Snowbombing music festival takes over the idyllic town of Mayrhofen every spring, providing a stunning backdrop, though one that doesn’t exactly align with a week of electronic music and mild debauchery. The festival transforms the city’s quaint bars into clubs; the conference hall into a ceaseless pingpong hall; and the mountain side and forest into full-blown stages. April is undoubtedly a risky month to kick off the outdoor festival season, but the endless rain didn’t seem to bother people much at all.
Snowbombing 2015: The Up Sides
The wildly creative venues integrated into Mayrhofen’s landscape
Snowbombing goes so far as to set up an igloo to house the festival’s Arctic Disco, where we got the chance to see FATBOY SLIM play a set covering his decades long career. Let’s note that it’s not just your standard igloo; it’s one with a handful of different rooms where you can sip your beer around tables also chiseled from ice. It’s near the mountain’s peak, so you need to take a gondola upwards of a mile to get there. This time around, the gondola was packed with Brits passing around Jaegermeister and chanting the likes of their national anthem. Visitors were greeted by homemade schnapps, a roaring bonfire and views of the surrounding mountain peaks before they made their way into the igloo. As for FATBOY SLIM’s set: the crowd was so into it, they hardly noticed the questionable drips falling from the igloo’s roof.
Another one of the main stages was tucked away in the forest, in a large opening under the pines. THE PRODIGY and BASTILLE filled the woods with Snowbombers who danced for hours under the hanging lights draped about the trees.
If you need a break from side stepping and are one for a ripe competition, the festival also plays host to a ping pong tournament. There’s even a chance to play blindfolded if you feel so inclined. Like the rest of Snowbombing, you won’t be missing the music here either.
Snowbombing adds skiing and boarding into the mix while still keeping the focus on the music. Bursts of electronic tracks fill the air as skiers and boarders plummet down the slopes. Bars dot the mountain side, where DJs play sets throughout the day. Okay, so the unceasing fog meant that riders could hardly see more than a few meters in front of them, but at least they could dance a bit while doing so.
Snowbombing 2016: The only let downs
The Racket Club is an underground tennis court that NBHAP only made it to once and for the SKEPTA set. The mass exodus of Snowbombers towards the beginning of his set should have been a hint, but we continued against the stream in spite of the blatant warnings. With crowds leaving, it seems impossible that sweaty bodies would still be crammed against each other in the enclosed court. The music was mediocre at best, and the environment was all too suffocating.
Snowbombing offers all the elements of a perfect festival, and an exceptionally creative one, as well. The only thing lacking was the certain sense of community found at most festivals. At Snowbombing, people don’t camp together or commiserate on hangovers as they head into the sets of the next day. The lodgings are spread out and so are the stages so there lacks a unifying point.
Patrons do, however, have the luxury of ending their nights in charming hotels equipped with saunas and jacuzzis. But with an early wakeup call to the slopes and sets lasting well into the early morning, Snowbombers leave Mayrhofen with the same glazed over eyes and grinning faces that festivals often tend to bring.
Snowbombing 2016: Our Final Say
If you’re into electronic music and skiing, the festival is for you. And even if you’re not, it’s probably for you anyways.