Is Snowbombing The Best Winter Music Festival? We Went To Mayrhofen To Find Out

Pizza, french fries, cardboard box...

Snowbombing is in it’s 17th year now, and for a long time has served as one final hurrah for the winter snow season, attracting skiers, snowboarders, and partygoers alike to the otherwise unassuming Austrian town of Mayrhofen for a full week of shenanigans on and off the piste.

Mpora arrived midway through the festival, the second half of the week being when many of the larger named acts are reserved for. Being held in Spring each year, Snowbombing has traditionally been a place where you can rave all night, but then cure the resulting hangover with a day on the slopes wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and trousers.

Hopes of this idyllic notion were raised by reports that Mayrhofen was hotter than Malta in the days leading up to the festival. However, by the time Mpora had arrived, the luck had ran out, and anywhere above 1000 metres – where the snow was – was shrouded in thick, soupy mist.

The perennial crowd-pleaser – Photo: Andrew Whitton / Fanatic Snowbombing 2016

Visibility on the slopes was poor for the duration of our stay, something that would probably have been enough to kill the mood at another festival, but Snowbombing proved too big a beast to be stopped by some inclement weather.

Day after day, people hit the slopes, often in bizarre fancy dress, determined to make the most of one final bit of time on snow before the season finally wound down. In fact, fancy dress seems to be as big a part of Snowbombing as arseing around on snow.

It seemed like, at any-one-time, you could easily bump into Jon Snow (from Game Of Thrones, not Channel 4 news) Scooby Doo, maids, golfers, chickens, pirates, and more.

Miles and Giles getting the party started – Photo: Giles Smith / Fanatic Snowbombing 2016

There were also a lot of young men with those seemingly popular Ice Gem hair cuts, although it was impossible to tell if this was fancy dress or a questionable trend founded in Essex. There was also a rumour that James Bond was somewhere on the slopes, but may just have been Idris Elba, who was DJing at festival.

Speaking of DJing, while the days at Snowbombing are all about having fun on the slopes, come nightfall, the town below turns into one gigantic rave. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is like a school disco in an abandoned Austrian cow shed. Snowbombing enjoys a lineup that would be the envy of any regular music festival in the UK.

This year the likes of Skepta, Shy FX, Mista Jam, Man Power, and Krafty Kuts all played banger sets in an array of stunning venues throughout the town.

‘Bo Selecta’ actually means ‘good DJ’ so it was a compliment all along – Photo: Andrew Whitton / Fanatic Snowbombing 2016

The highlight for many was the return of Craig David – no really – who’s set at the Racket Club was enough for one person on our return flight to exclaim loudly “I fucking love Craig David”, much to the bemusement of the business class passengers at the front.

However, the highlight of the week for Mpora was The Prodigy playing amid a somewhat rain soaked forest on Friday night. Within seconds of hitting the stage they burst into their opener, the incendiary Breathe, to which thousands of people lost their shit.

The Prodigy prove to be the highlight in a week of absolute bangers – Photo Jack Clayton / Mpora

What followed was over an hour of banger after banger, as Keith and the boys bounced around on stage with enough energy to power Wales for a fortnight.

It may have taken two days to recover fully from, but Snowbombing 2016 certainly earned its self proclaimed moniker as ‘The greatest show on snow’. In fact, it may even being doing itself a disservice.

For our money, Snowbombing is easily one of the best festivals Europe has to offer, be that on snow or anything else. But please, if you’re listening Snowbombing gods, let there be some sun next year.

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23 Essential Truths About Taking on a Snow-Based Music Festival

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