Rave in the Mountains: Snowbombing 2009

Dazed Digital goes to Austria to rave it up for Snowbombing’s 10th anniversary.

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One can only imagine the bemusement of Mayrhofen’s townsfolk everytime the Snowbombing dance circus comes to town. For one week every year, wobbly chinned loons in fancy dress costumes parade through this quaint Austrian ski village on a pilgrimage to dance all night and, if their hangovers allow them to, cane it down the surrounding mountain range during the day. “It’s organised chaos mate!” is how one Superman described it to me as I arrived in the lobby of its HQ, the “infamous” Hotel Strass.

Snowbombing’s 10th anniversary kicked off with Dizzee Rascal performing in The Racket Club, an all weather tennis court/makeshift gurn pit. With glow sticks costing two euros, a bottle of poppers costing five, and more than a few costumed superheros offering every other type of rave-endorsed chemical, the vibe of the audience could only be described as sweatily enthusiastic. The young grime lord seemed to enjoy the surreal spectacle of it all and energetically banged out all his big hits. A dude dressed as Stig from Top Gear seemed to particularly enjoy “He’s Just a Rascal”, while a dancing can of SPAM and his mate Spongebob Squarepants got their swagger on to “Pussyole”. It was shame that a leak from the gents bled piss onto the floor leaving everyone in the bar queuing in urine.

After Dizzee, The Scratch Perverts kept all the mountain heroes captivated with their usual blend of dubstep, hip hop and breaks, although their MC could possibly be the worst master of ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed. Dude, The Blackout Crew need you. Bell them.

While walking home we saw a pair of white Mancunians dressed and blacked up as the Williams’ sisters. As fate would have it Dizzee and his entourage walked past at the same time. If looks could kill…

The next day we hit Mayrhorfen’s slopes, which were amazing even though I stacked it occasionally (my ribs are still hurting). As lunch turned to early evening we stopped for a drink at the top of the ski lift and witnessed a perma tanned DJ in his 50s playing everything from Kelis to Euro trance. The crowd didn’t mind. They just ordered more Jager bombs. It’s that type of vibe.

Back at the hotel I checked my email. “Can you get eBeer on there? eBeer?” a pair of Geordies slurred as they walked past my laptop. I didn’t know what they were talking about. “Get on it mate”. Right, okay. When they got out of sight my friend explained what they were saying – eBay. Drooling Geordies eh, gotta love ‘em....

One night we went to a private party in a remote wooden lodge. The mountain massive raved to the worst possible Salt n’ Pepa and Dire Straits mashups ever conceived, but loved every second. The girls wore lycra catsuits and neon headbands (the party had a vague Fame theme), while guys wore a lot of tin foil, accessorised with flashing blue LEDs in their mouths. One couple showed their love by drawing “cunt” on each other’s cheeks. Bless. Outside, while queuing for the “BBQ” (microwaved chicken burgers), I asked one guy how he was getting on with the skiing side of things. “Haven’t tried mate,” he said, twitching his fake moustache. “Spent all my money on drugs… you got any?” Another couple, who were policemen back in the real world, also had a unique approach to learning how to ski. “We’re just out here because it’s a good crack… fuck learning how to ski, I’m just going to teach myself”. Visions of thousands of untrained, mong children flailing down the icy pistes came into my mind. It made me smile. The following day we witnessed some of them try their luck at Harakari, Austria’s steepest ski slope (incline: 78%). All I can say is, Captain America we expected better of you.

Later in the week there was a street party at the bottom of the mountain in the town. Hosted by perennial cheesers The Cuban Brothers, it was hilarious watching Dave “chipmunk” Beer trying to mix while drinking a bottle of red (he failed), and witness Double Penetration’s camp breakdance routine. Personally, I could have done without one of the Cubans whipping his cock out and wrapping it around the microphone. Let’s hope Dizzee didn’t have to use that bad boy again. His schlong didn’t seem to bother a group of Osama Bin Laden’s who seemed more interested in pulling the gang of Smurfettes standing next to them. We then caught a bit of new power duo I Am Austin (awesome basslines), and The Noisettes, who provided a nice break from the throbbing four to the floor house music.

Our last day was spent chilling at the Ice Lounge – a man made series of igloos at the top of a mountain decked out with deckchairs and a dub soundsystem (big up Scottish Rob for the sunny tunes) – after which I burnt my nose sitting next to some grannies sunbathing in their bras (eugh). We then headed off to watch 2manydjs headline the festival in a forest clearing. The Belgian brothers were a last minute booking after Fatboy Slim’s doctor told him to (allegedly) go to rehab, although no one I spoke to seemed too upset about the change. After a killer set from nutjob beatboxer Beardyman, who closed his performance with a rendition of 80s kid’s show “Fun House”, the Dewaeles came on. Needless to say they killed it, with all the chavs, superheroes, pigs, dancing cans of SPAM, foreign students, hacks and pill heads grooving in some strange form of unity to everything from Tiga’s “Mind Dimension” to Nirvana’s “Lithium”. Well, all apart from one guy who ran into the forest to puke against a pine tree.

All said and done, Snowbombing was a laugh, although we did feel stuck in a WKD advert for the whole week and were ecstatic to get back into London. But if you’re into fancy dress, gurning and snow, we can’t think of anywhere you’ll feel more at home…

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