Separated from its birthplace beneath the iconic towers of Battersea Power Station, this year Freeze sprung up on the pleasant pastures of Clapham Common for a (slightly less) urban fix of music, rail jams, après and ever eccentric mountain wear flaunting.
Dubbed a music, ski and snowboard festival, Freeze set out to offer anything and everything you might encounter in a mountain resort, and with a whole host of mountain bars ready to plunge you into the midst of a heavy après session, drunken debauchery was definitely on the cards. One unsuspecting look into the Krazy Kangaroo, a famous Austrian hangout, saw us flung into the world’s most unflattering onesies, made to dance like lunatics to the cheesiest sounds of the 80s and partake in a brief, but nonetheless awkward, game of twister.
Dressing up has long been a festival favourite of Freeze goers and this year was obviously no different. If onesies didn’t quite cut the mustard, eager fans could further their fancy dress fix by helping to set a new Guinness World Record for the ‘most Christmas jumpers in one place at one time’… admittedly not ground breaking stuff, but a record none the less.
Even the riders were jumping on the fancy dress bandwagon this year, with Len Jorgensen and Kas Lemmens donning themselves as Batman and the Joker in the international rail jam. Unfortunately any similarities between Len Jorgensen and Batman stopped at his face as a particularly heavy slam to the head forced his session short and saw him whisked away by the medics.
Although the après bars had been pumping out sets all week, the main stage was only in full flow on the Saturday. Following on from the likes of the Cuban Brothers, Flyte and a magic mix of DJ Fresh & Messy MC, it was French electro phenomenon Madeon who hyped up an already euphoric crowd to round up the Saturday night.
Saturday was also when the real snow action started. While the imposing 32 meter kicker that had become synonymous with Freeze was absent, there was still enough to get excited about on the snow front. Both the Battle of Britain and the International Rail Jam proved worthy enough competitions to attract a host of world class riders, although that was no doubt helped along by the £12,000 prize purse.
The cream of British talent kicked off the riding in the Battle of Britain, which saw Mikey Rowlands top the podium in skiing and the man of ultimate steeze Andy Nudds in snowboarding.
When the turn came for the invited international riders to take to the rails the ante was upped from the off. While Finnish rider Juho Kilkki was all over the skiing title, in snowboarding it was a more closely fought battle. Although Russia’s Denis Leontyev put up a good fight, it was the UK’s Jamie Nicholls who managed to come out on top in the end.