Festival Spotlight EP04: Snowbombing Festival
While it is clear that music is the life force behind EDM, no one can argue that dance music would not be where it is now without the driving force of its festival scene. From Woodstock in the early 1970s to the early days of EDC in Los Angeles in the 2000s to the massive underground festivals of Europe, music festivals have been deeply ingrained into the world’s culture.
In a new weekly series, EDM.com is shining the spotlight on lesser known festivals around the world that are on par with marquee festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra, and Tomorrowland. These festivals are highlighted for the atmosphere, the people, and most importantly, the music and the talent that they bring. From Austria’s signature Snowbombing festival, to ZoukOut in Singapore, to Shambhala in Canada, this series will be your one-stop guide to some of the best hidden gems in the festival scene around the world.
This week’s pick is the one-of-its-kind Snowbombing Festival in Austria.
The Snowbombing Festival is a week-long music festival held annually in the spring at the iconic Mayrhofen ski area in Austria. Located 32 kilometers south of Jenbach, Mayrhofen is the third largest community in Tyrol, and is surrounded by nine other mountain resorts. The festival began in 2000, where it was held in France as an apres-ski nightclub promotional exercise, until it found its home at the Mayrhofen ski resort in Austria in 2005, and ever since, Snowbombing has evolved into Europe’s biggest snow and music festival.
One aspect of Snowbombing that sets it apart from a typical festival is its location. Fresh air, blue skies, black diamond runs, and white-hot parties all come together to create a festival and an atmosphere that is unmatched anywhere in the world. Lucky for Snowbombing, the Mayrhofen ski area is one of the best mountains in the world, as it is blessed with beautiful alpine peaks, panoramic snow-covered plateaus, towering pine forests, a 300-year-old wood barn, and a nightclub made entirely from snow, that perfectly suit the festival’s needs.
Mornings at Snowbombing are spent on the stunning slopes of Mayrhofen, and with 487 meters of marked ski runs, a 3286 meter glacier, and one of the best terrain parks in the world, Snowbombing is arguably not only a premier destination for dance music fans, but also for avid skiers and snowboarders. As the sun starts to set, skis and snowboards are traded for glowsticks and kandi, as the focus turns towards the music. Unlike a typical festival where attendees go to a stage, Snowbombing completely tears up the rule book and throws parties in some of the coolest venues in the world, from mountain-top igloo parties, to hidden backcountry barn dances, to open-air forest raves.
Snowbombing gives attendees a chance to experience the wide range of dance music culture that laid its foundations in Europe, as many of its special venues are an ode to the history books. During Snowbombing, a massive underground tennis center is transformed into a festival venue, with a killer sound-system and a subterranean vibe that cannot be matched, called the Racket Club. The Racket Club has hosted some of the best live acts of the last decade, from the iconic Chemical Brothers, to Rudimental.
The Arctic Disco is a massive snow and ice igloo built on the mountain top, close enough to touch the stars. With 3 bars, fur rugs, two dance areas, and hot chocolate and cocktails for all to drink, The Arctic Disco has a vibe and an ambience that makes it one of the most in-demand venues of Snowbombing. This year, Skrillex, Carl Cox, MK, and Idris Elba will all be hosting nights at the Arctic Disco. The Backcountry Party at Snowbombing takes attendees into the center of the mountain by coach, through a 2 kilometer long tunnel, to a party of a lifetime in a 300-year-old lumberjack mountain retreat. Known for its electro-disco boogie, the Backcountry Party will be hosted by PBR Streetgang, Crazy P, and Mat Playford.
As one of Austria’s premier music festivals, the talent that Snowbombing books is nothing short of elite. Originally an entirely electronic music lineup, Snowbombing welcomed live acts in 2008 as an nod to the rising popularity of indie and indie dance music, and has hosted live acts since. The 2014 rendition of Snowbombing was home to The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Rudimental, Carl Cox, Chase and Status, and Groove Armada as headliners, while also welcoming undercard acts like Dusky, Gorgon City, Four Tet, James Zabiela and more. This year, Snowbombing will be home to Rudimental once again, who will be joined by Skrillex, Gorgon City, MK, Fatboy Slim, and many more for the festival of a lifetime.