Swedish cider brewers, Rekorderlig packed Kettle’s David Wheeler off to Snowbombing in Austria for a few days last week. This is how he got on…
Imagine a quaint Austrian snow globe village with log cabins and lederhosen, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Mayrhofen looks like the sort of place where nothing happens, and that’s just fine. Hans the butcher waves hello in the morning and knows all his customers by name. But once a year the snow globe is shaken and people from all over the world pour in like an avalanche starting with the Snowbombing road trip. It’s like gumball on ice but with more schnitzel and grillwurst.
Hundreds of cars sporting Snowbombing decals arrive in convoy and are greeted by a welcoming crowd of costumed Snowbombers, their journey has just begun. From here the fun never stops. Skiers and snowboarders head up into the Alps for some of the best and most challenging skiing in Europe. Although my feeble attempt at staying upright on skis was short lived I was left with plenty to do. Exploring the mountains on foot I came across the Arctic Disco, a bar/club made entirely from snow! Inside, the seats were carved from ice and even the drinks were served in glasses made out of ice. Quite a shock was to walk back outside and see a mass of people in deck chairs, relaxing and absorbing the hot sun.
After another beautiful ear popping gondola ride with stunning panoramic views of Mayrhofen and far, far beyond, I found Rompa’s Reggae shack, Snowbombing’s new mountain BASS venue. The jarring combination of reggae fans chilling out in the sun and the striking backdrop of alpine terrain and winter sports sums up the fusion that makes Snowbombing the most surreal and fun festival in the world. The best show on snow, as they say. And as Rekorderlig’s resident pro snowboarder Chris Sörman said: ‘That’s what it’s all about, 50% skiing, 50% partying.’
Back on dry land, we went to the street party. Hundreds gathered in full Mardi Gras regalia for the outdoor festivities. Things were kicked off by the hilariously entertaining Cuban Brothers who combined comedy with music and breakdancing and finally some male nudity. Miguel Mantovani and his louche Latin lothario’s made hot Latin love to the crowd and no one was left dissatisfied.
Another highlight was the Rekorderlig Back Country party, though initially we geared ourselves for disappointment when we found out the venue had been moved due to harsh conditions. (When you’re in the Alps, harsh means harsh) But what the good people at Rekorderlig gave us was anything but disappointing. Now set in a small underground club, lucky ticket holders got the opportunity to see Skream, Artwork and Ben Westbeech DJ to one of their most intimate audiences ever. Not to mention all the free cider they could drink!
Snowbombing closed with the massive Forest Party. It may have been cold and raining the whole time but Rudimental warmed everyone’s soul with their infectious high energy performance and paved the way for the last big act of the greatest show on snow, Kasabian. If you thought the harikiri was dangerous, try being at the front of that crowd when the boys hit their stride and hundreds of Snowbombers at the end of a week-long bender hit climax. Topped off with a surprise fireworks display, many people say this is the best week of their lives and I would recommend it to anybody, with these words of caution: Pack your Snow shoes as well as your dancing shoes, pace yourselves, it’s a long week, Austrian food is great but try to work in a salad at some point. And please tip the people of Mayrhofen; it can’t be easy putting up with us.
Rekorderlig cider was first created in 1999 using the purest Spring water from Vimmerby, Sweden where is it still brewed toay by Abro Bryggeri. With a blend of the finest apples infused with vanilla and cinnamon, the best flavours of the season are packed together to make a truly stunning Winter cider.