Top events in the Alps 2017-2018
Ski season is also party season! As soon as the fluffy white snow starts falling across the Alps, ski resorts come alive with rockin’ music festivals, spectacular fireworks, adrenaline-pumping ski and snowboard competitions, wild après-ski soirées and loads of other exciting events. During the 2017-2018 ski season, fans are once again eagerly anticipating the return of some of the hottest events in the Alps. Not quite sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top events in ski resorts across France, Austria and Switzerland so you don’t miss a beat on your ski holidays this year.
The FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup is already underway and will make its way soon to Courchevel, Kitzbühel and St. Moritz, among others. By early December the event calendar is already in full gear, with Rave on Snow at Saalbach-Hinterglemm and the Electric Mountain Festival at Sölden-Hochsölden. The start of the New Year brings skiing races and even horse racing at St. Moritz, and by spring it’s time for outdoor music festivals with a heavy emphasis on après-ski!
Electric Mountain Festival at Sölden
One of the biggest mountain festivals takes place at Sölden-Hochsölden, the self-proclaimed “Hotspot of the Alps”. The Electric Mountain Festivals feature international artists and top EDM DJs. The highlight every year is the New Year’s Eve party, when world-famous DJs rock the stage at the Giggijoch, 2000m above sea level. The Electric Mountain Festivals take place once a month, on December 2, January 19, February 16 and March 16.
The Mooserwirt at St. Anton am Arlberg describes itself as “probably the worst ski lodge in the Arlberg” and it’s easy to see why the mountain hut should be so self-deprecating. After all, who could possibly be interested in a massive televised après-ski party featuring the top hits of the season? Admission to the RTL II Après Ski Hits 2018 is free so head on down to St. Anton on December 9 to get your fifteen minutes of fame!
Après Ski Hits at St. Anton
The Arosa Comedy Festival takes place at Arosa from December 7 to 17 and features eleven days of comedy and cabaret. Mixing Swiss and international comedy veterans with up-and-coming new talent, the festival will take viewers to new heights in a spectacular marquee stage on top of the mountain. True to form, you can elect to take the gondola up but it’s also accessible by skis or by sledge. The Arosa Comedy Festival draws around 18,000 spectators every year.
Arosa Comedy Festival
Rave on Snow is one of the biggest winter festivals in the world and the Christmas event of the season in the clubbing scene. From December 14 to 17, over 70 DJs and live acts will attract thousands of visitors to the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn for the 24th year running. Come to see your favourite DJ or check out the new talent.
Rave on Snow at Saalbach
Just before New Year’s Eve, Oberstdorf becomes a mecca for ski jumping fans. Around 30,000 visitors are expected to kick off the 66th Four Hills Tournament in the World Cup ski jumping arena at Schattenberg to witness amazing feats performed by the best ski jumpers in the world. The tournament takes place at Oberstdorf on December 29 and 30 before making its way to three other nearby ski resorts.
Four Hills Tournament at Oberstdorf
The 22km-long White Ring ski circuit is one of the principal attractions at Lech-Zürs am Arlberg. Held annually since 2006, The White Ring - The Race celebrates this picturesque ski circuit between Lech and Zürs. Anyone who has booked accommodation in the ski area is welcome to join; tickets will be drawn for others who wish to participate. The race takes place on January 20.
The White Ring – The Race at Lech am Arlberg
Kitzbühel's Hahnenkamm Race on the Streif and Ganslern pistes takes place for the 78th time this January 14-21. The world’s most legendary ski race and a huge spectator event, it will be celebrated with numerous parties, concerts and other events. You can follow along with some of the past racers as they prepare to face the infamous course in the 2015 film Streif: One Hell of a Ride.
Streif downhill at Kitzbühel
GAIA - Stubai Mother Earth is a multimedia ski and dance performance set against the stunning backdrop of an outdoor stage at Neustift in the Stubai Valley. Combining fire and ice, music and dance, Catalan choreographer Enrique Gasa Valga tells the dramatic tale of how a mother and her son battle dark forces in the Stubai Valley to save the earth. The show takes place on February 2.
Every February, horse racing enthusiasts from all over the world gather at St. Moritz for the White Turf. In addition to the horse racing there will be fine cuisine, upbeat music and fine art exhibitions, plus champagne on ice to top it all off. The White Turf takes places on February 4, 11 and 18.
White Turf horse racing at St. Moritz
From February 15 to March 8, Courchevel welcomes back the International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art for the 16th year running. This outstanding fireworks display set against the backdrop of the mountains features some of the best pyrotechnic artists in the world.
International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art at Courchevel
This unique ski area spanning France and Switzerland will present 5 live concerts and more than 50 smaller après-ski concerts in the various resorts of Les Portes du Soleil. There will also be a massive treasure hunt spread throughout the ski area. Rock the Pistes takes place from March 18-24 and attracts 28,000 people.
Rock the Pistes at Les Portes du Soleil
The Alpine capital of freestyle, Laax boasts 43km of freeride routes, four terrain parks and an impressive superpipe. The British Ski and Snowboard Championships have welcomed the finest skiers and boarders in the UK to this freestyle paradise since 1989. Fondly known as The BRITS, the competition takes place this year from April 1-8.
The BRITS at Laax
Full Metal Mountain is the must-see event of the year for metalheads. International headliners, outdoor stages and wild parties welcome die-hard metal fans to Nassfeld - Pressegger See. The co-founder of the event is Holger Hübner, also known for being the founding father of the world’s largest heavy metal festival. Full Metal Mountain will run from April 2-8.
Full Metal Mountain Festival at Nassfeld
This legendary festival should need no introduction. This year, from April 9-14, Mayrhofen will light up once again with a world-class lineup and whimsical outdoor stages at their annual Snowbombing festival. Join a forest party or an igloo rave and rock out to the best beats around! If you’re coming from the UK, check out the wacky 2-day road trip that makes its way from England to Mayrhofen for the festival.
Snowbombing at Mayrhofen
This gorgeous acoustic music festival takes place amongst the highest mountains in the Alps, in Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn. Killer performances by big-name artists who perform at outdoor stages almost 3000m above sea level will take your breath away. Zermatt Unplugged is on from April 10-14. The 2018 lineup will be released in December.
In addition to the regular event calendar, many ski resorts host a big bash to celebrate the start of ski season. Check out our article on ski season opening events for more information.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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