Let me set the scene”Â¦ You’re at the top of a mountain at 3000 feet, surrounded by a white canvas and basking in the thirty degrees heat in the middle of April. Now, the last place on Earth you’d think you would be is a music festival; well at Snowbombing that’s exactly where you are!
Established in 2000, Snowbombing transforms your average ski holiday into one of the liveliest festivals you’re ever likely to come across. After relocating several times, from France to Switzerland, the festival has now found it’s rightful home in Mayrhofen in the Zillertal valley of Austria; and it doesn’t take long to figure out why. The village, which also plays host to the more traditional skiing and boarding holidays the rest of the winter months, sees out the season with the most unique farewell party the Alps has to offer.
Snowbombers spend their day hitting the slopes, with Mayrhofen boasting 625km of piste and Austria’s steepest run, not to mention some of the most breathtaking scenery, but it’s the night where Snowbombing has earned it’s mantle as “Ibiza in the snow”Â.
Snowbombing 2011 began with the likes of Magenetic Man’s dubstep duo Skream and Benga playing to the 3000 strong crowds, which for a 6000 attendee festival, ain’t half bad. But it’s as the week goes on that things really start to hot up, from Chase & Status to Sub Focus in the resorts resident venue The Racket Club’, not to mention Jaguar Skills, Jamie Woon and Reverend Sound System all playing the town’s smaller venues.
It’s Snowbombing’s more unique venues however, that have earned its reputation. Take for example, the Arctic Disco. Situated at the top of a mountain in an igloo holding 300 people, and to top it all off, it’s Fat Boy Slim playing inside; or if you’re not one of those lucky lot, you might just have to settle for the Eristoff Forest Stage to see The Prodigy tearing it up on the last night of the festival to go out in style, and Fat Boy Slim, who’s almost become a resident DJ for the festival, playing the arena this time to a much larger crowd than that of the Arctic Disco.
Snowbombing isn’t your average festival, with tents being swapped for Austrian chalets, Schnitzel and Grillwurst replacing your usual festival junk food. However, for me it’s the atmosphere of Snowbombing, which makes the festival what it is, the friendly and excited vibe is around whether you’re skiing at the top of a glacier or going fucking mental in a Prodigy moshpit in the middle of a forest; everyone just seems like a kid in a sweet shop whether it’s their first or their seventh year attending. Which makes you wonder whether there’s a more unique festival in Europe at the moment. The irreplaceable experience that Snowbombing offers festivalgoers keeps them coming back for more year on year. Granted, you have to pay a fair whack to enjoy the experience (Ã¢âÂ¬150 for a ski pass, Ã¢âÂ¬100 for ski hire), but when has skiing ever been a cheap past time anyway?