluth musicians include Mary Bue & the Holy Bones, Black-Eyed Snakes, Actual Wolf and Hobo Nephews with Ryan Young.
3. Indianhead Mountain Resort, Michigan: Mountain Top Music Festival
March 18-19, 2016
The Upper Peninsula in Michigan punches into overdrive for the ski, snowboard and music fest at Indianhead Mountain Resort. The fest blends bluegrass, country, rock and modern folk vibes. Perhaps with the highest volume of musicians playing back-to-back, the Mountain Top Music Festival packs in nearly 20 bands to rock out the mountains for two days.
About the time you are ready to trade skis for a cold libation on Friday, the Sky Bar launches the music. Ticketed concerts heat up on the main stage in the evenings. Friday night features five bands playing into the wee hours for dancing. On Saturday, get up, hit the slopes and pop into the Red Dog Saloon and the Sky Bar for après with music. Then, repeat the late night romp with a lineup of six bands.
4. Mount Snow, Vermont: Bud Light Reggaefest
March 25-27, 2016
Mount Snow combines its Bud Light Reggaefest with a weekend of crazy spring events. It’s the time to do it all: ski and ride, compete in traditional spring resort competitions, and dance to reggae syncopation.
The music starts Friday night with eight bands bouncing calypso through the weekend. Just so the beat never stops, a DJ spits out the tunes between sets. Saturday adds the Bud Light Sink or Skim, where skiers challenge each other to glide across a 100-foot-long pond. Sunday brings out the laughs with the Bud Light Duct Tape Derby, a competition of sliding in crafts home-built from cardboard, duct tape, zip ties and paint.
5. Sugarloaf, Maine: Bud Light Reggae Fest
April 14-17, 2016
Don your rasta colors and dreds for what perhaps is the biggest and longest-running reggaefest on snow. Maine’s big Bud Light Reggae Fest enters its 28th season this spring at Sugarloaf. After record-breaking crowds amped up the vibe last year, this spring’s line-up is sure to carry the party onward.
The Widowmaker Lounge and King Pine Room host the indoor music and DJ spins while the outdoor stage sets the Beach to rocking. The long weekend headlines Saturday night with Ballyhoo! The Baltimore band brings their version of reggae sprinkled with rock and pop.
On the Beach, drink Bloody Marys while the beat dances on through Sunday. Just try to crawl back into work on Monday after this tropical bacchanalia.