Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc. etc… many bastard thanks for another mother of a Snowbombing: 2016 was a mighty Jesus of an event.
Although it would be impossible to put into a single word, exactly how enjoyable Snowbombing was, I will give it a quick try: fuck yes.
If you’ve missed the boat and have no clue what Snowbombing is, it’s a yearly music festival-cum-winter sports fandango-cum-knees-up. The festival has been going for more than one and a half decades and growing in strength year on year. The venue is Mayrhofen, Austria, a cozy skiing village nestled in Alpine splendour. For 51 weeks of the year, the village is a picture of peace and calm, and for the rest of the time, it’s a lunatic fuelled beat-fest.
The festival prides itself on bringing tip top musical performances, like any good festival should, but what sets Snowbombing apart is its wealth of winter sports and eye-popping views.
Also, the general vibe seems significantly friendlier than many other festivals, the feel-good vibe lies thick on the ground. I don’t know if it’s the mission to get there, the views or the tunes, but whatever it is, it works.
Austria is a good looking part of the world and Mayrhofen is a beautiful part of that beautiful country. Jaw-dropping mountains, snow, sun, trees etc. You get the drill. It offers some of the best views you will find in Europe. Serious beauty.
As I mentioned, it’s not all about the music and the views, that’s just the tip of the snow-tipped iceberg. Mr Motivator is there for a start, around 67% of the audience turn up just to gaze at him. The other 33% come for Eddie the Eagle Edwards who cuts a dash, and, as far as I can tell, lives there all year round nowadays. And, if you don’t love Eddie, you’re a prick.
The Eagle has always a been a big music fan, in an interview with NME he was chatting about his favorite tunes and said that he used to listen to Van Halen’s “Jump” on his cassette walkman whilst razzing the slopes:
“I used to go faster and faster, and when I had my headphones on, listening to Van Halen, I would try and time it just so when it goes ‘jump’ I would jump and fly through the air.”
The party got started, as ever, when the Mad Mission to the Mountains rolled into town. D&B, jungle and magnificent vibes filled the new arrival’s ears as they were cheered on by those who’d already made it to the venue. Lungs filled with mayhem and guts laced with booze.
Because everyone has travelled so far to get to Mayrhofen, there’s a real sense of triumph.
I suppose I should attempt to wheel out some of the week’s best bits, but that’s a tough gig, there were simply too many highlights. Hans the Butcher and his eloquent sausages for a start, and Craig David punctuating the Racket Club with his sexy shizzle – I wish I could re-re-wind back to his surprisingly good Bieber tribute.
In the past, Snowbombing has been heralded as a bastion of all things electro; over recent years this focus has expanded to include the tip top creamy cream of modern live indie.
This year, Bastille socked a punch at the Forest Party, dancing the light fandango all over their magical wooden stage amongst the pine trees. That has to be my favourite stage: staring up at the stars through ancient woodland, it doesn’t get much better than that.
From the forest to the jungle… fresh times abounded at the crowd-pleasing ‘hof street party, courtesy of Jungle. Mixing indie swish with electro convulsions the crowd lapped it up. Alongside those tropical dance bastards there was a smorgasbord of jazzy mothers: The Cuban Brothers, DJ Barely Legal, Groove Armada, to name but a few.
It’s not all fun, fun, fun though, all conquering sonic dalek – the full-time grime Lord – Skepta rocked up. He shut down the Racket Club with his grimy little fingers, infusing the audience with his luxurious brand of beat nuggets. Not a dry armpit in the place. He also let the crowd know how much he hates sparkling water:
“Sparkling water is so fucking nasty. Why drink that? Water should be water, plain, simple. Man want a bubbly sensation in their mouth, skets.”
I must admit, I agree.
If Mr Motivator and Eddie the Eagle aren’t enough for you (but they fucking should be, you crazy party leopards), Snowbombing had another character to pop up your dirt pipe – Luther himself – Idris Elba, or Driis. I tell no lie. He seeped a mega-mix of disco, house, soul and a touch of grime, covering every base on the drum and baseball pitch of bass.
Elba loves it at Snowbombing, we also learned that the next James Bond likes to smoke a sneaky cigarette between vinyl changes. I won’t tell.
Snowbombing always ends on a high, and that’s because it always ends with the Prodigy, who can’t fail really, can they? You get what you expect – fire-starting fuckery and lashings of hot beef hardcore. I don’t think Snowbombing even ask them to come any more, they just show up. They can’t get enough of it.
As for the down sides?: N/A… oh, well, maybe the hangover, but I can’t blame the organisers for that.