What could be better than spending a week in the mountains, shuushing down iced-white pistes and bounding through fresh powder? How about adding world-class DJs, all-night parties, arty events and extreme freestyle competitions? Welcome to the world of winter festivals 2012…
From Austria to North America, ski parties have snowballed in the past few years, and they’re set to get even bigger and better in 2012. Here’s a few that are full-on winter festivals, add these to your calendar:
Laax Switzerland – 18th to 25th March 2012
Celebrating the British freestyle scene, ‘The BRITS’ is now in its 10th consecutive year. Expect Big Air, Boardercross and Slopestyle competitions, as well as all-night parties, awesome DJ sets, live bands, 3D discos, and retro chalet parties. Expect to pay around £295 for accommodation, lift pass and a festival wristband.
The Big Snow Festival:
Kopaonik, Serbia – 23rd to 29th March 2012
Ever been skiing in Serbia before? Now’s the time… in its third year running, The Big Snow Festival – which has moved from Andorra to Serbia – brings Basement Jaxx and the Freestylers to the beautiful resort of Kopaonik. You’ll pay around £500 for an all-in package, which includes return flights, resort transfers, seven nights accommodation, a festival wristband and ski-pass.
Portes du Soleil, France – 24th to 28th March 2012
A series of free gigs are performed all over the mountain, with the locations released via text message, shortly before each performance. The audience then skis to each venue and parties on their ski-boots and googles, making this a truly authentic mountain event. Lift passes for the immense Portes du Soleil ski area are on offer throughout the week-long festival.
Altitude Comedy Festival:
Mayrhofen, Austria – 26th 31st March 2012
In its second year at Mayrhofen, this acclaimed comedy festival, which was originally hosted in Meribel, kicks off Austria’s festival season with a week of big-name comedy stars, including Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle, Ed Byrne, Michael Winslow, Phil Jupitus, Tim Minchin and Al Murray – and there’s DJs for those wanting to party on into the night. Day tickets start at £44, or a week’s pass at £158
Mayrhofen , Austria -9th to 14th April 2012
The pioneer of mountain festivals sees its 12th consecutive season. Attracting a crowd of 6000-plus, Snowbombing brings World-class DJs and bands to the Austrian resort of Mayrhofen; 2012 welcomes the likes of Fat Boy Slim, Snoop Dog and DJ Shadow. £289 will buy you a festival wristband package, with accommodation. Expect fancy dress, plenty of Jagermeister and one of the biggest ski parties of 2012.
TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival:
Whistler – 13th to 22nd April 2012
Whistler’s end of season party involves 10 days of Big Air, Superpipe, Slopestyle and racing competitions, as well as fancy-dress, endless parties and the Slush Cup pond-skimming event. With every genre of music, from reggae to rock, the festivities run into the early hours. There are also plenty of non-skiing events, which range from film screenings to fashion shows.
Chamonix, France – 30th31st March
Affectionately known as ‘The Weekender’ Chamonix’s three-day party combines art and snowsports with music from international DJs, MCs and bands, all set beneath the awesome Mont Blanc. Gigs are played at eight different venues across the mountain, and seven nights’ accommodation, a festival wristband and six day ski-pass will cost you £317.