Skiing, snowboarding and music-laden après-ski: Europe is packed full of winter festivals that unite the slopes and the stage.
From face-melting techno that jolts like slipping on black ice to crowd-pleasing party bangers from familiar names, the snowballing competition is creating more diversity and choice within the snowsports festival circuit, so as ever, we're here to guide you through what we deem ten of the best. Questionable 80s ski suits optional...
Headliners: Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
An exciting new addition to the Tomorrowland festival family and testament to the booming popularity of snowsports music festivals. 2019 will see the dance music giants hit the slopes for their first ever winter event. The inaugural theme will be 'The Hymn of the Frozen Lotus', and as you might expect they've enlisted the services of some top, top names.
When & where: 9-16 March 2019; Alpe d’Huez, France
Chamonix Unlimited Festival
Headliners (2019): Jeff Mills, Adriatique (+ more TBA)
In view of the mammoth Mont-Blanc, Chamonix Unlimited Festival offers one of the most respected lineups for underground house and techno-heads in one of the most famous and treasured ski resorts in the world. The festival makes innovative use of the mountain – expect to party in a gondola station or at 3842m high atop the Aiguille du Midi – and with Detroit legend Jeff Mills and hypnotic duo Adriatique already confirmed for 2019's instalment, expect a techno party of extremes.
When & where: 2-7 April 2019, Chamonix, France
Lineup (2019): Stormzy, The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Andy C, Bicep [DJ Set], Hannah Wants, Eats Everything, Hunee (+ more TBA)
Snowbombing is the closest thing Europe's high slopes have to a full-blown music festival. Contemporary greats of pop, electronic and urban music form a yearly lineup that could serve just as well down on flat ground, instead performing on stages placed both on the pistes themselves and in even more imaginative spots.
When & where: 8-13 April 2019, Mayrhofen, Austria
Lineup (2018): Nina Kraviz, Laurent Garnier, Ben UFO, Jeff Mills, Dixon, Massive Attack [DJ Set], Hunee
Taking place at Le Mouton Noir ski resort 2,200 meters up in the Alps, Polaris Festival certainly rises above the competition (sorry, couldn't help it). This techno and house festival features some of the best DJs on the continent and is sure to send you into the clouds (OK, hopefully that's the last one). Spend the day skiing and on the last run of the day glide straight into the festival. Perfect.
When & where: 29 November - 2 December 2018, Verbier, Switzerland
Lineup (2018): Adam Beyer, Ricardo Villalobos, Sven Väth, Luciano, Paul Kalkbrenner, Ben Klock, Monika Kruse
Caprices is one of the heaviest hitting electronic festivals on the slopes. Big names from the tech and house scene just seem to gravitate to the festival, making it a true gem. Crans-Montana, meanwhile, serves up some pretty spectacular stages.
When & where: 11-14 April 2019, Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Headliners (2019): Craig David's TS5, Jax Jones, Rudimental [DJ Set], Wilkinson [DJ set ft. MC Ad-Apt], Yungen, Crazy P Soundsystem, Danny Howard, DJ Luck & MC Neat
Heading into its 6th year of Alpine adventure, Snowboxx is firmly entrenched as one of the best slope side festivals in Europe. Things get a bit nuts as this one, with all day après-ski events and big time DJs at night along with parties in pools, igloos and ice caves.
When & where: 23-30 March 2019, Avoriaz, France
Rave on Snow
Lineup (2018): Chris Liebing, Pan-Pot, Claptone, Umek, Oliver Koletzki, Pappenheimer, Mathias Kaden, Magdalena
Now almost 25 years old, Rave on Snow has become one of Europe's most popular winter parties, hosting some of house and techno's finest names – think Sven Väth, Ben Klock, etc – mountain-side at the stunning resort. For three days the festival transforms Saalbach into a party hub, turning its mountain terraces, log cabins and bars and clubs into a end of year frenzy.
When & where: 13-16 December 2018, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria
Lineup (2018): Annie Mac, David Rodigan, Richy Ahmed, Sonny Fodera, Camelphat, Jasper James, Theo Kottis, Saffron Stone
Set on top of Europe's largest skiable glacier, Rise Festival has miles of runs for skiers and boarders of all abilities right on its doorstep. As après-ski turns into late night revelry, a lineup of stars from the worlds of house, garage, grime, drum & bass ensure the party doesn't stop, whether that's on mountaintop stages, or inside nightclubs and slope-side bars.
When & where: 15-22 December 2018, Les Deux Alpes, France
Lineup (2018): 2manydjs, Norman Jay MBE, Example & DJ Wire
Groove CairnGorm is the UK's first and only snowsports music festival, held up in the Scottish Highlands. Still only two years old, the festival has already become a beacon of the country's festival scene thanks to its originality and diverse lineups.
When & where: February 2019, Inverness-shire, UK
Musilac Mont Blanc
Lineup (2019): Eddy De Pretto, Charlie Winston, Gaëtan Roussel (+ more TBA)
While most snowsports music festivals veer off towards the electronic side of the mountain, the recently launched Musilac Mont Blanc sticks to the winning formula of the famous summer event. That means lineups that span pop, rock, hip-hop, indie, reggae and more.
When & where: 26-28 April 2019, Chamonix, France
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