Design Elements

Snow Machines

In light of a certain wintery holiday approaching I thought I’d mention a cool piece of technology some people might not be aware of. That is the (fake) snow machine. For those of us northernly challenged (living in Texas as I do)…we usually have to fake our winter wonderlands.

Enter the snow machine. Essentially…the typical snow machine used a foamy solution to make tiny foam bubbles that can look like snow. Then a fan blows the “snow” unidirectionally and it floats down like snow. You can either buy one for anywhere from $60-250…or you can often rent them from local companies that rent out DJ gear.

A few tips if you plan to use a snow machine this year:

  • The fans are very loud. If you’re in a small auditorium setting…be sure that something loud is happening if you’re using the snow machines inside.
  • Test the things before you use them. Some snow machines don’t work well if they aren’t flat.
  • The foam it produces can become a bit slippery if it falls on a very smooth surface.

A quick story. We used two snow machines one year…but hadn’t tested them. We put them tilted up on the stage behind some dancers. During the peak of the song we flipped them on…trying to create a really cool atmosphere. The sound of the fans actually drowned out the accompanying track…and since we had the snow machines tilted up…globs of foam shot out instead of a soft snow fall. Pretty lame.

So…have you used a snow machine before? What brand have you used? Also…what horror stories do you have from using snow machines that might help others?

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