Up the Junction to London Freeze!

Posted on Friday 6th December, 2013 Times Viewed: 2117
Over the years the Freeze Festival has evolved and since its beginnings in 2008 we've seen event organizers at Vision Nine mix things up. Yet 2013 witnessed the biggest change-up of them all, with regards to location and its winter sports spectacle.

Words - Katie Hyam
This year, Freeze moved mountains…or boroughs should we say. The apocalyptic backdrop of Battersea's Power Station had been exchanged and moved 'up the junction' to South London's, Clapham Common, while the big air of previous festivals was swapped up for a rail jam. On first impression, you might have said that the absence of the looming quad towers and colossal big air construction was somewhat deflating, as these have been the most iconic features associated with London Freeze since the festival first surfaced. But, after one lap of the urban-alpine retreat you'd be won over again with the medley of music, aperitif mountainside food stalls, themed après bars and the alpine shopping village.

The snow comp's new format introduced an inner city rail jam called, Hail The Rail, and although the view and scale was much smaller compared to previous years, the high level of riding certainly compensated for it. The jib-worthy set up consisted of a long 8m down rail, a double kink rail, a close-out rail with a drop and a ridiculously oversized Sure spray can, which was positioned for riders to transfer onto from pretty much any angle. First off, was the annual Battle Of The Brits snowboard competition, showcasing homegrown talent and allowing us to check out who's pioneering the British scene at the moment. Knowing that the top four positions would qualify for the International comp, the battle commenced fiercely. Andy Nudds came out on top with Gareth (Gazza) Andrews, Ollie Dutton and Sparrow Knox to follow.

Later came the Internationals. The evening saw some serious maneuvers from the likes of Denis Leontyev, Len Jorgensen and Kas Lemmens, to name a few. Recently donning the rails with his uniquely explosive style (and holding down the Shoreditch Showdown title) was Sparrow Knox, who suddenly took a gnarly head slam. Then, turning it a notch up was British hero, Jamie Nicholls who, looking like he was riding with his hands in his pockets, took a liquid line with a 450 gap, BOOM! After a heated final slaying the rails and pulling out some almighty tricks, our very own, born and bred, Jamie Nicholls took home 1st place.

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Across from Hail The Rail was the Main stage, packed to the rafters with music enthusiasts. In the line-up was, Madeon, Toddler T, Idris Elber and DJ Fresh who shook the stage to the ground on Saturday night. Meanwhile, crowds thickened in the alpine wonderland, spirits got high and standards got low. All the raw elements that make up a festival began to kick in. The evening reached that point when queues for the portaloos peaked and bog roll was running on empty. People would disperse from their porter potties at random like it was the arcade game of Whack'a'Mole; catch the first door that opened before anybody else snatched it up. Many appeared to be enjoying the surrounding lodge bars including the recreated La Folie Douche, 80's themed Krazy Kangaroo bar and Ibiza Rocks The Snow, while others enjoyed the alpine shopping village positioned right in the very heart of the festival. Inside the shopping area you'd find the latest tech, fashion and snow sports equipment from exhibitors such
as TSA and Halfpipe London.

Click to view full image

Overall, the London Freeze Festival certainly seems to have earned its place among the league of music festivals, as it becomes an annual event stapled in every snow sport and music enthusiast's calendar. It holds all the raw and authentic elements that make up a festival and comes with its very unique twist of skiing and snowboarding. A solid gig that has made a new home.
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Comments (304)  
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