If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have noticed one interesting detail. So far I’ve talked about a lot of different festivals I’ve attended over the course of 10 years. The one thing that connects them all? Every festival I’ve ever attended has been on this fair island. In fact, they’ve all been in England. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted to venture to pastures overseas for years! But the logistics of getting my friends to commit to festivals abroad was just too hard for me. Finally in 2018 this will change! I plan to go to Tomorrowland in Belgium, maybe Outlook/Dimensions in Croatia, but currently I’m most excited about combining two of my favourite things: festivals and skiing, at Snowboxx!
Five of my friends and I are all booked and heading to Avoriaz in March for a whole week of party, pistes, DJs, downhill and dancing. Snowboxx will be my first big winter music festival and my first non-UK one too! A pretty big deal for a festival addict like myself.
I did a ski season when I was 19, so I’m pretty au fait with apres-ski, but adding in a few huge festival stages with some of my favourite acts performing and after parties into the early hours is very exciting. We’ll be staying in the amazing L’Amara apartments, skiing all day then partying all night.
The line up so far is looking epic:
I’m particularly excited about seeing Fatboy Slim again as a headliner. I’ve seen him numerous times at Glastonbury, and I watched his entire live set from Creamfields this year online and I’m imagining dancing to this surrounded by mountains. This set is so amazing, take a listen:
Other lineup highlights include the phenomenal Loyle Carner, who I’m particularly excited to see after his set at Bestival this year got cancelled due to weather. There’s also the awesome Stefflon Don who is dominating the charts at the moment, Artful Dodger the Garage icon, and of course the absolute legend that is Mike Skinner (of The Streets fame) playing an intimate igloo party set. There are still more lineup announcements to come, with even more epic artists to be added to the bill.
What is a snow festival?
Imagine if a ski holiday and a music festival had a baby. Spend your daytimes shredding the piste with your buddies, then from mid-afternoon some of the biggest DJs and artists will be taking to the festival stages dotted over the resort to see you dancing and drinking through the evening into the early hours. Sounds like an absolute dream!
As I’d never been to a snow festival before, I had to ask my friends who had been to Snowboxx in 2016 for their top tips and opinions. So my awesome friend Andy wrote me this mini guide to get me (& Where’s My Tent readers!) excited and prepared.
Over to Andy (attended Snowboxx in 2016):
“I think it would be fair to say my friends and I are regulars on the UK festival scene! However we were getting a bit bored of the mud and rain, and looking to branch out into Europe and swap it for some sun and snow. Snowboxx seemed to offer a surprisingly affordable week of snowboarding in a top resort coupled with a great line-up for no more than you would expect to pay for a normal ski holiday! Like any decent festival, the hardest thing to manage over the week is the fatigue. Throwing yourself down the mountain all day followed by partying all night can take its toll on your body so here are my top tips for thriving on slopes.
- Don’t sleep in! The best advice I can give you is no matter how bad you’re feeling on the morning after the night before, get up and get going! Early! There is no better cure for a hangover than exercise, mountain air and visiting the friendly faces of the Monster crew as they merrily hand out free energy drinks to you as you gingerly traverse through the town. You will feel better for it!
- Change things up by heading to the water park or the igloo party for a different kind of fun night out during the week. They don’t get in the way of the festival nights and are a good change of pace.
- Bring decent boots! No one enjoys dancing on ice-blocks for feet. The festival is outside (obvs) and it’s gets super cold at night! Beer jackets are also essential but sadly you can’t bring your own alcohol into the arena. That’s ok though as they have a token system so the bars are quick and were no more expensive than the local bars. If you’re worried about the cold there is a VIP area you can upgrade to which is warm and has good views of the stage.
- If you’re running low on energy by the end of the day or nursing an injury you can always leave the slopes a little early and entertain yourself with a snowball fight or zorb bowling. I didn’t go but they did look like good fun from the chair lifts.
- If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up then head to one of the several excellent snow parks. I particularly enjoyed The Stash as it’s got several runs for all abilities with all natural features. Adrenaline makes everything feel better.
- Lastly, never eat yellow snow… but you probably already knew that.
If you’re still sitting on the fence about Snowboxx, be reassured that it’s an awesome experience and you won’t be disappointed. See you on the slopes 🏂”
I also managed to get a few words from another friend of mine Stafford, who also went in 2016.
Stafford ON SNOWBOXX:
“Firstly, to get on the slopes in one of the greatest ski areas in the world is a great start to any holiday, and despite my desire to always go to new & different places, I knew after the first day that I would be back here! In the evening, the festival didn’t disappoint. The layout was perfect and the drinks weren’t overpriced [considering we were a) at a festival and b) in the Alps], as long as you didn’t slip up on the ice patches and spill them. The after parties in all the venues that Snowboxx took over all had good vibes, although be prepared to queue to get in some of them.
Highlights were all of the other festival goers, all partying as one with great fancy dress to be spotted, and sharing the collective hangover in the mornings. The snowparks are always in great condition, and even when we accidentally snowboarded into Switzerland, they still accepted Euros at the bar.
Also, to pit it against one of its major rivals, the headline acts might not always be quite as big as Snowbombing, but the snow conditions are better and the Portes du Soleil ski area is incredible, so you if actually want the perfect mix of decent ski and great music, Snowboxx is the one to go for.”
So What options are there?
Even if you’ve never skied or snowboarded before, Snowboxx offers a range of beginners packages that include lessons with great instructors. Lessons are a fantastic way to meet other festival goers too and therefore have a larger group to party with in the evenings!
As with most ski holidays, you can either bring your own equipment or hire it as part of your package. Prices are very competitive and are graded on quality.
The big decision to make is what accommodation to choose. This affects price the most, and do remember you won’t be spending much time in your room! We chose L’Amara because of it’s location in resort and because we wanted a little more room in our apartment as there are 6 of us! There’s a great range of accommodations though, from basic all the way up to chalet luxury if you fancy it!
What are other people saying?
WITNESSING MIND BLOWING ARTISTS IN THE MOST UNIQUE SNOW COVERED VENUES IS AN EXPERIENCE YOU WILL NEVER FORGET. THIS IS WHAT MAKES SNOWBOXX THE MOST EPIC WEEK IN ALPS.
FIVE YEARS ON AND SNOWBOXX HAS GROWN TO BECOME THE MOST ICONIC SNOW FESTIVAL IN EUROPE. 5 SELL OUT FESTIVALS IN 5 YEARS IS NO MEAN FEAT!
THE PERFECT MIX OF INCREDIBLE SNOW IN THE STUNNING RESORT OF AVORIAZ, A JAM PACKED MUSIC PROGRAMME AND ENDLESS EXPERIENCES ARE WHAT MAKES SNOWBOXX THE BEST WEEK ON SNOW IMAGINABLE.
Ok I’m convinced. this looks incredible. How do I book?
I’d also recommend following Snowboxx on Instagram and Twitter to hear first about line up announcements and news! I can’t wait till March! Of course I will be reviewing the festival for Where’s My Tent? and I’m thinking of starting video reviews for next year too! What do you all think? Would you like to see video festival reviews?
All photos provided by me or Snowboxx’s PR team. The above booking link is an affiliate link to join Snowboxx perks meaning both the booker and myself can earn free drinks at the festival or merchandise.