Discovering Altus Festival Tahoe: An Interview With Festival Organizers

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
February, 24 2020

Discovering Altus Festival Tahoe: An Interview With Festival Organizers

There are few places around the world that define snowsport-entertainment quite like South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Resort, which explains why Altus Festival Tahoe is debuting this March at this idyllic winter destination offering unique Northern California vibes.

South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Resort also embodies the gaming and party setting that characterizes Nevada, making it the perfect backdrop for Altus Festival Tahoe and the more than 50 international house and techno DJs along with old-school hip hop icons, underground electronic up-and-comers, and globally renowned producers it is inviting for its debut edition.

Highlights for the strong lineup include Bonobo, Justin Martin, Sugarhill Gang with Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio of the Furious Five, Rhadoo, WhoMadeWho, Behrouz, Mr. G, Atish, Ryan Crosson, Jason Kendig (aka Honey Soundsystem), No Regular Play, Jay Tripwire, Doc Martin and many more!

To learn more about Altus Festival Tahoe we spoke to one of the festival’s key organizers, Kelechi Amadi:

Hi, thanks for chatting with us today and congrats on the launch of Altus Festival! Can you tell us a little about how the idea for this festival began?

The idea behind the festival is more of a connection of two passions, snowboarding and music festivals. So I guess the idea started when I thought about how I could combine these two things I love.

When and how did you come to choose Tahoe as the ideal location for Altus?

The journey to doing Altus in Tahoe has been a long one, to be honest. When I found this beautiful place with endless features crossing two borders, while still keeping their distinct vibes; they connected exactly what I was looking for in such a smooth way. I saw the potential straight away, with no question we had to start in Lake Tahoe.

What do you hope Altus Festival Tahoe will provide that is different than other festivals that combine snow sports and electronic music?

The difference is that the Altus festival brings these things together in a really unique way. Crossing the states from day to night, from the Heavenly slopes to the casino clubs. We thought about what excites us about Tahoe and everything it has to offer. With the plethora of knowledge our team has, we carefully curated a line up that appeals to the more discerning music tastes, including quality underground house, sophisticated techno and old school hip hop acts. Some of these artists have only performed in the US once before, like Mr. G.

In addition to the music programming that we’re bringing to the mountain there’s also lots of other on and off-piste activities, in addition to a stellar line up of renowned brands and party showcases that will combine artists in unexpected ways. We’re also working with the organization Parties4Peace, to support sustainable causes in Lake Tahoe. We’re bringing a jam packed 4 days and nights of music and mountain experience to the local community and our Tahoe visitors.

How would you summarize the experience you aim for Altus to provide in one or two sentences?

Four days and nights of curated world class music, elevated bucket list views, epic parties, unrivalled skiable terrain and endless adventure. So basically, super-maximum fun times!

Can you tell us a little about how the festival will be structured, given the eclectic and big lineup you have announced?

We have four days and nights of programming across multi-venues. By day we will take you to Lake Tahoe’s mountain playground, Heavenly Mountain Resort for three days of piste performances by our DJs, at our Lakeview Snow cat stage. There you can ride the slopes of the only ski resort in North America to span across two states, allowing skiers and riders to experience the best of both California and Nevada terrain, on one EPIC mountain.

After a day on the mountains, join us from the afternoon at Himmel Haus, for the official Altus Après-ski activities and performances as well as special pop-up events to be announced. Then we cross the border to Nevada where the parties hosted by our community-based showcases begin in our venues across the casinos including Harrah’s, Harveys and Hard Rock. It is literally a ride the slopes to party in the clubs experience – with creative pop-up events and experiences along the way!

Will there be dedicated label or branded showcases?

Yes, we have 16+ parties throughout the event that will be hosted by our showcases including Do Not Sit, Pink Mammoth, Sunset Sound System, Ardy Pardy, Sublevel, Superfreq and Pile Palace to name a few, who will host some pretty epic parties, we can’t wait to release the schedule.

People reading this may not know much about what kind of venues and clubs exist in Tahoe. What can you tell us about the ones that will host the Altus events?

We will be hosting events in locations across South Lake Tahoe, California and Stateline, Nevada. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the only ski resort in North America to span across two states, with 4,800 skiable acres — the most in Lake Tahoe, 3,500 vertical feet (1,067 meters) — unmatched on the West Coast and 10,067 feet in elevation (3,068 meters) — the highest in Lake Tahoe. Hidden gem of Tahoe, Himmel Haus, is a German restaurant and bierhaus venue with a California twist and our apres-ski location.

Our nightclub parties start at 9 PM. Peek, our Main Stage venue, is over 6700 square feet in Harrah’s casino. It has a world-class sound system to match the top level of acts we have.

We also have Blu, Montbleu’s super atmospheric nightclub, with the perfect underground vibe to get lost in. Vinyl of Hard Rock Hotel will amplify the music feel and get you closer to the sound and your favourite DJs, it’s a nice intimate showroom spot.

Because we like to keep the party going, it’s a four-day fest, so play hard, party harder, Xhale bar and lounge will host our afterhours venue from 3am-9am. We will also have pop-up and secret parties during the day to be announced soon.

What if someone wants to attend for the music only, but doesn’t ski or snowboard?

We put together tickets that offer a range of experiences if you only want to attend the music and off-mountain events you can buy a Festival Only pass or a Festival + Lodging package pass. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

What kind of non-music experiences will be available for attendees?

You’ll be able to hit the slopes with our Heavenly ski package. We also have apres-ski events at Himmel Haus which is a personal fave. It’s Tahoe’s würst experience where you can listen to music but also taste the traditional cuisine of Germany combined with a Californian influence. In addition we have a programme of wellness and ski based activities including Micah’s Altitude Adjustment featuring a German sparkle party, Disco Brunch and Elevated Yoga. We’ll be releasing the schedule next week, so stay tuned!

I saw you have teamed up with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for this first Altus edition, which I think is fantastic. Tell us a little about how that came about, why, and what that means for Altus and its attendees

We have partnered with Parties4Peace, a nonprofit organization, as part of our commitment to creating a positive impact on the environment. By teaming up with them we will work to create a culture of peace and sustainability through music and art. A percentage of the proceeds from the festival will be donated to Parties4Peace to support their educational programs for climate action and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

We also encourage festival attendees and participating artists to carbon offset their travel with our partners. Appreciating the natural environment where the festival will take place, Parties4Peace and ALTUS Festival are working together to make a positive impact for the planet.

Anything else people should know about the festival that we haven’t covered?

We have special tickets for locals, groups and volunteers on our website.

If you’re looking for something exciting, with multi-venues and activities, and lineup we love and hope you do to and then Altus is going to make your spring something special, so Tahoe’s calling.

Thank you for the chat, see you on the slopes… and the dance floors!

Altus Festival Tahoe Lineup

Altus Festival Tahoe Lineup

More Information on Altus Festival Tahoe

Produced in partnership with Caesars Entertainment, MontBleu and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the event aims to create a new home for forward-thinking electronic music fans amongst the natural beauty and luxury accommodations that Tahoe is famous for. Festival packages, starting at $790 per person, offer music-fans a full Tahoe experience by including three-days of ski/snowboard passes and four nights of lodging at the iconic Harvey’s, or Hard Rock, which are among Lake Tahoe’s premier hotels, in addition to four days of music event access.

The only ski resort in North America to span across two states, Heavenly Mountain Resort allows skiers and riders to experience the best of both California and Nevada terrain on one epic mountain. Heavenly is Lake Tahoe’s mountain playground that provides a social vacation of experiences that bring people together to find unexpected fun both on and off the mountain. This package is complete with four nights of lodging at the iconic Harvey’s, or Hard Rock, which are among Lake Tahoe’s premier hotels, in addition to four days of music event access.

VIP packages include fast track entry, priority access to table service, special discounts and VIP access to state-of-the-art speciality areas . Volunteer and ambassador opportunities are available at http://altusfestivaltahoe.com, and attendees will have access to an official limited merch collaboration with global dance party-wear brand A Line Called K. Additionally, Altus has partnered with Powder House to offer exclusive ski and snowboard rental deals to festival-goers, including 35% off rentals and 10% off select retail items.  

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