Long time readers will know that I’m a big fan of all things weird and wonderful, so when I heard about a festival held high in the French Alps that mixes music and bilingual comedy performances with world-class skiing, it certainly piqued my interest!
The Altitude Festival has been described by comedian Marcus Brigstocke as a “laugh-alanche,” and despite having run for only two years it seems to have already become something of an institution among those in both circles – with many people postponing their annual ski trips until March so they can attend the event.
What makes the festival sound so appealing is that it really combines the twin worlds of winter sports and comedy, something I wouldn’t have considered possible before! According to its founder, Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell, the idea was conceived when he and some fellow comedians regularly took time off during their hectic schedules at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to enjoy some dry slope skiing.
While I’ve never been on a ski holiday myself, I have to admit that the idea of gliding down Alpine slopes sounds very appealing and is something I’ll undoubtedly try one day – even though the only time I ever tried dry slope skiing I ended up battered and bruised! I like the idea of heading back to the ski resort in the evening to enjoy some relaxed performances from some of the world’s best comedians – including Eddie Izzard, who apparently does entire shows in French for the benefit of local attendees. I’m not sure my French would be up to that!
Sometimes it’s the strangest ideas that work the best, and adventurous comedy fans with a love of winter sports should consider the Altitude Festival a must. This year’s festival returns to Méribel from 20 to 26 March and is only a short trip from Geneva if you’re heading there by plane.
The line-up for this year’s festival is sure to be its finest yet, and with well-known acts including Al Murray, Rich Hall, Phil Kay and musical act 4 Poofs and a Piano, the Altitude Festival is proving itself to be ‘snow joke’… okay, so maybe I need to work on my puns as well as my skiing!