Fans of festivals and nightlife have not had a good 2020. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic has ruined the entertainment industry for many. But could the 2021 winter ski season save the music festival?
The ski resort music festival scene has been growing steadily over the past few years, from a handful of relatively small events to big dance music extravaganzas.
In 2020, almost all of these were cancelled. But the 2021 winter season sees the return of some of the biggest names in the ski and music festival calendar. Which one is worthy of your money and, above all, is it safe to go while there is a global pandemic?
- Mayrhofen, Austria
- 5th-10th April 2021
First up, the daddy of the ski music festival scene, Snowbombing. Based in Mayrhofen in Austria, Snowbombing was one of the original dance music festivals during the winter and is still one of the best.
Past headliners include Fatboy Slim, Andy C, Sven Vath, Groove Armada and Skepta, among many others. Lineups for winter ski festivals tend to be released in closer to the date, normally once the season has started. But, expect much of the same from Snowbombing 2021. In short, the biggest names in house, drum n bass, electronica and the UK hip hop and grime scene.
As for the skiing? Mayrhofen is one of the resorts in the Zillertal ski area, an expansive valley in the Tyrol region of Austria. Covering a huge area, the terrain is varied and you’ll find plenty to explore whatever your ski or snowboarding experience.
Tickets start from GB£249 for the 7 days.
- Avoriaz, France
- 20th-27th March 2021
It’s hard to say which is best out of Snowboxx or Snowbombing, as they are very similar. Both offer a very UK-centric line up of world class DJs and live music acts. Past headliners include Rudimental, Wilkinson, Mike Skinner and The Prodigy.
Acts confirmed for Snowboxx 2021 (so far) include Andy C, Annie Mac, Becky Hill, Sonny Fodera, DJ Zinc and A-Skillz among others. Keep an eye on their website for more…
One advantage that Snowboxx has over Mayrhofen is that Avoriaz is on top of the mountain rather than in a valley. This means nice sunset views, which is very nice.
Another advantage? Avoriaz is ski in/ski out, which means you can step straight out of your apartment onto the pistes from the majority of accommodation in town. We loved Snowboxx 2019, and you can check out our full review here.
Find out more about prices, packages and the line up on the offical Snowboxx site.
- Alpe d’Huez, France
- 20th – 27th March 2021
This popular Belgian run festival is growing in popularity on the ski festival circuit. Based out of the fantastic Alpe d’Huez resort, Tomorrowland Winter festival focuses on a more Euro-centric dance music line up rather than the very Brit heavy Snowboxx and Snowbombing.
Previous acts have included Armin van Buren, Steve Aioki, DJ Snake and Paul Kalkbrenner. Expect a similar line up for Tomorrowland Winter 2021.
An added appeal is Alpe d’Huez, which is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe. With some of the most varied terrain in Europe, it’s perfect for every level of skiier and snowboarder, from newbies to advanced.
Find out more about Tomorrowland Winter 2021 on their website.
- Alpe d’Huez, France
- December 12th-19th 2020
One more event for Alpe d’Huez, this one still falls into 2020 – so maybe it’s not a total washout for festivals this year. This is another popular festival on the ski circuit, with a good reputation for top quality dance music. Think along the lines of Seth Troxler, Hannah Wants, David Rodigan, Annie Mac and Chase and Status.
If you’re looking for a great way to see out an otherwise shitty year, Rise Festival 2020 could be a winner.
Tickets start at £189 for a 3 day stay, check prices, packages and line-ups on the Rise Festival website.
Sun and Snow 2020
- Sierra Nevada, Spain
- 11th – 12th December 2020
Spain might not rank on many snowsport enthusiasts radars, but in fact there are quite a few great resorts in the country. This includes the southernmost ski resort in Europe, Sierra Nevada, just outside Granada.
The line-up tends to be Spanish and European DJs, this years includes Denis Horvat, DJ Tennis and Nastia. If you love a bit of the Spanish culture and nightlife, this is definitely a good choice. Oh, and it’s *relatively* cheap at £55 per day.
- Pas de la Casa, Andorra
- Date TBC (April 2021)
Rowdy Pas de la Casa in Andorra sees the relatively low fi Hibernation festival in town at the end of the season. Think techno and low fi electronica from underground artists. Previous lineups have incluced Paul Kalkbrenner, Ame, Agoria and Len Faki.
Pas de la Casa is nestled at the end of the great Grandvalira ski region in Andorra, which has become one of Europe’s largest linked ski areas.
Is it safe to go to a ski resort festival?
As we’ve seen, there are quite a few ski festivals planned for the winter season 2020/2021. As we’re deep in the midst of a pandemic, is it really safe to go to a music festival in a ski resort?
Well, that will depend on how prepared you are to be in close proximity to thousands of revellers from around the world.
Yes, ski resorts and festivals will have measures in place to manage socially distancing and hygiene. Of course, you’ll probably need to wear a face mask and disinfect your hands regularly (although gloves and masks are the norm in ski resorts).
You will probably need to quarantine on your return, but if you’re working from home this may not be a problem. We think you should weigh up the practicalities, as combining a music festival and ski trip is a great way to kill two bird with one stone.
Remember, enjoy yourself but safety first!