Now that we are in the midst of this years season it’s time to brush up on what the hottest snow festivals are offering you this year. Whether you like sipping on mulled wine while listening to French pop or getting your rave on to techno in an igloo, these festivals offer a whirlwind of world class DJ’s on breath-taking mountains.
1) Rise, Les Deux Alps, France
With arguably the best line up of any festival this season, Rise brings you Ms Dynamite, Sigma, Eton Messy, High Contrast, Skream, we could go on…
Whether you’re a nursery slope novice or ballsy on a black, Les Deux Alps has it all and flaunting the largest glacier in Europe there will certainly be no shortage of snow. In fact, there’s so much snow that Rise have put it to good use, with daily snow sculpture contests for those artists amongst you.
But if you want to immerse yourself in an activity requiring less thought and concentration, sitting back in the snow, sipping on beer and filling your ears with good music is also another option.
12-19 December. Wristband and 6 day lift pass from £189. risefestival.co.uk
2) Transitions, Avoriaz, France
The creators of Snowbombing bring you Avoriaz’s second festival of the season, which boasts moody basement bars, table-top dancing beneath fireworks, pool parties and mountain meals. If you’re not already into the Christmas spirit, these snow, booze and music filled few days will certainly get you there.
Wave goodbye to London for a week in Avoriaz, where it’s ski-in-ski-out status means there’s not even a pavement in sight. In fact, it couldn’t feel further from home, with horse and carriage being the only method of transport in the town. Getting back from a night out has never been so entertaining!
Be sure to be there for this festival’s debut, which has already secured an impressive line up of Dizzee Rascal, Bondax and Huxley. We know you won’t be disappointed.
13 -19 December. Wristband and accommodation from £119. transitionsnow.com
3) The Ski Week, Aspen USA, Chamonix FRANCE, Obertaurn AUSTRIA and Hakuba JAPAN
We fully agree with this festival’s motto that ‘not everyone can ski, but everyone can après ski’ and that’s exactly how we suggest you spend the majority of your time at this festival.
Choose between 4 resorts to satisfy your holiday cravings and quench your thirst for the mountain air. Aside from endless partying, this series of week-long boutique festivals will get you doing morning yoga and heli-skiing. Well, maybe not the latter.
January - April with accommodation, ski pass and wristband available from £454.00 theskiweek.com
4) Horizon Festival, Bansko Ski Resort, Bulgaria
Once again Europe’s greatest ski party have excelled themselves. Aside from the casual 120 international DJ’s that will be blasting their tunes across 75 km of slopes, thermal pool raves and paintball wars in the forest leave other festivals in Horizon’s powder tracks.
But if running around a wood at night and getting your rave on in a pool isn’t quite your jam, fear not, for Horizon will cater for your every need. Freshen up mid-festival with your girl friends in the ladies only spa, cosy up among local critters and the bears at the hot spa cinema, or gorge yourself on a selection of meats washed down with fiery grappa at the Bansko Banquet.
It’s clear to see that what ever your idea of a festival is, Horizon won’t let you down. It’s not called Europe’s greatest ski party for nothing!
12-17 March. Wristband and accommodation from £175. horizonfestival.net
5) Snowboxx, Avoriaz, France
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t let a hangover stop you skiing, then Snowboxx is the festival for you.
Familiarise yourself with the largest skiable area in Europe by day and party the night away until the first lifts. Who needs sleep anyway?
This year is certainly not one to miss, with a load of extra parties added to the itinerary. Thanks Snowboxx!
From Igloo ‘sessions’ to karaoke cabins, street-food stalls to cocktail bars, join hundreds of other like-minded, neon-clad individuals for the ultimate winter festival.
12-19 March. Wristband and six day Portes du Soleil pass for £229. snowboxx.com
6) Rock the Pistes, Morzine and Avoriaz, France
Eurovision fans, this is the festival for you. Back for its 6th year, Rock the Pistes has a line up that will excite all ears regardless of how in tune with international music they are.
Based in a different resort each day across the Portes du Soleil, this week long festival requires serious commitment, including not loosing your snow legs too early - your skis or snowboard are your only means of transport to get you there. We’ll let you cross that bridge when you come to it…
Seriously though, this festival is not for the faint hearted. With each stage separated by about two valleys, black runs become a frequent encounter. For some of us, these are difficult enough already let alone after a few mulled wines.
For those that are up to it though, this festival will certainly not fail to please. With headline gigs beginning at 1pm, pack in a couple of runs and a croquet monsieur before unwinding to an afternoon of music that will carry you into the night.
13-19 March. £212 for a 6 day lift pass and free access to the festival. rockthepistes.com
7) The Brits, Laax, Switzerland
With their 30th anniversary just around the corner, The Brits has become a world-class festival, attracting thousands of snow fanatics from across the globe for a week-long celebration of snow and music.
Watch in awe as some of the UK’s best boarders and skiers show-off their sick skills at freestyle demonstrations throughout the day, and party with them afterwards at après sessions that continue into the night. Live bands and world renowned DJ’s such as Chase & Status and Ben Howard make this festival a hard one to forget, despite the amount of alcohol consumed.
The Brits will also be hosting their annual British Snowboard and Freeski Championships, which, apart from making you insanely jealous of their talent and general coolness, will make you proud to be a Brit.
3-10 April. 6 day lift pass and wristband for £290. the-brits.com
8) Snowbombing, Mayhofren, Austria
This year Snowbombing have promised us white-hot parties on black runs under bluebird skies and with a line up featuring The Prodigy, Bastille, Fatboy Slim and Skepta, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t slightly tempted.
Last year it was donned as ‘the coolest festival on the planet’, but what does this year have in stall for us?
The answer is open forest raves, Arctic Disco's, secret backcountry bashes and Austria’s biggest fancy dress street party.
And when you’re not boogying, brush up your skills at one of Europe’s best snow parks.
4-9 April. Wristband and 5 nights accommodation for £334. snowbombing.com