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The best events in the Alps this winter

Hit the slopes for this season’s best music, comedy and dance festivals

The best events in the Alps this winter
Image: Danny North

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Laax, Switzerland
2-9 April 2017
The annual British Snowboard and Freeski Championships has, um, snowballed since it began in 1989 into a week-long winter sports party. DJs provide the soundtrack as the pros dazzle with freestyle tricks. Try them yourself, at the Freestyle Academy where you can learn everything from hops to off-axis 360s.

Les Deux Alpes, France
10-17 December 2016
Europe’s highest skiable glacier hosts pop-up bars and themed saloons (hot chocolate in a yeti’s cabin anyone?), plus fire-lit raves and a main stage hosted by Ibiza Rocks. At £169 for a six-day ski pass and a festival ticket that includes more house, techno and indie than you can shake a ski pole at, it’s not bad value either.

Mayrhofen, Austria
11-17 December 2016
The hills are alive with the sound of… laughter. Mayrhofen hosts the biggest names in comedy (plus rising talent). Headliners this year are John Bishop and Sean Lock. Afterwards, aching sides can be soothed at the resort’s après-ski bars.

Portes du Soleil, France and Switzerland
19-25 March 2017
Hop back and forth across the Franco-Swiss border with a lift pass that doubles as entry to dozens of en-piste concerts. With each stage separated by a valley, skiers may find some tricky runs lie between them and their entertainment, so watch that mulled wine intake.

Mayrhofen, Austria
2-8 April 2017
Blue skies, white-hot parties and the perfect cocktail of big-name, high-octane electronica, dubstep and house acts across five fantastical stages (think giant igloos and secret forest clearings). This music festival goes big on fancy dress, the perfect complement to the adrenalin kick of the slopes.

Published in the The Alps Winter 2016 guide, distributed with the November 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)