Where snow meets dust: Minus Zero Winter Sport & Music Festival has evolved into a creative experiment
In just four years, Minus Zero Winter Sport & Music Festival has transformed from a one-day, west coast gathering to a full-fledged soirée that takes place each spring in Vermont. While dancing, skiing and snowboarding has always been a part of Minus Zero’s DNA, the fest has since branched out to the art world in an effort to diversify its offerings.
2018 saw the introduction of a brand new experience at Dover’s Mount Snow Resort – a quaint mountain lodge along Vermont’s southern tip that played host to the inaugural X Games in 1995. By day, Mount Snow operated as a normal ski resort with supporting sounds from artists like Brooklyn-based Erika Mysti and Maria Ton. Come 4pm, the resort seamlessly transitioned into a music festival lover’s stomping ground flowing with food vendors, art, and local shops.
Additions to this year’s experience also included a slate of Burning Man-esque art installations, revamped stage designs and a special sunrise set at the very top of Mount Snow. Read on to learn more about Dancing Astronaut’s top moments from this year’s edition of Minus Zero.
Photo courtesy of ANDK Images w/ Ded Agency
Tipper brings a fully customized show to Minus Zero
By 10pm, the temperature has dropped to a mere 21 degrees and billions of microscopic ice crystals are plummeting to the ground. Thousands of attendees are camped around Minus Zero’s main stage, braving the elements as Tipper makes a dramatic entrance as one of the final acts of the evening. From customized visuals courtesy of visual artist Jonathan Singer to a deluxe stage setup inclusive of projection mapping, an LED wall and a laser show produced by Photon7, Tipper pulled out all the stops for his Friday closing set. A series of blue, red and green lasers penetrate each individual snowflake to create cones composed of glitter.
Photo courtesy of Alec Donnell Luna of Ded Agency
Claude VonStroke heats up The Barn
Though normally used to store the resort’s iconic Bluebird lift chairs, Mount Snow’s Bluebird barn axed the chairs in favor of a den fit for Minus Zero’s day-into-night programming. Adorned with locally sourced wood cut into a series of hearts and two dancing figures, The Barn served as an indoor reprieve from Dover’s snow-soaked grounds and chilling temperatures. With Dirtybird head Claude VonStroke at the helm – along with other notable acts like Walker + Royce, Danny B and Human Resources – The Barn showcased the complete gamut of house, techno, tech house and funk.
Photo courtesy of Ded Pixel of Ded Agency
And at sunrise, we dance
A sunrise party at the tip of a snowy mountain is just one of the more special moments Minus Zero had to offer. At 3,586 feet tall, pedestrians could only reach the Summit Stage by way of a breezy, 15-minute ski lift trip. Featuring special guests hailing from the Brooklyn electronic music scene like Catori, Orijins and Holmar (formerly of Thugfucker), Sunrise Session provided an expressive outlet for fans more attuned to Burning Man culture. The sky is golden as festivalgoers clad in fur coats whisk the morning away to the sounds of melodic house and techno.
In dust we trust
This year, Minus Zero expanded its scope by tapping Killington, Vermont art collective Playa Vibes to spearhead the festival’s art programming. With the help of other communities deeply ingrained in Burning Man culture like Heavy Meta, Trifucta, Orijins and The Hive, Playa Vibes created an all-inclusive playground that tipped its hat to art of all mediums: photography, live art, painting, light and music. Veterans and newbies alike were able to get a taste of the dust during Minus Zero’s first-ever creative experiment, which consisted of art installations, a yoga and wellness area, an artist gallery and an art car straight from the Playa.