DATE: 23rd - 29th March
LINE-UP: Jackmaster, Crazy P, Mark E, KINK (live), Loefah, Ben Pearce, Phaeleh, Dark Sky, Alex Arnout, Maribou State, Icicle, Wookie, Route 94, Throwing Snow, No Artificial Colours, Eliphino, Waifs & Strays, Hannah Holland, Kasra, Casino Times, Reggae Roast, Randomer, Ossie, Leon Vynehall, Darling Farah, Guy Andrews, Dan Beaumont, Max Chapman, Aartekt...
Providing a far more desirable alternative to the slush washing the UK's bitterly cold club queues last month, Horizon Festival is the next in a swathe of UK-led boutique ventures to have cropped up in far-flung European locations over the past few years — this time at Bansko, a luxury ski resort on the summit of the stunning Pirin mountains in Bulgaria between 23rd-29th March.
Snowbombing might please your auntie with names like Katy B, Example and Kasabian, while Andorra's Electrosnow grabs the clued-up minds on the continent, booking Miss Kittin & The Hacker, Wanklemut and Michael Mayer, but this six-day alpine rave wonderland is the one most likely to appeal specifically to switched-on UK heads. With the likes of Swamp 81 boss Loefah, 50 Weapons associates Dark Sky and the fittingly-titled Throwing Snow combining with headliners Jackmaster, Crazy P and Mark E, the festival, created by Jack Robinson, co-founder and director of Croatia's Outlook and Dimension festivals, offers value for money — beers for only a couple of quid and more affordable accommodation — in a close-knit environment catered primarily towards electronic music lovers, with limited numbers.
“A festival in its first year is a beautiful thing,” explains Jack. “All festivals are defined by their crowd, and this is a chance for people to shape Horizon into exactly what they want it to be.”
If a line-up made up of both established and undiscovered DJs spanning house, techno, disco, dubstep, garage and Y3K funk, spread over three mountain parties (a day), apres-ski events and main stage events hosted either on the mountain, in roller discos or in an igloo bar is not enough to slip you into gear, the chance to take advantage of 70km of picturesque ski slopes at an upcoming resort with all the mod cons no doubt will.
“Bulgaria’s newest and most modern resort is situated at the foothills of the stunning Pirin mountains and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site,” adds Jack. “Bankso has hosted world-cup skiing competitions and is slowly establishing itself as one of the major resorts on the ski circuit.”
Varying rooms are available and a range of holiday packages are on offer for differing prices (see box-out), including ski passes and access to pool/spa facilities and the resort's bars and amenities. With tickets for as little as £120 and a self-catering hotel room for £256 (six days), this is one ski holiday that should definitely be on your horizon.