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Insider's guide to Tomorrowland Winter 2019

Biggest festival in Alpe d'Huez on March 9th-15th 2019

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| Rob Wood, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published


Insider's guide to Tomorrowland Winter 2019

Rumours about Tomorrowland coming to the Alps began to rumble in March 2017 and it soon became apparent that Alpe d’Huez was amongst the forerunners to host this epic event. The rumours became official in March 2018, and it’s been all systems go since then.

With 30,000 tickets quickly sold to partygoers from 98 different countries and a waiting list of a further 20,000 people, this really is the hottest ticket in the Alps this winter. Tomorrowland has a following of over 13 million on social media so it’s no surprise the tickets sold out really fast.

Here’s the insider's guide to all that this festival and Alpe d’Huez has to offer.

The basic info

Tomorrowland Winter runs from Saturday 9th to Friday 15th March 2019, although the main event is on Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th. The music starts with daybreak sessions at 10:00 each morning at the Signal and Love Stages, up at the top end of the ski area, and runs until 16:00 each day at the different venues across the hill. The main hub in Les Bergers area sees acts performing at the L’Orangerie from noon each day, whilst music at the main stage runs from 16:00 to 22:00 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The avoidance of cash is prevalent in all walks of life now and Tomorrowland is no different. On-site purchases can only be made by use of your rechargeable festival bracelet. Seven top-up points will be located across the site so it’s easy to keep in credit. Your bracelet must be worn on your left wrist and it actually trades in the festival currency, the Pearl. Pearls can be added online before the festival, as well as onsite, and any unused Pearls will be credited at the end of the event.

The concerts

With 116 different artists playing, the list seems almost endless. The main stage on Wednesday sees Afrojack headlining, Thursday is the turn of legendary house DJ Armin Van Burren and Friday sees Martin Garrix bring things to a close on the main stage.

However, just like any other big festival, there's more than just the 120-metre-wide main stage at which to catch the action. There are actually five venues located around the Les Bergers commercial centre, which will be Tomorrowland Winter's main hub, called L’Orangerie, Eden, the Moose Bar and a huge pop-up nightclub, the Garden of Madness. In addition to this hub, there are 10 daytime venues spread across the ski area, accessed by the impressive lift system that we have in Alpe d’Huez. As everyone attending Tomorrowland will have a lift pass, access will be available to all.

The parties

There will be four welcome gatherings taking place on Tuesday, March 12th to mark the official opening of the festival, the day when both the seven-night and four-night pass holders will have arrived. The Alpe d’Huez party runs from 19:00 to 01:00 while parties in the neighbouring villages of Auris, Oz and Vaujany run from 14:30 through until 23:00.

The Garden of Madness, the festival's pop-up nightclub, will hold around 10,000 people and will be located on what is normally the astroturf football pitch next to the leisure centre. The action will kick off here after the main stage live acts finish, from 21:30 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, all the way to 02:00. Each night will see three 90-minute sets by acts like Joris Voorn, Nico Morano and Timmy Trumpet.

Where to rent your skis

Next to the festival's main hub is the large Les Bergers Commercial Centre, which is the easiest place to get set up with your skis or board for the week. There are several great ski shops here including Skiset Man SportsIntersport Les Bergers, Skiset Henri Sports and Cyril's Sport.

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How to get around resort

Alpe d’Huez is home to a fleet of eco-friendly electric shuttles that operate four routes around resort. The buses are free and the stops are conveniently located at regular intervals, with all the main hotels and areas being served. An extended service will operate for the whole week to shuttle festival-goers around resort.

Bus Services in Alpe d'Huez

Pizza or burger?

As with all festivals, there will be plenty of food stalls inside the site itself, mostly located in the L’Orangerie where the offerings will have a truly international flavour to them. Away from the festival site, if a burger takes your fancy, then look no further than old favourite Smithy's Tavern, in the middle of town, or Le Trappeur Burger House at the top end of town by the DMC lift – both are equally fantastic. Should pizza be at the top of your menu, then get to  Pizzeria Pinocchio, in the main street opposite the ice rink, or Le Roi Ladre down in the old town. For the inevitable late-night munchies, go to Last Snack, next to Smithys – it’s open until 05:00 every night and does a wicked kebab (I recommend you try the Samurai sauce).

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Where to Eat in Alpe d'Huez

Fancy keeping fit while you're here?

If you have any energy left after all the partying, then head to the Palais des Sports et des Congrès where an indoor swimming pool, climbing wall, squash courts, indoor tennis courts, indoor crazy golf course, fitness classes and gym await you. Guys, if you are planning to go swimming remember to bring trunks (just like Daniel Craig's 007) as baggy boardies are not permitted in either of the swimming pools.

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Sports & Fitness Centres in Alpe d'Huez

Nightlife away from Tomorrowland

With 30,000 revellers gathering this week in Alpe d'Huez, the nightlife is sure to be epic. In order to take the pressure off the resort's nightclubs, extended opening hour licences have been issued to all the bars in town. Popular haunts like Smithy's, O’Sharkeys, Underground and Freeride will be able to open until 05:00.

Find a Bar

What about next year?

Having signed a five-year contract with Tomorrowland, Alpe d'Huez will host Tomorrowland Winter until at least 2023. So, if you missed out this year, make sure you don’t make the same mistake again next year!

More inspiration...

If you haven't chosen one of the flight or bus packages, chances are you'll need a way to get from the airport to Alpe d'Huez. Transfers are an easy, safe and convenient way to travel and they'll take you from Grenoble, Chambery or Geneva airport to the heart of Tomorrowland Winter.

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How to Get to Alpe d'Huez