Ditch the wellies and grab your snowboots- it's time for the winter music festival season! Whether you're a skier, boarder, or simply a music fan, here is the ultimate guide to tide you over until the summer music season starts.
Little World Festival 12th - 19th March in Meribel, France
Debuting in March 2010, Meribel Little World Festival combines five days of skiing and snowboarding in the largest ski area in the world, with entertainment from Europe's biggest bands and DJ's. Ski or snowboard by day and party from sun set with over 40 live gigs during the week and a free outdoor concert on the piste.
The Little World Festival attracts 25- 45 year old urbanites with active and outgoing lifestyles. With intimate venues set against beautiful backdrops, this is the place to be for anyone into their house music and live pop performances. Famous for its more contemporary feel as a resort, Meribel used to be the home the Altitude festival, which has now moved to Austria alongside Snowbombing.
The daylight hours provide an equal set of great activities with perfect snow conditions, panoramic views from the mountain tops and some of the best runs in the world making this resort a skier and snowboarder's paradise.
The Little World Festival gets bigger and better each year and 2011 promises to be the most exciting to date with more headline acts and gigs throughout the resort! Confirmed acts to date include Sophie Ellis Bexter, The Feeling and Freemasons. There will also be a new attraction with a three-day snowboard Big Air and Rail competition, featuring the best male and female riders in the UK.
The Big Snow Festival 13th- 20th March in Arinsal, Andorra
The organisers of The Big Reunion have taken the unique atmosphere of their UK festivals and dropped them into the mountains of the Pyrenees. Debuting in March 2010 and nestled in the mountains between France and Spain, Arinsal is easy to get to and has some of the best slopes around for beginners and more experienced skiers. Board junkies will also love the 40,000 square metres of freestyle space packed with half-pipes, jumps and fun boxes.
Big Snow Festival 2011 promises to be a rollercoaster ride of skiing, snowboarding and legendary nights out with Example, Judge Jules, Tim Westwood, Fearne Cotton and Scott Mills announced as headline DJs!
Be prepared to see man of the moment Example shake the mountain, experience one of last year's favourites Judge Jules bring the resort to a standstill and pimp your ride with the Big Dawg himself Tim Westwood on the slopes.
Fearne Cotton will bring the sass and style to this winter wonderland with her raved about DJ set and will be joined on the slopes by another one of our Radio 1 favourites Scott Mills.
Billed as the best powder in Europe, Arinsal plays host to hundreds of festival goers for seven solid days of mountainous music, snowboarding, fun and games with over 80 per cent of the crowd being alpine first timers. Skidomtrips.com is the official equipment hire & lift pass supplier.
Jazz Up Festival 19th- 26th March Jazz Up in Avoriaz, France
Once the host of the Avoriaz Film Festival, this Portes du Soleil resort started to cater for the more sophisticated music taste in 2008. Combining chilled out springtime skiing with live jazz in bars, cafes and restaurants around Avoriaz, the Jazz Up Festival includes 40 dinner concerts in one week, with four exceptional concerts in the festival hall and numerous jazz events.
After Archie Schepp, Mina Agossi, Philippe Petrucciani, Louis Winsberg, Ahmad Jamal and China Moses, Avoriaz Jazz Up now offers an exceptional programme for its fourth year, including a solo piano set from Tigran Hamasyan, concert from the Nicolas Folmer Quartet + Rosario Giuliani and a gospel night by Liz McComb.
The BRITS Music & Winter Festival 20th- 27th March in Laax, Switzerland
Entering the scene in 2008, the BRITS Music & Winter Festival is back with a bang, bringing together seven days of top snowboard and ski action with seven nights of live music and DJ acts. With festival heavyweights Pendulum confirmed to headline and a performance from one of the hottest up and coming acts The Correspondents, The BRITS looks set to be the ultimate winter week this season!
Although you could be confused with thinking this was a mountain version of the annual music awards ceremony, the British Snow Tour is completely separate to the BRIT Awards and mixes serious competition with alpine festivities. It's not all about the partying, as the BRITS also unites the UK's top athletes such as Olympians Ben Kilner, Zoe Gillings and three times X-Games Gold medallist, Jenny Jones with budding amateurs, groms and rookies. Giving all-comers the chance to showcase their skills and compete for British Championship titles across five age categories, Kids, Youth, Junior, Senior and Masters.
There are also plenty of other activities to keep you entertained and Laax has also stepped up its claim to be the king of chic ski resorts with a range of stunningly new and exclusive restaurants and cafes.
Snowbombing 4th- 9th April in Mayrhofen, Austria
Snowbombing is a festival filled with fresh air, blue skies, black runs and white-hot parties...billed as the alpine alternative to Glastonbury! An exhilarating week-long whirlwind of brilliant bands and world class DJs in the chocolate box alpine setting of Mayrhofen, Austria. Snowbombing is now regarded by many as 'The Greatest Show on Snow'. A unique, mischievous celebration that everyone should experience!
Snowbombing has a reputation for its creative and entertaining activities and traditional Austrian cultural references are embraced (e.g. oom pah bands, lederhosen and sausages). Similarly, unconventional clothing is encouraged in a series of fancy dress themes which are adhered to by many attendees and cult celebrities like Mr. Motivator are engaged to entertain and interact with the crowd.
Running since 2000, Snowbombing has featured a plethora of world class acts. 2011 doesn't fail to impress, with the Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Pendulum and Tinie Tempah, to name just a few, in Snowbombing's biggest line up in 11 years. Nothing on this scale musically has ever been attempted before in an alpine setting!
Festival-goers can climb up to the Tux Glacier for an evening of revelry as well as a town-wide street party in Mayrhofen itself. If that wasn't enough, there is the Challenge the Lumberjack competition where contestants pit their strength against each other by carrying tree trunks!