TURIN — Rain falling on Snow Ridge Ski Resort on Sunday didn’t dampen the energy that had been building at moe.down since the music festival guests began pouring in Friday. The mix of musical artists, dancers in the crowd with LED hula hoops and the spirit of community kept the party going through its last day.
More than 5,000 people made Snow Ridge home for the three-day music festival over Labor Day weekend. Snow Ridge has hosted moe.down 13 out of the 15 years it has been held. This year also marks moe.down’s return to Labor Day weekend, after playing in early August the past two years.
Jean M. Chao, a Syracuse resident who has put together the event with her husband, Chuck, and the band moe., said band members decided to return to Snow Ridge because everyone loves the location, and Labor Day was the perfect weekend.
Mrs. Chao said everything went smoothly. For the first two days, organizers couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the rain Sunday didn’t ruin the festivities. She said people came, set up camp and moved to where the two stages were set up to watch the musical performances.
In addition to event namesake moe., rock band performances were given by O.A.R., Conehead Buddha, Gogol Bordello, Lotus, Soulive, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, Jerry Douglas Band, Everyone Orchestra, Twiddle, Floodwood, Aqueous, The Werks, American Babies and Wild Adriatic.
Mrs. Chao said people came from all over the country. She said she’s seen license plates from every state except Hawaii.
At moe.down, the resort grounds become a sort of temporary community, with the tent city, volunteers, and a mayor selected at the end of the night Sunday to preside over the next event.
On Sunday, the ski slope towering over stage A was decorated with evidence of the people who were jamming to moe. the night before. Items such as a brown hoodie, a plastic shot glass, a pair of lime green sunglasses and more were tucked into the wet grass. At noon, volunteers, some just waking up, were walking around trying to clean everything up before people began to migrate to the stage area from their campsites for band performances.
Mr. Desjardin said it’s his first year at moe.down and he was impressed by the energy, music and good people he has met over the weekend.
He said on Saturday night people were stretched over the ski hill to the top just to listen to music and see the stars. On Sunday morning, he said, he came out to help clean up the trash and get ready for another full day.
“There are good parties all over this place and good people wherever you go,” Mr. Desjardin said.
Outside the vicinity of the stage, listening to music and engaging strangers in conversation has been one of the best parts of the weekend experience, along with enjoying the artwork people had made and brought to the resort, he said.
Anna M. O’Connor, Roselle Park, N.J., dressed in a green tutu, braided vest and flower-covered headband, was dancing with her clear hula hoop to the music from a drum circle at the “Everyone’s Drumming Custom Made Drums and Percussion Instruments” tent.
“I love the live shows. I can really get into the music,” Ms. O’Connor said. “All the bands have been really solid. One of the best music festivals I’ve been too.”
Mrs. Chao said the only way to get ready for an event with more than 5,000 people is to start planning for next year as soon as this year’s moe.down is finished.
“We plan for this all year and work with the different artists to make it what it is,” she said.
Festival participants were invited to register to vote by the group iCitizen based out of New York City. Volunteers Jeffrey D. and Lisa M. Simonds and Michelle R. Ievoli offered a free chance at a weeklong Jamaican cruise and an opportunity to become educated about voting.
“We try to get voter engagement. We work with a lot of artists to get photos and posters out,” Mrs. Simonds said. “The iCitizen groups go to all kind of shows, including Lincoln Park, Jay Z and everything between.”
“The younger generation is more likely not registering to vote or voting,” Mrs. Simonds said. “We go to music festivals in mostly upstate New York and Vermont. We go anywhere the younger generation might be.”