- Already day dreaming about sea, sand and sun next summer? Heidi Martin checks something a little different – why not swap your bikini for a ski suit and get down to Bulgaria’s slopes for Horizon Festival in March?
Skiing holidays have certain connotations. You might hit the peaks with your peers, laden in fur, gliding into après-ski delights of Champagne and Baileys hot chocolate. Jumping into the hot tub, steam room, sauna in somewhere like Val D’Isere? You know how it goes. Or perhaps you go, not for the après ski, but for the amazing slopes; the intense burst of adrenaline when you tip off the edge of the mountain, hoping and praying to God that you reach the bottom in one piece. Such holidays are different to any other, and with most talk being of countries boasting beaches and heat waves, we often forget the delight of wrapping up in all-in-one padded jumpsuits and tinted goggles, as we battle excitedly through snow blizzards.
Advertisements scream at us ‘Book now for the cheapest flights!!’ for next summer – we are thinking Italy, France or perhaps Spain? We are being put on fast-forward; encouraged to think about summer festivals, Glastonbury has already released their first batch of tickets, Park Life? Bestival? Secret Garden Party? Boom town? Maybe next year we will go abroad for a festival – Outlook? Bennicasim? Yet with all the fuss over these, we forget the amazing winter ski festivals that are on offer to us. If we have heard of them we might presume that they are primarily for pro skiers, the music coming second. This is far from true. Ski festivals, just like their summer opponents, are for music enthusiasts, offering cutting-edge headliners that aim to please any music lover.
Founded in 2013, Horizon is a new player in the festival scene, offering six days (8th-14th March 2014) of hedonistic, cutting edge, electronic music, in the form of one massive party that invades the mountains of Bulgaria’s Pirin National Park. Tucked away in the sleepy town of Bansko, Horizon is unique, boasting record label takeovers from the likes of Trouble Vision v Tief, You Are We, Shapes, Flux and Electric Minds. Twenty unique venues are filled with trailblazers on the underground scene, as well as more established acts who offer a nod to the heritage of dance music. In the daytime you can ski to warehouse style parties, without the limitations of walls, and experience crystal clear, deep baselines created by the surrounding snow. Horizon enables anyone to party until 6am amongst the high-spirited crowds in abandoned secret hotels, Ibiza style multi-level rooms, expansive underground clubs, Jacuzzi bars and mountain stages hidden in the forests.
Horizon brings a new meaning to ski festivals, and an un-missable opportunity for music and festival lovers. It provides some of the best and innovative new music and DJs, while allowing you to spend your days gliding down mountain paths- a great cure for any hangover, and above all, it’s incredibly affordable (accommodation and ticket packages starting from £199). Summer festivals are stealing the limelight, and Horizon is certainly a strong contender to change the predictable line up of popular festivals. Whether you’re confident on the slopes or not, Horizon presents a mountain playground of non-stop music that, rumour has it, can be heard from towns in even the furthest corners of the National Park.