A Festival of Snow
Lights dim, smoke lifts, crowd cheers, crowd sings, crowd chants… ‘one more song’ echoes through the chilled air, hands in pockets, and the brief ear ringing is followed by sheer euphoric delight.
An act in itself, a festival pulling together comparable to a snowflake forming under all elements of pressure and precision – it’s these wondrous tasks we marvel, enjoy, and come back to year and year again. Festival season, winter, new beginnings, and let us explore a festival in the snow!
Landing at Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops, BC, Canada for Snow bombing, and it’s set to go off. T minus 4 days – the fuse is lit and atmosphere seemingly ignited.
There was a lot to process for a New Zealander, myself, rolling into a wintery festival in a transformed home on wheels, (the modern day summer festival go to) the Van or RV, across the other side of the world… Being on the other side of the road is one thing, turning festival season on its head is another altogether.
Other newly arrived settlers, bombers, were finding their footing and beginning to test their balconies, meet new friends, pop champagne, cheers, share stories under ever gleaming chandeliers in gargantuan lobbies, and testing the local hot tub(s). We found a plenty, and a plenty to stimulate the senses after settling into our No-tel – Lot 5.
From divas, dancers, and do-ers a festival of snow is a combination of diverse groups of passionate people enjoying aspects of the lives they love. Synths, socializing, scenery, singing, skiing, sex (surely), smiling, sparkling, and serenading each new day among the rolling mountains and moving music! Snowbombing is your unlikely wedding bringing together the human family from it’s wider collectives of ravers, ski bums, Vancouverites, festival fanatics, old timers, teeny boppers, and a collective of other souls – you’ll all be joyous friends, you’ll all enjoy yourselves to the fullest, you’ll say ‘I do’ to new experiences, just don’t kiss your cousin.
Mountainous matrimony you’d be a fool to double book.
Magnify Your Senses (Day 1)
At Snowbombing, the ski-in, ski/roll-out resort of sun peaks offers numerous unmatched experiences throughout the event that you simply have to follow a trail of bright coloured onesies to find – no special access passes required.
Take this: GOLDFISH, mid afternoon, and a filling embodyment at the snow/fun filled basecamp stage. It’s softly snowing and glowing in the radiance of the growing atmosphere in the basecamp village. Ball pong, beer, saxophone, snow angels, bean-bags, bearded men, onesies, sparkles, and the only thing Coors light couldn’t touch were both the experience and the bombers doing MC hammer proud on the wooden dance floor. The sun metaphorically starting its arch as we awaited it to break the clouds at Sun Peaks resort.
After trail of word, footsteps, and fashionable festival attire, performing to a few at beers/saxophone/headband sweat length away and with the same, if not more, energy and vibrance. GOLDFISH, performing deja vu to a lucky few? The fish well and truly out of the water at this point, what was to come?
Individuals squinching faces with the dynamically dexterous duo after hitting shots mid-set, high-fives, a total sense of togetherness, and no one waiting in line for drinks missing out on the action as you were closer at the bar than would usually be the case with a festival without snow or a bomb behind it. Cheers to that one Snowbombing!
Sculpting the Snow (Day 2)
Horizontal, layered in merino, one with the sleeping bag, and ready for a breath of fresh air – Snowbombing kept me from this 72.5% of the time, not bad considering the aforementioned Notel backs straight onto the foot of Sun peaks valley, venues, stages, and has snow as a doormat.
Here’s how the 72.5% was spent for day 2.
Snoga – Ever considered Yoga, in the snow, at a festival. Please do, it’ll blow your mind, rejuvenate the soul, and hey maybe even connect with some strangers in a different setting.
The 11am ‘early risers’, as I considered myself, reaching out and enjoying prolonged movement to counteract a heavy first day in the books.
What was to follow was at no stretch of a perfect storm…
Those who took it upon themselves to be higher beings, at a small charge, were elevated to the Sundance Terrace accessible by chairlift. Celebrated apres ski style to beats of MYNXY and Skiitour – boots, beers, goggles, Ski Tour goggle covers, gloves, hugs, high fives, and a fully packed bouncing balcony. We shook the place until last lift was called and even then the adventure was not over. 4pm. Give or take twenty minutes.
As if we were out of our minds Aaron and I took it upon ourselves to descend in an accordingly mountain fashion, on snow. On foot. Aaron Snowskated (if you don’t know what that is, it’s part skateboard, part snowboard and part death wish) and I boot skied.
“Shit, long walk boys!” – The last ascending skiers yelled out.
We begun, I realized it wasn’t steep enough to pick up speed, ran, and ran out of breath.
Aaron boosted ahead, crashed, and the cycle continued for us both.
We met groups with similar struggles along the way and bonded over quick exchanges of encouragement. We tried the bobsled (on the snow skate), success, albeit brief. Attempts were made to descend without losing ski’s, boards, hats, goggles, and good health.
To their outspoken credit they were right, it was a long way down and we were a long way up on happiness and satisfied with our unruly decision.
Mingled with many, moved with a majority, and shared majestical moments forever. Sun Peaks offered not only the views but a different perspective on how a festival can come together.
With the right backdrop anything is possible, right?
Rearing to Go (Day 3)
Masses rolled in and the group, lines, and excitement all doubled in size. They came together in the light to share moments, smiles, and personal expression as it comes (mostly child friendly, although the child in the image looks concerned).
Some say hide and seek, for Snowbombing it’s Ride n’ Seek! And if your asking about the VIP hot tub, know they’ve been through some cold ass water.
And if you’ve been through a pond dressed up, on skis, and at a festival more times than you can count – try your lungs and persona at Rap Karaoke.
Aaron and I had prior taken it upon ourselves to delve into our rap debut. A four hour car ride to the event meant four hours training. A walk to a new venue meant practice. Our lullaby the night before was even our rehearsed song – Mickey Avalon, ‘My Dick’.
The crowd erected once the show got underway as straight off the bat it showed that there had been serious dedication to show up to Snowbombing Rap Karaoke. Rhymes spit, costumes, every iphone even standing on end, personas dialled, and it was our turn to step up. Eminem reminded us in each moment we have one opportunity, and it was captured – 4k, in every way.
Post debut the term ‘my dick’ was thrown around more than anticipated and we ran with being the my dick guys performing snippets to those who asked knowing that we had an all time experience to put in the Snowbombing bomb shelter of all time experiences.
The Forest Stage was lit up, NGHTMRE knew the act he followed, and stepped into sensory overload with the full crowd, light show, mud pit, and I kept the white suit, for its third consecutive day, many tones above brown. Not here NGHTMRE.
Sun Peaks (Day 4)
And what happens when energy is low, spirit is high, ambition higher, and the sun comes out on a Sunday?
The bomb goes off!
Yoga in the snow, walking dogs, coffees, cheers, selfies in the snow, skiing, balconies beckoning, music murmuring, shots, sun tanning, hot tubs, and only sleep for a few who were deprived from the night before and managed to shut their curtains and deny the enthralled excitement outside.
You can only do that for so long…
And if you still weren’t up ODESZA was the catalyst to the endth extent, Black Tiger Sex Machine was a swarm of symphonic and visual wizardry, Borgore blew brain barriers, and Gorgon City bid farewell to the official festival in the underground car park at the base of Sun Peaks ski field, how beautifully incredible!
We managed to witness all, slip into two hut tubs, and dance as the flame burned through the last of the Snowbombing wick.
If you’re still asking what makes a Festival of Snow tick, go online to immerse yourself in the experience with 2019 tickets going on sale very soon.
Show up, Snow up, Blow up, and we’ll see you next year!