The event has been run since 2000 when it was first held at the French resort of Risoul as an après-ski nightclub promotional exercise started by English promoters from Manchester called Outgoing Ltd. However, since 2005, the Tyrolean resort of Mayrhofen in Austria has hosted the festival which has evolved into Europe's biggest snow and music festival. Originally a DJ and electronic dance music-themed event, live acts were added to the bill in 2008, reflecting the resurgence of indie/rock music. The events format is designed to combine winter sports (primarily snowboarding) with on-piste and après-ski music performances and themed parties in unusual locations, including an igloo village (pictured), a forest clearing, a traditional remote alpine farmstead and an open-air street party.
Artistes who have appeared at Snowbombing include Fatboy Slim, Madness, Pendulum, Example, Magnetic Man, Sub Focus, Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status, Skream & Benga, Mark Ronson, Dizzee Rascal, Dirty Pretty Things, Grandmaster Flash, Foals, 2ManyDJs, The Enemy, Zane Lowe, Freestylers, Mylo, Dave Clarke, Gilles Peterson, Fabio, Grooverider, Tim Westwood, The Cuban Brothers and James Zabiela.
The event has a reputation for its imaginative and humorous elements; traditional Austrian cultural references are embraced (e.g. oompah bands, lederhosen and sausages) and given a contemporary/surreal twist. Unconventional clothing is encouraged in a series of fancy dress themes which are adhered to by many attendees (aka ‘Snowbombers’) and cult celebrities like Mr. Motivator are engaged to entertain and interact with the crowd.
The event is also notable for giving those who attend an alternative to flying. The Snowbombing Road Trip is not a race but a leisurely international drive from the UK to Mayrhofen, involving collecting points en route, an overnight ‘pit stop’ in Frankfurt, and an arrival procession in Mayrhofen – which declares the event open.
With around fifty pools and saunas within easy reach, and a backdrop of breathtaking alpine scenery, Snowbombing regards itself as a festival which, in addition to music, additionally offers luxury and comfort.[who?] European television channels and radio broadcasters have covered the event, including BBC Radio 1, Channel 4, Eurosport, Canal+ and MTV Europe.
Previous host resorts
- 2005-2014: Mayrhofen, Austria
- 2004: Les Arcs, France
- 2002-2003: Villars, Switzerland
- 2000-2001: Risoul, France
- Taking music to the mountain, BBC News, 28 November 2005
- "Snowbombing" by Gemma Freeman Ski and Snowboard Magazine UK, 1 March 2008
- Snowbombing festival preview by Simone Baird, Time Out London, 20 March 2008
- "Star Quality" by Nick Dalton, Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2007
- "Blast Off" by Rebecca Miles, Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard Magazine, 1 February 2008
- "Glide into party central in the Austrian Alps" by Paul Rhodes, Daily Express, 1 March 2008
- "Muslim cinema, music fests, and snowbombing" by Christopher Muther The Boston Globe, 17 February 2008
- http://www.snowbombing.com/en/roadtrip/ The Snowbombing Road Trip
- "SNOWBOARDS, BEER, DJS ACTION!" by Lucas Magoon Ryan Air Magazine 10 February 2009
- "Snowbombing", DJ Vibe 22 January 2003