Set among the stunning alpine mountains, snow covered peaks, fresh pine forests and blue skies of Mayrhofen, Volvo Snowbombing's unique environment helps fuel a party atmosphere that is unrivalled. It's hard to describe watching a selection of the finest electronic and DJ talent perform in venues like an igloo village set on a plateau 2,000 metres above sea level, an atmospheric clearing in the forest, rustic log cabins and subterranean après-ski clubs.
What really makes the Snowbombing experience though, is the audience. Inspired by the environment, Brits (who make up a large portion of the festival audience) throw sleep out the window for an entire week, and instead get in as much snowboarding, skiing, music and partying as possible. But beware: You need to come ready to embrace all the surreal bonkerism that takes place on and off the slopes. It seems everyone adorns their most spectacular fancy dress at some point during the week, with a main theme set for each day—ranging from outer space to sporting heroes to the royal wedding. With cult heroes like Mr Motivator and Eddie The Eagle making appearances along the way, you can be sure that when we say that Snowbombing is like no other festival in the world that we mean it.
We caught up with some of the performers at the festival to get the low down on their Snowbombing experience, as well as showcasing some pictures of the festival itself.
Carl CraigThis was my first time being involved at Snowbombing, I didn't really know much about it beforehand. I mean, I've never even skied, but I rolled down a mountain once trying to snowboard. The only thing I knew is that there was going to be snow. It was really interesting, because it seemed like the whole town was being taken over by English transplants. [laughs] It was almost like going to a country, and finding this lost village in Argentina where only Americans lived. The energy of the people was really good. I was playing in a gigantic cabin with a couple of bars. I heard people had crazy costumes on, but I wasn't really paying attention to be honest. We were trying to get the correct power adapters because the sound guys brought English adapters and because I was playing in Austria, I thought I'd be playing with EU power adapters. After that—and my show—the only problem was finding my hotel!
Ewan PearsonSnowbombing is a festival I've played several years in a row now. It's a bit of an odd one for me as I've never skied or boarded in my life and I have no intention of starting now, and I'm far too old and staid for the dressing up and all that malarkey. But the air is clear, the location is beautiful, I always end up going walking in the mountains and there are a lot of nice people playing great music. Thanks to Marc and his crew I've DJ'ed in an igloo twice, and there's one party location called the Schussel which is a little Alpine shack of a disco which turns without fail into a really good party. (It's the only place where I can say I've had people literally—as opposed to metaphorically—hanging from the rafters.) The only downside is the sheer quantity of melted cheese and starch you end up consuming over the course of a week.
Jamie WoonI had a sense...I had heard a rumor that Snowbombing was a lot of fun. [laughs] Music and alpine sports, you know? I had no idea that people dressed up so much, though. I was surprised by how English it felt. I thought it might be a bit more global? The best costume I saw... I think the best costume you can buy was this baby on top of a granny's body. You're the baby's head. It sounds funny, but the way it's done is just brilliant. The people who had them had the [Prince] Will[iam] and Kate [Middleton] masks, it looked quite funny. The set was really cool. It was an intimate little room with a marble floor, and I played with Ramadanman. I really enjoyed it, it was the first time we've done a gig together I think. I probably had a bit too much fun, to be honest. I'm only just recovering. But if Snowbombing asks me back, I'll definitely come!
SBTRKTIt was my first outing to Austria and to Snowbombing, so I didn't really know what to expect. I guess I had this vision of a snowed-in village on the side of the mountain. I wasn't quite prepared for the hot weather; it was more like a trip to Barcelona in July! The highlight for me was getting to DJ in an igloo via the invitation of James Zabiela on top of a mountain. It was pretty much what it sounds like! We took a 7 PM lift up to the top, and the temperature dropped below zero by the time we got there. With about 300 igloo partygoers jumping up and down was a weird start, and it was a surreal experience trying to balance my DJ kit on a block of ice. Walking outside the igloo after my set, you couldn't see anything. It was pitch black, and pretty much a sheer drop each direction. I probably won't play a more interesting location in a while, and the crowd were in the mood to party, which is what counts most.
Space Dimension Controller & JackmasterIf I had to sum up my first Snowbombing in one word, it would be "madness." It's one of these festivals that's small enough to see all of your pals like Space Dimension Controller and get up to no good, but big enough not to get bored with your surroundings even though you've been there for five days. I arrived on Sunday which was the day before the party officially kicked off. Fabric took Oneman and myself 6,000 feet up a mountain to play in an igloo and it went off hard. Probably because once they were up there, the crowd had nowhere else to go! It was called the Arctic Disco. They had tables and chairs made of ice, the decks were set up on snow and they even had speakers inset into the actual igloo walls. The next night was the scene of the (soon to be legendary) back-to-back disco battle between Skream and I at Tayo's Tracksuit party. Artwork even jumped on the decks wearing a set of ski goggles and Mistajam was on the mic. I don't need to tell you how it went down. -- Jackmaster
The GlimmersI think the first time we went to Snowbombing was in 2007. We played the Arena club, the big one. But this year we played Schlussel, which had a very ski vibe, a chalet vibe. Arena could be anywhere. Schlussel is just a wooden box, it really feels like you're playing at Snowbombing. We never dress up, except one time a year for a special party in Amsterdam. That's how far it goes for us! But I liked the three people who dressed up like a buffet on a table. They were all walking around together, with this table all set with all the different foods. And there was also the bobsled team. I'm more partial to the group efforts. As far as the music goes, though, I think our biggest tune of the weekend was Peter and The Magician's "Twist." The Magician is the guy who used to be in Aeroplane, and I think it's coming out on Kitsuné soon. -- Mo Becha