Freeze Festival


Written by Daisy Jones
Photos and illustrations by John Munroe
07 Monday 07th November 2011

This year's Freeze Festival had an impressive line-up which saw the likes of The Streets, Groove Armada and Everything Everything perform alongside a host of other great bands and DJs. Rizzle Kicks smashed it on the Friday afternoon on the main stage and got everyone wetting themselves to 'Mama do the Hump,' a new track produced by Fatboy Slim and released just a few days after the festival drew to a close. But it was the Energy Sessions Stage, sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink, that captured some of the most raucous live shows this year. They call it a stage but it was really a giant inflatable igloo, and it saw bands such as Dirtyphonics, Does it Offend You, Yeah? and a personal favourite of mine, Pulled Apart By Horses. They lived up to their notoriously powerful stage presence and got my ears ringing for days and my eyes burning from the dry ice. As did Dirtyphonics, who pleasingly inspired quite a mosh pit. 

As well as the music, there were snow athletes from around the world, competing on a 32-metre high jump covered in 500 tonnes of real snow, and doing some truly amazing tricks for the International Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cup. You don't have to be an avid fan of snow sports to appreciate the insanity of it. Also, a surprise discovery was the number of snow WAGs (tans all real and probably acquired in the French Alps).

Now, if there was one thing that was impossible to ignore at this year's festival, it was onesies. Everywhere I looked, people were casually smoking fags and chatting each other up while wearing what looked suspiciously like giant baby grows. It was disconcerting, actually. However being a typically-impressionable teen, after seeing so many of these around I decided that they were definitely more cool than creepy and tried to justify spending £98 on a 'one-piece'. They sold them in the retail village that occupied a large area of the festival. Luckily, I decided against it on the grounds that it was unjustifiable considering my borderline dwarf-ish height. If there's anything that's guaranteed to make me look like even more of an oompa loompa then it's definitely an XXS bright purple adult baby grow. If you can pull one of these off, I salute you!

If you're looking for a festival to go to next year I should probably point out a few less-than-savoury aspects about Freeze Fest (or possibly more savoury, depending on how you look at it.). No pill-induced sleeps in the sun due to that cold English mid-October weather and concrete floor. No sex in strangers' tents or frolicking in the mud. It's a very different vibe to the 'camping' festivals and most people come here for the music and the snow sports. 

Though tickets for the festival had completely sold out the Friday was relatively empty in terms of festival crowds. There were almost no toilet queues and getting drinks took only a few minutes. By the second day however the crowd had somewhat changed and suddenly it looked a bit V-Festival, if you know what I mean. Something, I imagine, to do with the fact it was The Streets' last ever gig. I know, how many times have we heard that one? But suddenly it was jam-packed. It took half an hour to get a beer, only to get it knocked over by some twat in a baby grow who'd pissed himself because he couldn't be bothered to join the snaking toilet queue. 

But moving swiftly on, you will honestly leave this festival wanting to embrace the whole 'snow sports culture'. Whatever that means...moving to Scandinavia and wearing a snowflake print one-piece and a North Face body warmer while? I've actually booked my flight to Finland in January and fully intend to go to Freeze again next year.


Click here to go to the Relentless Energy Drink website and watch this year's highlights on the festival main page

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