SnowGlobe Music Festival Sued for Carcinogenic Air Quality


Recently, MTV‘s SnowGlobe Music Festival was sued due to a recent discovery made by the Center for Environmental Health. Unfortunately, after the 2018 event, they found that there were large amounts of benzene located in the air. Supposedly, this was caused by the diesel generators that were being used during the festival.

According to the Tribune, CEH senior scientist Caroline Cox states that ” “Many music festivals use a variety of diesel-powered items including the generators and buses and trucks.” She continues, “We were concerned about the amount of benzene that these diesel combustion produces so we measured benzene levels at the SnowGlobe music festival and they were above the level set under California’s Proposition 65.”

Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. It lists Benzene as a chemical compound that can cause cancer and reproduction toxicity.

After the discovery, CEH gave SnowGlobe Music Festival a 60-day notice of violation against Proposition 65 in January 2019. Afterward, on December 20th, 2019, they filed a lawsuit against the festival.

SnowGlobe Music Festival has been working with the CEH to resolve the issue; a settlement has been filed. The festival has been looking for ways to improve its venue environment. According to Cox, “One thing the festival is exploring is whether they could get electric power to the site, the other thing they’re looking at is biodiesel for their buses which decreases emissions.”

Like many music festivals, SnowGlobe Music Festival has already been getting some heat from residents in the South Lake Tahoe area. Noise complaints have been repeatedly made about the event and efforts have been made to police the loud sounds. This lawsuit is just another issue added to the adored music festival.

Snowglobe Response:

SnowGlobe official statement:

“CEH’s Proposition 65 lawsuit is about not having warning signs on site during the 2018 Festival. SnowGlobe disputes that the 2018 Festival operations released “significant amounts” of benzene, as CEH alleged, or any amount of benzene above California’s highly conservative “safe harbor” levels.  SnowGlobe also disputes that CEH used a valid method for determining benzene exposures at the 2018 Festival.  In 2019, as a precautionary measure to avoid further litigation, SnowGlobe posted warning signs, although SnowGlobe strongly disputes that there were any exposures to benzene due to Festival operations above California’s “safe harbor” levels.  Because of SnowGlobe’s commitment to the environment and to avoid litigation with this environmental group, it has entered into a settlement with CEH regarding the Proposition 65 warning sign requirements.  Our long- term goal for SnowGlobe is to transition into a completely sustainable event — an ambition inspired both by the South Lake Tahoe community’s culture of environmentalism and our team’s personal belief in the importance of conscientious and ethical event planning.  We’re happy to report that with guidance from the amazing team at  Waste Free Earth, we’ve made significant steps year over year towards reaching our goal.”