The Alpine adventure that is Snowbombing is one of those free for all events featuring a little something for virtually every taste.
Not just musical tastes, mind you, but tastes in adventuring, food, partying, locale, and personality all make up the week long experience in Mayrhofen, Austria. Once again, DHA was on site as an official media partner, although this year we had no stages, which meant we were free to roam the grounds for the virtual entirety of the event.
Arriving on Monday evening (this writer’s birthday….I won’t tell you hold I am, but let’s say it’s somewhere between 19 and 40), there was simply no arguing that my first, and only stop would be posted up inside the massive Racket Club for a night of hip hop, drum & bass, and reggae, headlined by none other than the Atlanta hip hop duo of the moment Run the Jewels (RtJ). The group made up of Killer Mike and El-P‘s set was a blistering 60 minutes of politically infused activist rap with a rowdy crowd just itching to let loose throughout. The performance was pre ceded by a very special Reggae set from David Rodigan MBE, as well as (one of) the grime men of the moment Giggs, and rounded out with a special drum & bass True Playaz style set from DJ Zinc alongside MC Tippa. The latter set was one of particular nostalgia as d&b era DJ Zinc and crew set the soundtrack to my high school days (and, trust me, no one in Suburban NYC was playing any kind of drum & bass).
Much like last year, the bulk of my Snowbombing musical experiences (personal tastes) revolved around the log cabin-styled Bruck’N Stradhl, which tends to play host to the more underground sounds of electronic music we enjoy so much. For me, of particular note were sets by KiNK, Dixon (for 3 hours!), Axel Boman, DJ Koze, and Midland, who all handled Bruck N’Stadhl duties with class and style.
Amongst the slew of other events I perused through was the pop up DJ sets from Artwork and Skream at Hans The Butcher (well, ok…maybe I didnt plan to see music here, rather focusing on the spot’s selection of assorted local meats, but a few beats whilst sandwich devouring never hurt anyone). I also moseyed my way through Elrow‘s Bronx Street Party, which was manned by Eats Everything, Richy Ahmed, and Toni Varga. The name says it all here, and if you’ve seen Netflix’ The Get Down you can already see the track suit clad good times of the Bronx is burning era (I suppose we’ll just leave the undeniable poverty of the day aside and instead focus on the creative burst born from it). Finally, Tuesday also saw me heading to the huge The Arena venue, where last year’s DHA headliner, and all around Snowbombing royalty, James Zabiela was bringing his technology heavy set, alongside #1 US DJ Claude vonStroke with Solardo and Theo Kottis.
All in all, Snowbombing continues its impression on me from last year, which is that it is a massive undertaking and quite well organised as a result. It is no small feat transforming a small town into a holiday center, especially for the younger 20-something crowd, and also maintaining your sanity and composure. With 15 venues, multiple activities, almost a hundred artists and press from all over the world on hand, simply nothing (at least in my view) went on with any major issues. Sound and production was tight, while options were plentiful.
I think, for me, the finest part of the event (and this may sound lame) is how fresh it feels. As someone who has spent the majority of their existence within the concrete, urban space, my relationship with nature (or even clean air) is so scarce. Aside from the music and activities, an event like Snowbombing is able to satisfy one’s need for the natural. Naturally, there are winter sports (which Ic couldn’t partake due to a recently dislocated shoulder) to be done, but there’s also nature walks and all kinds of hidden wooded areas for some top flight meditation. With all that in mind, however, it would be nice to see Snowbombing patrons take care of the town and environment a little better…sometimes the abundance of empty beers bottles seen after midnight are a bit of a sore sight.
That being said, only a fool would deny a week in the Alps where the world’s best DJs all play in such an intimate setting. Winter sports and activities aside (and there were tons more, including Yoga, trick contests, etc), Snowbombing takes itself seriously while never losing sight of who its audience is.
Photo Credits: © Fanatic 2017