The Best Ski & Snowboard Festivals You Must Attend This Winter
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For all of us who cannot wait for the holiday season and the first snowfall, winter is the most magical season of the year.
If fresh powder and perfectly groomed ski runs get you more excited than a kid with candy, you know that this is the time to go out and play. And of course, there’s no better way to end the day than by attending some wild après ski parties and concerts.
This winter, hit the slopes and attend the world’s premier winter sports festivals while you’re there. It should come as no surprise that the Alps host the most ski and snowboard festivals in the world. But Europe is not the only continent featured on our list.
If you too like to ski hard, ride hard, and party harder, here’s what you need to snow (pun intended):
Where: Alpe d’Huez, France
When: March 14 – 21, 2020
In Southeastern France, only a 90-minute drive from Grenoble, the Alpe d'Huez ski domain boasts 76 ski lifts and 250 km of slopes for all levels. It is also home to the longest black run in the Alps –Sarenne, which is 16 km long.
The newest member of the Tomorrowland family, the biggest dance music festival in the world, made its debut in 2019 high up in the snowy French Alps. The second edition of Tomorrowland Winter is expecting 30,000+ partygoers, and the theme of the festival will be “The Book of Wisdom - The Frozen Chapter”.
The lineup is insane, with headliners including Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Vini Vici, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Lost Frequencies, and many more. You can choose between a 4-day or a 7-day experience. Packages include lodging, lift pass, and the ticket for the festival area.
» Go on an adventure holiday in the French Alps and explore France’s mountains like a local!
Rock the Pistes
Where: Portes du Soleil, France and Switzerland
When: March 15 – 21, 2020
On the French-Swiss border, Portes du Soleil is the world’s largest connected ski area, counting over 650 km of runs spanning over both France and Switzerland, 200+ ski lifts, 12 ski resorts, and 10 snow parks.
Get yourself a Portes du Soleil lift pass and you’ll have free access to the various shows taking place in different venues across the vast ski area during the Rock the Pistes festival. There will be five gigs a day up on the mountain. In the evenings, there’ll be après-ski concerts in the resorts at the foot of the slopes.
Rock the Pistes will celebrate its tenth edition in 2020. More than 30 après-ski concerts are announced and over 28,000 festivalgoers are expected to attend. International and French pop-rock artists will literally rock the pistes!
Photo credit: snowboxx.com
Where: Avoriaz, France
When: March 21 – 28, 2020
Don’t leave Portes du Soleil just yet. As soon as Rock the Pistes ends, Snowboxx begins. This week-long festival features some of the craziest après in the Alps, held in the legendary ski resort of Avoriaz, in the heart of Les Portes du Soleil.
The 2020 edition will bring comedy shows, igloo parties, snowball fights, and epic après parties. There will be an open-air arena by the slopes that will welcome the biggest lineup to date, with headliners like Fatboy Slim, Craig David, Basement Jaxx, Rudimental, and Wilkinson.
World Ski & Snowboard Festival
Photo credit: ski.com
Where: Whistler, Canada
When: April 15 – 19, 2020
The spectacular Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, with its 200+ marked runs, is North America’s largest and steepest ski area. It hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and each year, it hosts North America’s largest snow sports festival.
The World Ski & Snowboard Festival combines music, arts, film, photography, mountain culture, and lots of riding. There are freestyle competitions and ski and snowboard demonstrations during the day. In the evening, there are après sessions, club parties, and free outdoor concerts. What a way to end the season!
Where: Crans-Montana, Switzerland
When: April 16 – 19, 2020
A famous mountain-top festival with quite a bit of history, Caprices celebrates its 17th anniversary in 2020. One of the most famous high-altitude electronic music festivals, Caprices takes place each year in the Crans-Montana ski resort in southern Switzerland.
By day, the MDRNTY stage located at the top of Cry D’er Mountain will welcome the finest contemporary DJs for a daytime party experience with stunning panoramic views over the Swiss Alps. By night, The Moon stage at the bottom of the ski lifts will welcome highly respected big-room acts.
Where: Laax, Switzerland
When: March 30 – April 3, 2020
With its 235 km of pistes, 63 ski lifts, and 43 freeride routes (103 pistes in total), Laax is the world’s number one freestyle resort. Come the end of March, ski and snowboard fanatics are invited to The Brits, a week-long festival that is all about snow, competitions, and parties.
If you’re wondering where the festival gets its name from, it’s because the Brits really are coming to Laax. Each year, the Swiss resort hosts the British Snowboard and Freeski Championships.
The Brits is aptly nicknamed “The Riders Festival”. The competitions and demonstrations from the UK’s best riders are free to watch, while French DJs are heating up the scene.
Photo credit: snowbombing.com
Where: Mayrhofen, Austria
When: April 13 – 18, 2020
Save the date for the biggest ski festival in Europe – Snowbombing!
Spend the days on the slopes, riding the 139 km of perfectly groomed runs for all levels, with music playing in the background. If you’re up for the challenge, you can even test the Harakiri piste, the steepest groomed slope in Austria, with a 78% incline (gulp!).
At night, all the clubs in the resort will be taken over by party animals. World-class performances will be held in some unusual venues – igloo raves, enchanted forest parties, pop-up butcher’s shop parties, a subterranean super club, arctic disco, and Austria’s largest fancy dress street party are among the highlights.
Photo credit: snowbombing.com
The big daddy of snow festivals, the event draws huge crowds each year. In 2019, Snowbombing will celebrate its 20th edition, and will feature over 100 acts. Headliners include Liam Gallagher, The Streets, Foals, Chase & Status, Rudimental, and many more.
» Embrace Austria’s culture by embarking on an exciting outdoor holiday in the Austrian Alps!
Snowbombing is such a hit that Canada now holds its own – Snowbombing Canada. The festival will take place in the Sun Peaks resort in British Columbia in April. Same as in Austria, there will be several music venues, including an underground parking lot and an enchanted forest party.
Top of the Mountain
Photo credit: ischgl.com
Where: Ischgl, Austria
When: April 21 and 30, 2020
Each season, Ischgl hosts three Top of the Mountain events – an opening festival, an Easter concert, and a closing event. Some of the greatest names in the music world have performed at Top of the Mountain, including Elton John, Robbie Williams, and James Blunt.
The 2019/2020 ski season in Ischgl will be celebrated with a concert by Seeed on November 30, 2019. But there are more events to look forward to.
There will be Christmas carols from all over the world on December 26, 2019. New Year’s Eve will see an unforgettable fireworks show.
The 2019/2020 winter season will go out with a bang, with the Top of the Mountain closing concert on May 2. The concert will take place on the biggest open-air arena in Austria, Idalp, set at an elevation of 2,300 meters. The day ski pass for May 2 includes concert admission.
Dust off your gear and go on a skiing holiday in Europe! To make your getaway even more memorable, attend one or more of the above-mentioned winter sports festivals. You’ll be hooked and come back for more!