Swap Your Flower Crowns for Ear Muffs

Here are five music festivals with some serious 'tude. (Altitude, that is!)

There are two types of skiers in the world: Ones that finish a run and head straight to the fireplace, hot chocolate in hand, and ones that turn right back around, ready for more. For those of you who don't fall into the "but it's cold and I'm tired," category, there's a way to burn off all that adrenaline, and it comes with a head-banging soundtrack: music festivals atop mountains. While they may be located in some of the most inconvenient places in the world (top of the Swiss alps, say), they come with some pretty unbeatable views. So jump on a chairlift, and prove that winter can be a festival season, too.

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Horizon Music Festival

Bansko, Bulgaria

March 12–17, 2016


The Horizon Festival showcases some of the best underground electronic music, with over 150 international DJs spread out over 45 miles of slopes at the Bansko ski resort in Bulgaria. With geothermal pool raves, flash-mob ski downs, and forest paintball wars, it's a little more of a commitment than, say, Coachella—but don't worry, there's sure to still be plenty of day-glo face paint.

Headliners: John Talabot, Âme, Levon Vincent

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Rock the Pistes

Portes du Soleil, France and Switzerland

March 13–19, 2016


Rock the Pistes' 35 concerts are set on stages scattered throughout Portes du Soleil, a major ski destination consisting of thirteen resorts spanning from Mont Blanc in France to Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Each day the stage is set up in a new location, which means that in order to get the full Rock the Pistes experience, you have to suit up and get out. Most of the stages are only accessible by skis or snowboard—so if you're still finding your ski legs, you might want to sit this one out until next year.

Headliners: Lilly Wood and the Prick, Gotthard, Deluxe

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Top of the Mountain

Ischgl, Austria

April 30, 2016


Every year, the Ischgl ski resort in Austria hosts three massive Top of the Mountain concerts: one to mark the beginning of the season, one on Easter, and one to mark the end of the season. With Elton John kicking it off in 1995, the festival has since featured the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry, and, most recently, The Beach Boys—drawing crowds of over 25,000 to the biggest open-air arena in snow. Just think: 2016 could be the year you finally get to see Muse perform at 7,500 feet above sea level.

Headliner: Muse

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Caprices Festival

Crans-Montana, Switzerland

April 7–10, 2016


You haven't heard EDM until you've heard it being blasted from the top of the Swiss Alps. This four-day festival also has three stages at the bottom of the mountain, though, so if loud music mixed with high altitudes gives you vertigo, you don't have to leave the party—just take it down a couple thousand feet. The perk of being at the top, however, is that the stage is enclosed in a massive transparent tent, so if your head gets tired from all the thrashing about, you can take a quick breather by holding it still and enjoying the spectacular view.

Headliner: Nina Kraviz

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South Lake Tahoe, California

December 29–31, 2016


Even though SnowGlobe isn't until December, the presale tickets have already sold out—and the line-up hasn't even been announced yet! But with last year's headliners calling in Jack Ü, Dillon Francis, and Chet Faker, it's probably a safe bet that someone you like is going to be performing. The festival takes place in the snowy mountains of California—not usually the first image that comes to mind when you think of the Golden State, but with temperatures that go below freezing, you're going to want to bundle up. SnowGlobe may seem like a lifetime away, but if you're one to stress out about New Year's Eve plans, commit to this and you're already set to ring in 2017!

Headliners: Still TBC!

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