Nestled in amongst Bulgaria’s breathtaking Pirin mountains, the good people at Horizon festival are preparing for the annual six days of cutting-edge electronic music and snow sports.
It’s not the first festival of its kind, but arguably the first with such a credible underground electronic line up (check out our review of last year's HERE). Throw in dirt-cheap drinks, a ton of apres-ski activities and plenty of delicious meaty treats and you’re onto a winner. Here’s a five moments not to be missed this year if you’re Bansko-bound:
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1. Secret hotel parties
Horizon’s hotel parties were a huge highlight in past years; DJs appearing on hotel balconies quickly amassing a crowd from anyone who happened to be carving past the right place at the right time. Last year an impromptu snowball fight broke out during Throwing Snow’s set (very apt). This year, Dan Shake (Mahogani Music’s UK ambassador) promises to be a particular highlight on the Thursday with his soulful approach to house and techno.
2. Goldie x KiNK
Bulgaria’s own KiNK is going back to his drum ’n’ bass roots this year and teaming up with one of his heroes - none other than Goldie (recently made MBE). We’re not quite sure what to expect here, but the musical meeting of minds between these two larger-than-life characters is surely going to deliver. Last year KiNK got dropped off at the festival by his dad, who stuck around for a rave up in the crowd, so here’s hoping for a repeat of this.
3. The famous Bansko Banquet
What better way to end a six-day bender than with a huge pile of barbecued meat? Granted, the local fast food offerings tend to revolve around a lot of kebab meat but the Bansko Banquet selection is on another level, offering a seemingly endless supply of Bulgarian mountain fare accompanied by an equally high protein in-house band. The evening invariably ends with shots of local tipple Rakia and inappropriate dance moves in between the tables.
4. Congo Natty’s Jungle pool party
There are three pool raves taking place this year, but old skool junglist Congo Natty’s is sure to be particularly epic. Bansko’s naturally occurring springs containing various therapeutic minerals - and these, combined with Natty’s trademark raucous ragga, promises to be rejuvenating in every sense - not to mention something you probably won’t ever get to do again.
5. The slopes
With all the music and parties going on, it’s easy to neglect the actual skiing on offer. Bansko boasts the very best slopes that the Pirin mountains have to offer, and a large snow dump is forecast to be rolling in just as Horizon kicks off this Saturday. The resort also has plenty of rails and kickers for the snowboarding crowd, and events are scheduled for group fun on the piste including a Snowlympics and a St Patrick’s Day flashmob ski down.
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Words: Jack Dolan