Ski festivals are becoming increasingly popular, popping up in so many different resorts over the winter season, ensuring you can ski hard and party harder. The mountains are a stunning backdrop and platform for a whole host of acts and DJs to bring a new kind of ski holiday that isn’t just for skiers.
It was only 20 years ago when the first ever Snowbombing festival took place in Mayrhofen, kicking off a music festival wave in the mountains whilst still providing the perfect concoction of skiing and partying that has long been a tradition.
Now the tradition of dancing from dusk till dawn at an impressive selection of festival venues from forest hideaways to high altitude mountain clubs, underground hotspots, abandoned factories, ice discos and even pool parties makes a ski holiday so much more memorable. Chill out post party with mountain yoga, ice sculpting, winter markets, outdoor film screening or some much needed r’n r in the hottest local spa. Just make sure you save some energy for the slopes as festival hosts include top world renowned resorts and ultimate skier’s playgrounds.
Leave the mud, wellies and soggy tents back in the UK for resounding techno beats or party-pleaser tunes. Whatever your preference, we’ll guide you through the top festivals to hit up next time you’re setting to the mountains.
Best Ski Festivals
Snowbombing / Mayrhofen / Austria - The original and celebrated as the mother of all music festivals and ‘greatest show on snow. Snowbombing grown from a club night and now sees over 6,000 Brits come year on year. It’s a hedonistic mix of top class live acts, bands and DJ's such as Dizzee Rascal, Chase & Status and The Prodigy, hosted by Austria's legendary party resort.
Snowboxx / Avoriaz / France - Held in the Portes du Soleil ski area, Snowboxx offers both electronic music in an open air arena and endless skiing opportunities for all abilities. Snowboxx has been so popular in recent years that the capacity for this year’s festival is almost double, ultimately meaning more music entertainment!
Horizon / Arinsal / Andorra - An inexpensive festival, ideal if you are on a budget and looking to get the essence of mountain raves. From underground dance music to grime and techno, Horizon embodies a more experimental vibe to music instead of the mainstream route of its competitors.
The Brits / Laax / Switzerland - Featuring championship talent, top snow sport competitions plus a leading line up of awesome live music, The-Brits has long been a favourite and the longest running festivals for snow and music fans alike. Previous years it has been hosted in Tignes, but this now it is hosted in the Swiss resort Laax.
Rise / Les Deux Alpes / France - Popular with the student crowd for dnb, house, garage, grime and techno music to kick start the season in mid-December, just before Christmas. The music festival takes place in Les Deux Alpes, with the highest skiable glacier so you can ski all day and party all night with the after parties finishing at 5am – no sleep here!
Zermatt Unplugged / Zermatt / Switzerland -Singers, songwriters and music fans celebrate 5 days of music in the mountains. Expect acoustic sets and re-inventions at this intimate venue from artists such as James Morrison, Billy Idol and Lionel Richie. With the stunning backdrop of the Matthorn, Zermatt unplugged combines a unique setting with stripped back sounds for ultimate festival experience.
Snow survival tips to know before you go
Thirst Aid – With all the exertion of a winter sports holiday plus being crowned dance floor royalty you’ll need to stay even more hydrated than usual at a snow festival. Keep a good supply of drinking water to hand for maximum power points.
Sunny Side Up – Despite the chill in the air the sun shines strong and sunburn is still a massive risk, stock up on factor 50+ during the day to avoid being laughed off the mountain with a permanent red face.
Lip Salvation – Whether it’s a festival in France where kissing is a form of greeting or you’re lip locking with a festival fancy, make sure you pack enough lip balm to prevent inevitable unwelcome chapping from happening.
Going Out Out – Clothes for all occasions might be needed at a snow festival; even your swimwear can make an outing at the spa or a pool party. But remember warm durable clothes for the slopes plus you’ll probably want to pile on the layers of “going out” clothes when heading to the parties. Fancy dress also not only acceptable but probably even mandatory, so get creative!
Tune Out – Eye mask and Earplugs for when you are partied out and your roomie throws an afterparty in your room and has a revolving door of new friends and stragglers wading in and out.
These boots are made for dancing - (and keep feet warm!) When it comes to partying at a ski festival, wear snow boots. Your usual going out shoes will not cut it and you’ll end up with cold and soggy feet!
View our Ultimate Ski Festival Checklist