For the first time in it’s twenty-two years, two-time gold-medalist Shaun White brought Air + Style to the U.S.. The two-day sports competition on February 21 and 22 took place at the famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, with over 40,000 spectators in its two days, featuring eighteen bands on three stages, and thirty-two of the world's best snowboarders and freeskiers competing on a sixteen-story jump. Saturday’s lineup included the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Portugal. The Man, Phantogram, The Black Lips, Metz, Bad Things, In the Valley Below and Teenage Wrist, while Sunday’s lineup included Steve Aoki, The Flaming Lips, Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros, Sleigh Bells, Cults, Deap Vally, Surfer Blood, The Black And The White and Tennis System.

Prior to the Los Angeles event, Air + Style was hosted at Beijing and Innsbruck before it came to the U.S. to close out the three-stop tour. The event originated 21 years ago in Innsbruck with a second event in the series added in Beijing only five years ago. In addition to White bringing music and 16 elite snowboarders to the U.S. stop, skiing was added to the line up for the first time in the event’s history. Without a doubt, Los Angeles created an opportunity for the unique event to expand even further.

Unfortunately, while the event was eloquently produced, the Los Angeles stop saw an array of problems. First and foremost, the main stage had a number of sound issues. On Saturday, not only did Diplo’s set seem remarkably distant with his bass barely hitting fans ears, Kendrick Lamar’s performance was cut directly in half. Furthermore, on Sunday, L.A. found itself in the midst of a bizarre rainstorm – yes, winter does hit southern California occasionally. Because of the terrible weather conditions, many fans left the slow-paced festival and both The Flaming Lips and Steve Aoki’s audiences were greatly diminished. At least four times smaller than the day before, although the sound was fixed a bit.

In all, the event has hit twenty-two years for a reason. While the Los Angeles stop may have seen several issues in production and weather, the U.S. will still anxiously wait for its return. We look forward to even more success in 2016 and twenty three years of the uniquely-driven event.

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