Reading and Leeds festival this weekend marks the end of the summer festival season, and while many had a great time getting their wellies on and fighting through massive crowds and muddy campsites, some of us can’t help but wonder if there’s another way…
Well, as it happens, many bands make their first outdoor festival appearances of the year not in a rainy field in England in front of tens of thousands, but in a much more intimate, impressive setting – on the slopes of Europe’s most popular mountains. In addition to being the ultimate après ski, most of these festivals are thrown towards the beginning and end of the seasons to encourage more business, meaning that they are usually cheap, and you can often get in free with just a ski pass!
Here are a just few artists who played this summer’s biggest festivals that you could have seen on your last ski holiday:
Rag n Bone Man – Rock the Pistes
There’s no doubt English singer-songwriter Rag n Bone Man may be one of the busiest men of the year, playing not only Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, Parklife and Bestival, but also appearing at multiple winter festivals, including Rock the Pistes, held in the Portes du Soleil region.
Rock the Pistes, held this year between 19 – 25 March, is a week-long rock and pop festival with stages scattered through the Portes du Soleil area, on both the French and Swiss sides. It boasts the novelty of being one of the few winter music festivals where the stages are largely only accessible by ski/board, letting you see your favourite bands in a setting that you are unlikely to find anywhere else in the world. On top of all this, entry is free with a valid ski pass, so you can’t really beat it for value!
Chase and Status – Snowbombing
Chase and Status spend this summer playing the 10,000 capacity Lovebox festival in Victoria Park, but you could have caught them on 3rd April playing Snowbombing’s famous Forest stage.
Snowbombing is held every year in Mayrhofen, Austria, a resort known for its wide range of pistes, suited to all abilities. Performances are mixed between indoor club venues and open air stages, the highlight being the Forest Stage, where you can enjoy artists in an outdoor clearing, surrounded by pine trees and mountains, making for one of the most magical festival experiences of your life, certainly putting the forest stage at Parklife to shame!
Seth Troxler – MDRNTY
Award winning DJ and Producer Seth Troxler plays Manchester’s Parklife, after returning from MDRNTY fest (6-9 April) in Switzerland.
If house and techno is more your bag, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a mountain music festival for you! MDRNTY is a 4 day fest dedicated solely to electronic music, located in Crans-Montana, famous for its sunny slopes and beautiful setting, which MDRNTY takes full advantage of – specialising in unique settings and unique conditions, often using clear tents so that people never lose track of their fantastic surroundings.
Eddie the Eagle – Altitude
Admittedly this one is sort of cheating, as Eddie is only appearing at his own headline performances over the summer, but I thought his performance at Altitude Comedy Festival (11-17 December) was worth a mention.
Obviously not all of us have the energy required to finish a day of skiing only to slip into clubbing mode and rave into the early hours of the morning, and for us there is Mayrhofen’s Altitude Festival. Attracting a range of styles of comedy, this year’s lineup is notable for the appearance of Eddie the Eagle a true skiing legend and inspiration, sharing his witty anecdotes concerning his unforgettable performance at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
If you can’t wait for next summer to roll around, don’t forget to keep an eye out for any lineup announcements for winter festivals and embark on a ski/festival experience like no other!