Snowbombing, Mayrhofen

Like skiing? Like dancing? Snowbombing is your perfect festival


Words Rosie Bendandi


Photo Danny North

In the ridiculously good-looking Austrian mountain town of Mayrhofen, the six-day Snowbombing festival plays host to the best  late season skiing,  followed by some of the world’s biggest name dance acts  -  playing at bars and clubs and pop up venues around the town.

There are many ways to get to Mayrhofen, Take a tip from me and fly to Munich and get the festival coach to the site - mainly because the driver hands out free Jagermeister - I'm easily swayed. The scenic drive across the Alps sets the scene nicely, and by the time you arrive in Mayrhofen you'll be itching to get up on the slopes. 


Photo: Andrew Whitton

This is a festival like no other in that it feels almost wholesome. Or at least relatively so. We had a comparably quiet first night, where we checked out a pop-up club in an igloo 2000m above sea level and hosting hundreds of sweaty ravers, with the best panoramic mountaintop views on site. We awoke bright and early and headed straight for the ski lift, via Hans the Butcher, who’s been serving up schnitzel and wurst to festivallers for years. It would have been rude not to. 

If like me, you've NEVER skied before. Fear not. You can pre-book a lesson very easily. Make sure you do that. Don't decide your first ever go on skis will be hurtling down a mountain after a pint. I wasn't the natural pro I had hoped to be, but I did slowly get the hang of it and being up a mountain with the sun on your face and drum n bass pumping throughout through the slope bars is exhilarating. 


Photo: Danny North

Back at the hotel, (Manni Sport Hotel) there's no better way to watch the sun set behind the mountain tops than with an impromptu  party in your hotel ‘s heated rooftop pool. Snowbombers are a friendly bunch - a little different from your usual dance crowd.

Most of the headliners kick off at 8:00pm, warming up the crowd for the more heavy-hitters later in the night (morning). This year 2ManyDJs and Fatboy Slim absolutely nailed it, while Rudimental, below, fell a bit flat.

Photo: Danny North

All the venues are within walking distance and there were no queues. The music goes on till 6am but the sleepy town absorbs the festival well - you can just as easily have dinner and an early night as end up in the Berghain or Mayrhofen Bruck'n Stadl till sunrise. The Austrians are especially friendly and all speak perfect English, which is handy for an almost entirely British crowd. 

Photo: Andrew Whitton

My one tiny quibble would be this year’s new cashless wristband.  In theory an excellent idea to minimise queueing but in practice, lack of information about which venues accepted it meant we were caught out a few times with not enough cash.  But it’s a small quibble in an otherwise tremendous way to get some spring sunshine and ski action along with hardcore night-time raving. Who knew that would be such a brilliant mix. 

Photo: Jenna Foxton

How to Do It 

Price guide

Travel and hotel packages 

Booking advice and FAQs

Dates for 2016: April 4-9 April;  artists includde Bastille, Mark Ronson, Craig David ...  

My Snowbombing Tips. 


Bring fancy dress! The fancier the better. And hit the slopes in it. Special mention to the guys in full tuxedos skiing at full speed down the slopes. I thought James Bond was in town. 

Bring a bathing suit/bikini. Most  hotels have pools. If you're lucky you'll get the one with a roof top heated pool and hot tub. Pool party. 

Pack your layers. You could be wearing your t-shirt in the day time and faux fur coat at night. 

Bring a hip flask and fill up with schnapps from the local shops before heading out. 


Bring a selfie stick. Just don't. 

Read ELLE's full 2015 festival guide here

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