For five days, the slopes of Les Portes du Soleil will echo with the sound of outdoor music. Festival season traditionally occurs during the summer, but Rock the Pistes is one of the few music festivals to occur in winter, not to mention to occur in an in-use ski area.
Anyone looking to combine that festival atmosphere of fun and freedom with all the exhilaration and momentum of a ski holiday, take note. The festival occurs across five ski resorts: Morgins, Avoriaz, Les Crosets, Les Gets and Châtel.
While 2016’s lineup is yet to be announced, if last year is anything to go by, Rock the Pistes 2016 is not to be missed. Each resort has its own major act. In 2015, Morgins was headlined by Brigitte, a fantastically fun 70s-80s revival act. Avoriaz, meanwhile, was treated to the sounds of English bluesman Charlie Winston. Les Crosets boasted French reggae giants Dub inc., and Châtel was headlined by indie band The Dø. The festival takes place over several days, meaning that you’ll have ample time to move between the resorts should you be interested in more than one of the acts.
Last year also saw a further 18 bands take the stage, making for a total of 23 top notch bands regaling the crowds with a week of quality music. Among the supporting acts were pop punk specialists Crossed Horizons, soft rockers La Jarry and the magnificent Tongue Tied Twin, whose riff-driven blues rock is sure to please those with an old school palate.
Playing in Les Gets on the second-to-last day of the festival was Selah Sue. A Belgian singer-songwriter, her particular brand of pop draws together soul, reggae and R&B influences to craft her unique sound. Fresh from a 200 day world tour, she played in support of her then-upcoming album, Reason, and her rich vocals and sensitive instrumentation made it a fantastic and even moving set.
Whatever this year holds, there’s sure to be some excellent music spanning a broad range of genres. Add to this the prospect of beautiful views and intersperse the line-up with your winter sport of choice, and you can see that Rock the Pistes has the makings of a great holiday.
How to Get to Les Gets
The easiest way to begin your adventure has to be having a driver meet you at the airport. Book your Geneva Airport ski transfers in advance, and you’ll be taken straight to Les Gets after landing.
If you’d prefer to drive from the airport yourself, it takes a little over an hour along the A40. Bear in mind that you’ll have to cross the Franco-Swiss border and pay a toll along the way. Regrettably, there are no public transport options to reach Les Gets from Geneva Airport.
Where to Stay
Bed & Breakfast Chez La Fine – Set in an eighteenth century farmhouse that oozes with character, Chez la Fine promises inimitable rustic charm at extremely budget-friendly rates. Rooms with access for guests with reduced mobility are available.
Loc’Hotel Alpen Sports – Boasting walking ski-lift access (a couple of minutes on foot), Loc’Hotel Alpen Sports combines some of the rurality of Chez La Fine with a perfect location and a quality regional restaurant.
Hotel Bellevue – deftly combining convenience and luxury, the Bellevue promises beautiful chalet-style rooms and spa access, which, when combined with walking access to two ski lifts and free parking, make for perfect holiday accommodations.