As festival snapshots go, it's hard to think of anything that sums up Snowbombing quite as well as Artwork playing his Bavarian Oompah edit of ‘Au Seve' in a butcher's shop. His surprise set alongside Peggy Gou in the home of Mayrhofen's legendary meat-merchant Hans the Butcher was just one of many quintessentially Snowbombing moments, but it perfectly captures what the festival is all about: unapologetic silliness.
With the almost exclusively British clientele, seemingly endless boozing, a line-up heavily populated with the nawtiest of tech-house and a headline appearance from a certain Liam Gallagher, you'd be forgiven for thinking the festival is all a bit laddy. And while the fellas were no doubt in the majority, in reality the atmosphere remained one of inclusive, unabashed fun.
What’s more, beyond the likes of festival regulars Pat Sharp and Mr Motivator, the lineup actually had plenty to offer the more discerning of electronic music fans. Eclair Fifi, Honey Dijon, Mall Grab, Jennifer Cardini and the aforementioned Peggy Gou were among those plying their wares. While Bicep were on hand to deliver without doubt the set of the festival; their superb live show ably assisted by the impressive production of the vast Racket Club.
What became immediately clear was that the Snowbombing experience is essentially a balancing act between enjoying the late night revelry and managing to get enough sleep to make skiing/boarding a realistic possibility. Maybe some can cane it all night and still make the first lift, but given how quiet the slopes were prior to midday it's probably fair to say the majority knew exactly what they had come for.
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Throughout the afternoon, the bars and terraces at the bottom of the major slopes were filled by all manner of ludicrously dressed punters, with a soundtrack provided by the likes of Flava D, Richy Ahmed, My Nu Leng and Jeremy Underground – a man presumably more than chuffed with the abundance of saunas in the picturesque Alpine resort that the festival calls home. And as the evening approached, everyone descended into the town to kick-start the full-scale partying.
The size of this year's lineup is testament to how much the festival has grown in just under two decades. Headliners Pendulum united once more as a live outfit, smashing their way through a set pleasingly packed with their earlier work. Dizzee Rascal similarly found a decent balance between old and new, even if classics like ‘Stop Dat’ and ‘Jus a Rascal’ fell slightly on deaf ears compared to chart hits like ‘Holiday’ and ‘Bonkers’. Between that set and the rather lukewarm response to AJ Tracey's performance on the Forest Stage, it’s probably fair to say that grime is probably not the average Snowbomber's cup of tea.
But generally speaking, crowds across the weekend were enthusiastic, receptive and certainly up for a good time. Perhaps no more so than on the final night, when the Oasis anthems were out in force for LG’s headline set. Unsurprisingly, it was these tracks that garnered the biggest crowd reaction – although ‘Wall of Glass’, ‘Paper Crown’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ prompted enough of a singalong to highlight the status that Liam has managed to achieve as a solo artist of late.
What Snowbombing really succeeds at is ensuring there’s always something going on: be it surprise sets (Big Narstie in a ski lift, Doorly & Mall Grab in a hotel kitchen, Waze & Odyssey in an igloo…), ridiculous antics like dance-off battles and voga (vogueing meets yoga), or simply the line-up boasting some of the scene’s biggest names. And if the high spirits of everyone in attendance across the week are anything to go by, the festival can count 2018 as another resounding success.
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Words: James Kilpin
Photography: Andrew Whitton / Max Miechowski
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