Described as the world’s number 1 festival on snow, Austria’s Snowbombing lived up to its name during its 2016 edition – its most sweeping one yet.
Taking place between 4 – 9 April in Mayrehofen Austria, Snowbombing (now in its 17th year) brought over 6,000 up-for-it party animals to the Alps, for a week-long exercise in dance, sport, and nature. The event, which is spread out across multiple venues in and around the picturesque town, is set up more in a BPM Festival or Winter Music Conference way, rather than your conventional festival setup. Meaning, rather than a main stage with several satellite stages, Snowbombing takes place across different venues, with different promoters, DJs, and labels sharing party duties.
The venues for Snowbombing are either within the town of Mayrehofen or on top of its main mountains. Each venue has a distinctly different size and feel, which lent itself well to the festival’s incredibly diverse selection of artists. In town there is the big room style Racquet Club and Europa, as well as the log-cabin inspired Bruk N’ Stradhl (probably our most frequented destination), and the beer garden Three Haus (new for Snowbombing 2016…ripe for surprise sets, including the likes of Jamie Jones). Also around the main town was the daily Forest Party, a secluded nook that saw most headlining acts like Bastille and Prodigy, as well as the one-off Street Party.
Atop the mountain was where much of the snow of Snowbombing took place with various activities and venues set against the backdrop of the massive Penkenbahn mountain. Here, the one-of-a kind Arctic Disco hosted the likes of Kerri Chandler, Hannah Wants, Fatboy Slim, and more in its frigid, ice-packed halls, while the more traditional Mountain Stage acted as an Alpine hub for revellers more inclined for the “snow” rather than the “bombing” part of the experience.
Aside from the venues mentioned, various other village and mountain areas would also hold events, Snowbombing officiated or otherwise. For DHA it really was all about the Bruk N’ Stradhl, which sits at the lower end of the town: a two tier, wooden venue, complete with interior Pizza kitchen. The Thursday of the week saw our very own DHA event at the venue, headlined by James Zabiela, with Danny Daze, Citizenn and Man Power also manning the decks. The latter would dazzle us with his openings set (unfortunately there weren’t too many people attending the venue with whom to share our excitement). The brilliant opening track, Private Investigations by Dire Straits, electrified the venue and led the way to a crescendo that would incorporate a varied selection of house filled in with on point and synth-heavy electronica. Citizenn followed up with a much heavier set, especially for that time in the evening. Not the most logical choice of dynamics for a lead-up to the much funkier, acid and tech-minded James Zabiela.
The previous night saw Mixmag bring Marcel Dettmann, Bicep, Henrik Schwarz, and others, while Friday saw Anja Scheider‘s Mobilee imprint bring Ralf Kollmann, Lee Van Dowski, Rodriguez Jr, and Schneider herself. Hot Since 82 was also on hand on 5 April, bringing his internationally trotting Knee Deep in (this case, snow) concept to “The Bruk”. Naturally, this was the venue for the more underground inclined sounds of electronic music and, perhaps, a tad smaller than ideal (VIP taking over the entire upstairs?!), brought a thumping sound system and quality artists for the late night crowd.