When you advertise your festival with the tagline "7060 Feet Above Ordinary," then you best come correct on delivering a one-of-a-kind experience. That was the case with the inaugural edition of Snowbombing Canada, which took over the idyllic Sun Peaks Resort outside of Kamloops, British Columbia April 6-10, for four days of outdoor activities and top-notch electronic music. Like its Austrian counterpart—which celebrated their 18th anniversary this year—the organizers didn't slouch on booking international and Canadian talent, with performances by heavy-hitters including Kaskade, Pete Tong, Duke Dumont, Bob Moses, and others.
In-between hitting the slopes, partying in the streets, and hitting the hot tubs afterwards to unwind, here's the best five sets we caught throughout the week.
Nobody's more capable of turning a hotel ballroom into a sweaty, beer-spilling, crowd-surfing party than Scottish producer and Kanye West collaborator Hudson Mohawke. Rocking a bare-bones-but-effective setup, including a handful of kaleidoscopic strobes, his high-octane set was filled with Eurodance, hip-hop bangers (Kendrick Lamar's "HUMBLE.," Missy Elliott's "I'm Better," Stormzy's "Know Me From"), and nostalgia-triggering classics (Ginuwine's "Pony"). Throw in a handful of cuts from TNGHT's eponymous 2012 EP, and by the end, attendees were climbing on each others' shoulders.
Taking some time out of his busy schedule promoting the latest Fast and the Furious flick, Ludacris' Sunday night headlining set at the Forest Stage was an exclamation mark reminder that the veteran Atlanta rapper has more hits in his catalogue than there's days in a month. Backed by a tight live band, the consummate showman didn't let a little cold weather slow him down, tearing through fan favourites including "Get Back," "Money Maker," "Stand Up," and his latest Ty Dolla $ign-assisted single, "Vitamin D" (which stands for exactly what you think it does).
One of the week's most-anticipated performers was OSLWA affiliate Mija, and the 24-year-old DJ and producer didn't disappoint. True to her "fk a genre" ethos, her Saturday night set at the Underground (a parking garage converted into a rave playground with a booming sound system) effortlessly skipped between 90s classics like Underworld's "Born Slippery (NUXX)," drum and bass, and sugar-coated electro.
No strangers to West Coast festivals, Calgary duo Smalltown DJs' closing night set was a bass-heavy third wind for tired bodies. From mid-aughts dubstep to golden age rap to Prince hits, lesser selectors would be able to pull off their everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach, but Pete Emes and Mike Grimes' seemingly effortless control is what makes them Canadian favourites.
Perhaps the best-dressed pair of the entire week, Boston dance music mainstays Soul Clap played an equally colourful hour and a half of retro-leaning disco, soul, and house. If you weren't furiously dancing, then you were feverishly Shazaming their selections, including Brainstorm's 'Lovin' Is Really My Game," Rhythm Control's "My House," and more.
Accommodations and travel for this article provided by Snowbombing Canada.
Lead photo by Brandon Artis.