Snowbombing 2017 Review
From mountain-top yoga, to DJ Yoda, 'the greatest show on snow' is becoming a truly special festival
Main image: Jenna Foxton / Fanatic 2017 & Snowbombing 2017
Now a staggering 18 years old - making it old enough to enjoy a not-quite-full glass of Austria’s finest lager - Snowbombing returned to Mayrhofen last week to, once again, prove that it’s still the greatest show on snow.
For a whole week, hard-partying skiers and snowboarders, along with probably just as many folk who think a Gondola is something punted by a chap in venice, descend on the otherwise sleepy Austrian village for a party to see-off the snow for another season in style. It promises the chance to shred in a t-shirt on the mountain by day, and party all night after the lifts close.
Mpora arrived at Snowbombing to ominously grey skies late on Wednesday afternoon, by which time the festival had already been underway for three days, and the likes of hip-hop royalty Run The Jewels, and British Grime artist Giggs had already torn the place up and jumped on a plane home (if you listen closely, you can still hear our tears hitting the keyboard). But that’s not to say that Snowbombing was spent. Far from it.
"The audience erupted, sloshing their beer in the air as the headliners played swaggerin anthem after anthem"
As the sun set over the mountains, the Forest Party was the destination of choice, where the sounds of Mancunian rock royalty, fronted by a man called Liam were blasting out from the trees. Alas, this was only Oasis playing over the PA, before the night’s headliners, The Courteeners hit the stage. When they did, the audience erupted, and sloshed their beer in the air as the band played swaggering anthem after swaggering anthem.
The following day, soupy heads were met with equally dense conditions on top of the mountain. Mist had descended, and visibility was down to just a few metres, making skiing and snowboarding activities only for those with super-human reactions, and the eyesight to match.
Conditions like this may be enough to dampen the mood at a lesser festival, but Snowbombing is made of different stuff. The party continued regardless, the flames being stoked by sets from the likes of Gorgon City, MK, and Ben Pearce that evening.
Friday brought the final day of Snowbombing 2017, and it appeared that the weather was finally starting to turn. On the mountain, visibility was good, and the grey clouds of the morning soon gave way to bright sunshine and blue skies in the afternoon.
This served to soften the snow as well, making for the kind of forgiving, slushy, fun underfoot that many of us dream of this time of year. Those who braved the lift with a hangover certainly got their rewards.
It wasn’t just on the mountain where things were reaching a blistering climax. Snowbombing served up so many banger acts on its various stages that party-goers were spoilt for choice. This year, Snowbombing added a Fun Haus stage, that has seen Tribute acts to Oasis and Daft Punk amid DJ sets from Pat Sharp (yes, that Pat Sharp).
This fun, pub-like venue with acts to suit may have been seen by some as a bit of a gamble, but if it was, then witnessing the Antarctic Monkeys whipping a capacity crowd to fever pitch was proof that it paid off. In fact, far from a gamble, it’s inclusion pointed the the team behind Snowbombing properly capturing the mood of the people going.
At the Forest Party Stage, Chase And Status put on a set that will live long in the memory. Their epic drum and bass anthems injected what felt like the whole of Mayrhofen with adrenaline.
Later on that night, the imperious DJ Yoda played at the Racket Club across town mixing not just sounds, but visuals on the massive video wall behind him. The light show at the Racket Club on any given night is something to behold, but sprinkled with DJ Yoda’s magic it becomes the most glorious sensory assault imaginable.
Once again, Snowbombing proved why it’s the number-one snow festival in Europe. It's starting to feel like a genuinely special festival, and could - no, should - be considered up there with the big boys of European festivals, irrespective of the fact it’s on snow or not. Our sights are already set on 2018 - which currently feels like just enough time for this hangover to have shifted.