Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Altitude Festival, Mayrhofen, Austria

This brilliantly enjoyable festival of laughs started quite informally around six years back, when a couple of British comedians decided to do stand-up while on skiing holiday in the Central Eastern Alps. The altitude festival has now earned a firm place in the annual alpine events calendar.

The festival was based in the French skiing resort of Meribel, which is where it took place for the first two years or so, after which it has moved to Mayrhofen, a.k.a ‘The Hof’. Mayrhofen itself is a shredder’s delight, thanks to the amazing piste, not to mention the possibilities of other pleasures like hiking and paragliding, with a bit of mountain biking thrown in. 

The line-up is amazing and seems to get better each year. Last year included comedy geniuses like Milton Jones, Franky Boyle and Craig Campbell, and some genuinely promising new talent as well. Altitude was actually the baby by the very funny Marcus Brigstocke, with some other comics, very informally, while on a skiing holiday; but has turned into a full-fledged festival that kicks après ski about a thousand notches up.

The event is usually about a week long, with a variety of events and shows, including traditional stand up, pub gigs lubricated by a generous flow of excellent booze, live music and even shows for children. By day of course, one is free to partake in the pleasures of the piste, or simply relax and unwind. The mix works very well indeed, and Mayrhofen provides the best setting for all the hilarity to take place. 

Mayrhofen is not just a splendid winter resort, but one of the best places you can enjoy comedy. And when it comes to pure fun, it doesn’t get much better than the Altitude festival. This year’s dates are to be announced, but you can find lots more information on the festival’s official website and on, which will keep you updated about the schedule and what you can expect this year.

** photo credit: