The 10 Best Winter Music Festivals In Europe
As the dark evenings close in and the sunshine slips away, so does the bounty of summer music festivals.
Our festival sites in the UK may freeze over with the winter winds but, up in the clouds the fun is just beginning as the snow creates a fluffy mountain playground all accessed by a bubble lift and a wristband.
Here are 10 of the best snowy winter festivals Europe has to offer (just don’t forget to pack your 80s ski suit)…
When: 14 – 21 December 2019
Where: Les Deux Alpes, France
Headliners: Chase and Status, Solardo, Michael BiBi, Horse Meat Disco
Set in the French Alps, Rise Festival is a six-day celebration of snow, music and adventure. Multiple mountain-top venues, husky safaris, glacier yoga and a six- day lift pass with perfect pistes for first timers and seasoned shredders alike, the sixth edition of Rise Festival is set to be the biggest and best one yet.
When: 21 – 28 March 2020
Where: Avoriaz, France
Headliners: Andy C, Annie Mac, Denis Sulta, The High Contrast Band, The Sugarhill Gang
Snowboxx takes centre stage in Avoriaz, Les Portes du Soleil, boasting the largest connected ski area in the world with over 650km of powdery pistes across France and Switzerland.
Offering tailored accommodation packages for your party, igloo parties and bottomless brunch galore, book now to ski out of your mountain pad and into an epic open air après party!
When: 13 – 18 April 2020
Where: Mayrhofen, Austria
Headliners: Liam Gallagher, Foals, The Streets, Chase & Status, Rudimental, Claptone
Snowbombing are hitting the Austrian slopes again this winter with 6 headline venues, 4 mountain stages plus terrains perfect for every man and his dog.
Catch the Ride & Seek pro-rider comp to be blown away by some of Europe’s most piste mad boarders and skiers.
When: 28 November – 1 December 2019
Where: Verbier, Switzerland
Headliners: Floating Points, Carl Craig, Kerri Chandler, Seth Troxler
Polaris Festival welcomes Carl Craig, Floating Points and Kerri Chandler to Verbier, Switzerland, for four days of banging house and techno at an altitude of 2,200 metres.
Set within the famous Verbier Ski Resort, Polaris‘ location is just as impressive as its music roster. The Main Stage, le Mouton Noir, is located directly on the slopes, with festival tickets including free access to the ski lift.
When: 14 – 21 March 2020
Where: Alpe D’Huez, France
Headliners: Armin van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Charlotte de Witte
Tomorrowland returns with its second winter edition in March. Welcoming 25,000 People of Tomorrow plus festival regulars Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas + Like Mike, and Martin Garrix.
Expect spectacular stage setups, mind-blowing production levels and plenty of surprises as the second chapter of Tomorrowland unfolds in the French Alps.
Watch highlights of Tomorrowland Belgium, here.
ROCK THE PISTES
When: 15 – 21 March 2020
Where: Portes du Soleil, France
Back for its 10th annual edition Rock the Pistes, set in the Portes du Soleil ski area of the French Alps, mixes live music with snow sports for a feel-good festival in the snow.
All you need is a ski pass to ski and snowboard between stages across 12 Portes du Soleil resorts to catch performances from a hugely diverse variety of acts.
FRESH MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL
Where: Les Orres, France
This winter Croatia’s Fresh Island team brings us Fresh Mountain, Europe’s first urban festival on snow.
Taking centre stage in Les Orres resort in the south of France the second festival promises to bring the same musical flavour as their summer party to the snow with hip-hop, R&B and afro beats plus aprés ski events, snow-park fun, and mountain saunas too.
CHAMONIX UNLIMITED FESTIVAL
When: 31 March – 5 April 2020
Where: Chamonix, France
Chamonix Unlimited returns to the base of the mighty Mont-Blanc for a long weekend of house and techno on the slopes.
Past line-ups have included the likes of Amelie Lens, Paul Kalkbrenner and Charlotte de Witte.
When: 14 – 18 April 2020
Where: Zermatt, Switzerland
In the shadows of the Matterhorn, Zermatt Unplugged offers a different spin to other mountain festivals.
With music spread across 20 stages and 4 after-party locations, the 5-day festival also features the tantalising Taste Village, offering an extensive variety of local food and drink.
When: 16 – 19 April 2020
Where: Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Taking place at the Swiss Alpine ski resort Crans-Montana, the four-day Caprice Festival has been hosting the world’s best DJs for 17 years.
The artists for 2020 are yet to be announced, but with Sven Väth, Ben Klock, Ricardo Villalobos and Adam Beyer among the most recent line-up, it’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing more of techno’s finest next April.
Featured photo credit: Rudi Wyhlidal, Electric Mountain Festival