Just last month we where delighted to confirm that Future Disco will be hosting a stage at next year's Snowboxx Festival in Andorra. Joining our resident Slothboogie will be Belgian maestro Compuphonic, Kolour Recording's Debonair, plus a whole list of other exciting artists such as Totally Enormous Exstinct Dinosaurs and Radio 1's Monki...
So beautiful scenery, beautiful music and a whole mountain to carve up! What more could you ask for, 'ey? Well that's what we set out to do when we caught up with the festivals organisers Rob & Oli as they gave us a run down on all things Snowboxx and what we can expect at this years event...
Tell us a little about why you started Snowboxx Festival guys? Have you always been into Skiing and Snowboarding?
Rob: I’m more of a social skier, and really got in to that at Uni'. But after graduating, there was nothing to do, short of dull Thomas Cook trips, or a ski festival that would cost you a couple of grand including spends. We were running trips to the Balearics, and Scott, who was promotions manager at the Rocks, was also a ski instructor out in Arinsal. He took us to the place and we fell in love with it. They were up for us trying something new there, so we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
Oli: I had done seasons in Tignes before Uni', and was always intrigued about combining ski resorts and UK club culture. I've always been sceptical about the price of snow festivals, as primarily i go to the mountains to board. The idea of creating something that gave you the best of both worlds whilst also being cheaper than any other ski holiday was pretty intriguing!
So is it skiing in the winter and surfing in the summer? Are you both extreme sports nuts?
R: For me, summer is all about exploring - whether its Ibiza, Croatia or somewhere further, theres always somewhere new to party.
O: Summer for me is UK festivals, getting to as many as possible and wearing as ridiculous fancy dress as I can get away with. It's not an extreme sport, but it can certainly feel like it.
It was the first Snowboxx in March just gone, was this the first time you have organised an event of such scale?
R: We’ve been doing big trips to the Balearics for a few years now, but yep its the first time we’ve done a festival. The main thing we’ve learnt from this is what we can do, theres so much available in ski resorts. We’ve got empty spaces to create our own venues, the backdrop of the mountain for stages, cinemas and igloos, and loads of backcountry areas to do some extra special things.
O: Last year was very much a test for what the resort and it's facilities could handle. Having had a crowd of people in that space and seeing how they naturally interact with it, we had loads more ideas and options for extra features for the festival, and how we can really make the resort amazing.
Why do you think more and more people are attending festivals like Snowboxx?
R: Because before us it wasn’t possible! There was only one ski festival, and it was super expensive. When we give them the option to have a ski holiday and an awesome festival all in one.
O: There has been a very notable shift in festival culture; more people are going abroad for festivals than ever before, and in the UK certain small festivals are attracting strong loyal crowds. Going to a festival that creates a unique and magical environment, has a well curated lineup, and is offering great value - this seems to be what people are craving, both in the UK and beyond. That is what Snowboxx is all about.
What where some of the highlights of last years festival for you both?
R: The Panoramix event was incredible. A stage is set right in the middle of the mountains, a fire show by pro skiers and great music. Half way through, it started snowing. It was awesome.
O: Same, and the this year we will have similar stages running every day!
What made you choose the town of Arinsal in Andora as the location to hold the festival?
R: Its just pretty magical. Most ski resorts are big concrete jungles, purpose made resorts with no character. Arinsal is a village that functions all year round, and it has a great wintery feel to it. We love it.
O: Beautiful setting and lovely (and a bit crazy) locals.
Hit us with some good local trivia…
R: Snowboxx will increase the population of Andorra by 1.5%. Thats pretty huge. Even Tomorrowland and Glastonbury don’t do that!
O: There is a smugglers route that winds through the mountains, and you can see from right at the top of Arinsal
What four items would you say where are essential for any Ski Festival attendee?
R: - Something stupid. Whether retro ski gear, a kigu or something different, you have to stand out on the slopes. - Berocca, if you want to be out until 4am and also catch the first lift (or any lift before midday), Berocca will be your best mate. - Sun Cream; skiing in the Pyrenees in March means awesome snow - but also incredible sun. Nobody told me this, so I came back from our first trip with a ridiculously burnt face. - (Can’t think of a fourth. Big socks?)
O: - Strong calf muscles! Skiing/boarding by day, dancing by night. Get doing your lunges! - An Appetite; the food on offer ski resorts is always amazing, Arinsal is no different and it is very cheap. - An alarm clock; to make sure you get out of bed and onto the slopes, mountain air is the best hangover cure! - I want to 2nd Robs 'something stupid'... Wear something ridiculous, you're on holiday!
Looking towards next years event, what surprises have you in-store for the party goers? Can you reveal anymore of the lineup yet?
O: We will be releasing the next stage of lineup very soon, we are incredibly pleased with the response to our first announcement. We have released a lot of new features, stages and bars for next year, such as our 80s bar and High Tops Disco and Grill in the park as well as Mountain Top Yoga. Here's an exclusive - gondola kareokee.......
What would be your dream line up on the mountain?
R: We were pretty disappointed that Justice weren’t touring this year, they would have been awesome. Energetic music is best for the mountain, as its so cold. So other than Justice, our ideal top bill would include M83.
O: Moderat as well, I think they would throw one hell of a slopeside party.
Thanks for chatting with us guys; we are really looking forward to joining you at this year’s festival… We always ask the people we interview to sign us off with a top five so in the spirit of the festival, could you sign us off with your top five tracks to listen whilst 'riding the mountain'...
Snowboxx takes place from 23rd - 30th March 2014 in the Arisnal, Andorra... Tickets and more information here