Transition Is Europe’s Newest Winter Music Festival: We Went To Avoriaz To Check It Out

This is why you should go raving in the snow...

As you’ll no doubt know thanks to your Facebook feed being full of friends wearing those floppy-brimmed hats and checking themselves in while watching The Shitty Beatles (they really are shitty, it’s not just a clever name) in a field in Somerset, music festivals are everywhere these days. And, when the summer sun is long gone, the party continues, high on the top of snowy mountains.

Winter music festivals are becoming increasingly common, and 2015 saw the inception of Transition. It’s an all-new, six day party on the slopes of Avoriaz in the French Alps, started by the same people that bring the world Snowbombing – the world’s best known winter music festival. Of course, Mpora went to have a look.

As we arrive in the resort around midday and checked into the hotel – the excellent Pierre & Vacances in the heart of the resort – the slopes appeared quite quiet, but the town was already buzzing with scores of party goers ahead of the opening night’s headline act: Dizzee Rascal.

Although far from a scientific survey, the majority of people there – judging by the audible accents at least – were British, with most people being around 18-25. It brought back memories of being at University, but without the rising damp and piles of dirty plates.

Dizzee Rascal gets the crowd hyped on the first night of transition festival – Photo: Transition Festival

The festival line up was perfect for the crowd. While some festivals offer a more guitar based line up, and some cater for full-on-EDM (nee: Dance Music) heads, Transition looked to be on a good-time party vibe, with acts like Kurupt FM, Bondax, DJ Barely Legal, and B-Traits, among many more playing sets throughout the week.

It was the first night of the festival saw easily the biggest name play, however. After the sun had set the mountains, Dizzee Rascal took to the outdoor stage with a set incendiary enough to melt the snow from beneath our feet.

Of course, critics would argue that the man that Jeremy Paxman calls Mr Rascal is a long way from his Brit Award winning days of Boy In Da Corner, but this somehow works perfectly for Transition.

A pair of wildcats to blow away the cobwebs on the morning after the night before – Photo: Transition Festival

Dizzee unfurled, banger-after-banger. Aside from a pair of new songs, it was a set full of his biggest hits, and the 2000 people watching lost their minds (add your own ‘Bonkers’ joke here if you really must).

It makes for the prefect start to Transition Festival, and set the tone for the next five days. During the day time, Transitions ravers mixed with other holiday goers, seasonaires, and local alike on the slopes.

But by four in the afternoon, a mix of pool parties at the local Aquariaz spa, and DJ sets on the terraces of venues dotted around the resort started to fire up, which meant that the party started early.

le Bistro held one of the many apres parties on it’s outdoor terrace – Photo: James Renhard

As day gave way to night, the numerous Transition parties really got going. DJ sets from a who’s-who of contemporary dance music played in clubs and bars throughout the resort leading, on one night, a group of confused ravers attempting to ask Mpora in French where They Yak – one of the party venues – was in pigeon French. We’re still unsure whether they ever made it to The Yak, or are still wondering the streets of Avroriaz even now.

Inside the bars, basements, and clubs, the bustling atmosphere was electric by midnight, at which time even the committed night owls had joined the masses in throwing slightly sweaty shapes.

While Transition may cater mostly for people around student ages looking to combine beats with high altitude fun, it also offers the chance to enjoy one of Europe’s best loved resorts for very little. In 2015, a six day packages started at just £99.

A bad nose, headache, and stiff neck were soothed in one of the Transition Pool Parties – Photo: Transition Festival

As such, even if DJ Attempted Burglary may not be a regular on your iTunes, the best part of a week on snow for under a tonne, with the option of parties if you want them is certainly appealing.

If you’re a fan of festivals, and looking for something a little different to muddy fields in Glastonbury, then Transition is perfect for you. With days on the slopes and parties by night, it’s an excellent way to kick of the snow season with a bang.

For more on Transition 2016, visit:

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The People Behind Snowbombing Have Just Announced A New Winter Festival… And It Looks Badass

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