Austria’s Snowbombing Festival 2014 Combines Music, Fun, and Lederhosen
February 10th, 2014Sarah Ribeiro
Festivals don’t normally include skiing, snowboarding, fake mustaches, and lederhosen, but Snowbombing Festival isn’t normal. Snowbombing, which has been taking place since 2000, is an annual music and sports festival at Mayrhofen resort in Austria, planned for April 7th through April 12th this year. While it has traditionally celebrated electronic music, indie and rock have occasionally been thrown into the mix to cater to its wide variety of attendees. Taking place on a mountain, the festival holds concerts in five main venues, a skiing competition, resort attractions, and plenty of silly and entertaining events 24/7 to make the week-long party one-of-a-kind.
Music is only one of the many attractions at the festival, but it’s still a big one. With a heavy focus on electronic music, Snowbombing draws in some of the largest names in the business. Some highlights this year include Carl Cox, Sub Focus, Four Tet, The Prodigy, and The Chemical Brothers. Lesser-known acts who are just are incredible make up the remainder of the lineup, like Anja Schneider, Breakage, Dense and Pika, Pedestrian, Breach, Daniel Avery, and Pfeffa. Concerts take place in either the five main venues or in smaller village/mountain venues – all of which are unique to each other.
The Racket Club, an underground tennis arena, is a 2500-capacity venue that boasts its prowess in lighting. The Waldfestplatz, or Forest Party, is an outdoor venue in the woods, surrounded by wooden shacks and taking place on a wooden stage. The Street Party is an afternoon-to-night themed ordeal, with all attendees in full costume (last year’s theme was Mardi Gras) for over 5000 people. The Superdry Arctic Disco is Snowbombing’s most unique venue. This igloo venue, which maxes out at 300 attendees, is built out of snow on the peak of a mountain, with two dance floors, three bars built entirely out of ice, and the chance to stay overnight in a nearby igloo. This year, Arctic Disco’s lineup features Dusky on Sunday, April 6, Nina Kraviz and Radio Slave on Tuesday, April 8, Carl Cox on Wednesday, April 9, and DJ Yoda on Saturday, April 12. The Backcountry Party takes place in the valley of Floitental, at a terrace called Tristenbachalm. In the woods, musicians play while attendees warm up alongside campfires and “challenge the lumberjack” at log-lifting and other strength challenges. The festival also offers smaller village venues as well as mountain venues for those looking to escape the large crowd.
Snowbombers, as festival-goers are called, are encouraged to dress and act their silliest – it’s not uncommon to see partiers in lederhosen, dressed as Oompa-Loompas, in fake moustaches, animal suits, clown shoes, and more. The location itself caters to that, too, as a traditional Austrian mountain resort with pine forests, wooden cabins and barns, and snow everywhere. You’ll want to be a part of the scenery – it just so happens that everyone does it in a silly way. The mountain itself is exquisite, with plenty of spas and relaxation areas to give attendees a break from the crazy amount of partying they do, and bars and restaurants to keep you going outside of the festival.
A fun perk to the festival for those interested in taking a break from the concert scene is its skiing and snowboarding competition. The professional competition takes place at Vans Penken Park, accompanied by live music from the festival blasting through an incredible sound system. Professional riders compete against each other as well as against amateur snowbombers for a total prize amount of 2000 Euros, as well as assorted prizes for “Craziest Rider,” “Best Bomber,” and more. The festival-themed dress code doesn’t stop at the competition – riders are encouraged to dress silly and don fake facial hair to add to the fun.
Although Snowbombing takes place in Austria, most of its attendees are international. Because of this, the festival offers plenty of travel options. A UK coach is set up for those travelling from Dover, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leicester, Reading, and Swindon. Those coming from elsewhere can fly in to Innsbruck, Munich, or Salzburg airports and purchase a shuttle pass straight to Mayrhofen. Trains also run from the airports to Mayrhofen. For snowbombers afraid of flying or looking to mix things up, the Snowbombing Road Trip is an adventure and competition that takes over 150 cars through five countries to count down to the festival. The trip starts in Dover the Saturday before the festival and travels to Calais and Luxembourg, ending in Mayrhofen. Pit stops to party/rest and challenges are offered on the way, with prizes offered at the end of the trip.
Although the festival might seem like it has a hefty price tag, especially for US residents, it’s booked on a package basis. Snowbombers on a budget can pick and choose events and pay as such. Plus, admission to main events comes with accommodation, so separate budgets don’t need to be made for hotels and tickets. Attendees can stay in hostel-like apartments, bed and breakfasts, or hotel rooms in Mayrhofen or Ziller Valley for a range of prices. Snowbombing also offers booking guidance as well as example packages to make the planning (and budgeting) easy for all attendees. Extra events cost more, including airport transfers, ski/snowboard lifts, lessons, rentals, and insurance, admission to the Superdry Arctic Disco and Backcountry Party, and tickets for the Snowbombing Road Trip. To make it all easy for festival-goers, Snowbombing offers a booking dashboard to keep finances in line and make sure everyone knows exactly what they’re getting.
The Chemical Brothers
Chase And Status
Ben And Lex
The Cuban Brothers
Dense & Pika
El Row DJs
Get Low Cartel
Horse Meat Disco
Hot Since 82
Jaymo And Andy George
The Martinez Brothers
My Nu Leng
New York Transit Authority