Last week saw more of Europe’s ski resorts celebrating the end of their winter seasons, with Zermatt Unplugged, Chamonix Unlimited and Snowbombing all taking place. We dropped by Chamonix Unlimited Festival to see what it’s all about, and give you the lowdown on one of the lesser known festivals on the end of season calendar.
Here’s what we learned.
Pick and choose your events
Lasting for most of a week, locals won’t be attending every event. If you’ve recently bought a property in Chamonix
, or you’re looking at buying a chalet or apartment in the resort, chances are pretty high that you’ll want to give one or two days a miss. The weekend events are busier, with day trippers making the journey up for the event, but the Friday stage set up at the top of the Aguille du Midi lift is an absolute one of a kind.
Know your crowd
Not completely unexpectedly, many of the attendees of this festival are pretty fresh faced. That is especially true at the daily pool parties, where the crowd tends to be a little younger than it is at the main events. If you’re not keen on crowds, the events during the week will be a better fit than the weekends.
Take advantage of the extras
Chamonix Unlimited Festival is closely connected to the local ski brand Black Crows, who sponsor and set up the event, and while the stages are the main event, there are a few perks of being in the resort during the festival. Skiers on the mountain can test out the latest Black Crows skis; get there early for this though; it can get busy, and nobody wants to queue for the chance to get a few runs on the newest skis.
Don’t go solo
This isn’t the sort of festival you’ll particularly enjoy going to by yourself, trust me. Grab a couple of friends or family members who might enjoy the occasion, and head over there with them. You’ll enjoy yourself more that way, even if the music’s not quite your cup of tea.
Hit the end-of-season sales while you’re there
This year, the festival overlapped with the end-of-season sales in the centre of the resort. Not only was there music, ski testing and pool parties, but there were stalls lining the main street with massive price reductions, a brass band parading the streets, and a number of attractions for the kids, including bouncy castles.