There was a time when ski resorts were all about, well skiing. Then came snowboarding and a few flash in the pan ideas, which remain collecting dust in the closet. As snowsports developed, the ski resorts evolved too, especially within the last decade, to bring popular culture and entertainment to the Alps in the form of festivals, music and more recently comedy.
In 1995, Ischgl lead the way in bringing big names to ski resorts for entertainment, with Elton John performing at the, now legendary, Top of the Mountain concert. Meanwhile the resort of Mayrhofen in the Zillertal was soon at the forefront of top winter festivals, hosting the famous Snowbombing.
For the first time, since its move from Meribel, Mayrhofen will host the Altitude Comedy Festival, with big names like Jimmy Carr, Al Murray and Tim Minchin. In addition the 10th anniversary of the Vans Wängl Tängl will see a new pop-up gallery, curated by Looking Sideways, showcasing snowsports art. Over in the Ötztal, Sölden DJ David Guetta headlines at the Electric Mountain Festival in April and Sölden will once again host the annual Gay Snow Happening at the end of March.
2012 Vans Wängl Tängl, Mayrhofen, 17 – 24 March 2012
Europe’s most prestigious snow and skate event, the VANS Wängl Tängl 2012, will celebrate its 10thanniversary this year bringing together a week of snowboard, skateboard and music highlights.
Looking Sideways@Wangl Tangl – This year sees a new pop-up art exhibition at the Europahaus, featuring 10 influential boardsport artists, organised by Looking Sideways. The interactive element to the event will create some original artwork and requires public participation online, both pre- and during the event. To take part, they need your eyes to make the graphics for a limited edition run of snowboards, with the chance of winning one of the boards. Take a photo of yourself and make sure the eyes are ‘looking sideways’. Email the image to email@example.com or upload it to the Looking Sideways Facebook page. Your eyes will be added to the live art piece, creating a big, beautiful mural. Looking Sideways artists will then work on the mural throughout the Wängl Tängl. Winners will be chosen at random to get their hands on an original limited edition snowboard.
Package: Crystal Ski (crystalski.co.uk; 0871 231 2256) offers a week’s bed & breakfast in the 3* Hotel Obermair from £377 per person, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and transfers. Departs 17March.
Altitude Comedy Festival, Mayrhofen, 26 – 31 March 2012
The Altitude Comedy Festival will bring some of the top names in comedy such as Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle. Ed Byrne and Al Murray to the slopes of Mayrhofen this year. Previously an annual fix in Meribel, 2012 will be the first year for Mayrhofen to host it as standalone event, offering the perfect mix of skiing, comedy and music. To get your wristband book your Mayrhofen accommodation online at www.altitudefestival.com and tailor your package to suit you with coach travel, flights or lift passes as added extras. Alternatively book your Mayrhofen holiday through Crystal and add a wristband to your booking for £150.
Package: Crystal Ski (crystalski.co.uk; 0871 231 2256) offers a week’s half board in the 3* Villa Strass from £450 per person, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and transfers. Departs 24 March.
Gay Snow Happening, Sölden, 24 – 31 March 2012
Sölden will host the 13th Gay Snow Happening this March, as hundreds head to the Ötztal for a week of fun-packed skiing and partying. The varied programme of events include hut evenings at “Hühnersteign”, moonlight bowling, relaxing spa sessions at the Aqua Dome and long disco nights at “Q-Stall” or “Snowrock Café”. The week is rounded off in style for a final extravaganza, with famous DJs from London, Berlin and Hamburg. By day, 150km of perfectly groomed pistes are waiting to be explored.
Package: Thomson Ski (thomsonski.co.uk; 0871 971 0578) offers a week’s half board in the 4* Hotel Regina from £901 per person, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and transfers. Departs 24 March.
Electric Mountain Festival, Sölden, 9 – 21 April 2012
Over Easter, Sölden will host a fantastic mix of music, mountains, snow and skiing over several weekends in April. Superstar DJ David Guetta will open the festival on 9 April on the world’s highest turntables at 2670m with the Rettenbach Glacier providing the unique backdrop.
Package: Thomson Ski (thomsonski.co.uk; 0871 971 0578) offers a week’s half board in the 4* Hotel Erhart from £929 per person, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and transfers. Departs 7 April.
Snowbombing, Mayrhofen, 9 – 14 April 2012
Famous for its adrenaline-fuelled snowboarding and crazy partying, the annual Snowbombing festival takes over the resort of Mayrhofen in April with leading DJs, club nights, live acts and snowboarders coming together for this ultimate event. Although the main events can only be accessed with a wristband, you can still enjoy the atmosphere in resort during it’s busiest party time.
Package: Crystal Ski (crystalski.co.uk; 0871 231 2256) offers a week’s bed & breakfast at the 3* Chalet Haus Tirol from £658 per person, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and transfers. Departs 7 April.
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