Phill Jupitus is hungry. The Nevermind The Buzzcocks regular and former BBC 6 Music DJ has just finished watching Abandoman and Brendan Burns close Altitude Festival's late show with an improvised set and is looking for a bite to eat.
However with the after party in full swing Jupitus isn't keen for the fun to stop. Luckily for him the ski resort of Mayrhofen reveals the answer - a kebab shop in a nightclub.
It seems that in a world of seasonaire's and ski resorts improvised commercialism (in this case a kebab corner setup inside what used to be a cloakroom) is a match even for Rob Broderick's linguistic comedy circus act.
A ski resort is such as strange place to watch comedy. The two shouldn't really mix well but they do, and very, very well indeed and the secret ingredient seems to be the mountains themselves.
Altitude offers a convivial atmosphere which can be shattered by the sheer stress at the Edinburgh Fringe or stopped in its tracks at other festivals by the thin blue line of a security guard and an 'artists area'.
Such separation doesn't exist at Altitude, it is replaced by a shared sense of 'what the hell are we doing here?'. Even Frankie Boyle broke his usual morose outlook on life to tweet 'I'm out on my wee Austrian balcony writing. Life's pretty fucking amazing really.'
As I wrote for my own comedy website, founder of Altitude Andrew Maxwell seems intent on creating a kind of comedy snowboarding hoarde by making as many of his colleagues try their hand at the sport.
The motto of the festival is 'slopes all day, laugh all night' and after a short time a similar kind of daily rhythm seemed to set in. Get up as early as possible (which was later and later as the days went by) to catch at least some of the snow, and then after a quick bite to eat head out to watch some of the world's best comedians on stage.
If you had the legs for it, you were also free to join them on the post-ski, post-gig rendezvous at any local establishment which was open. It is a recipe which can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, but a worthwhile one nonetheless.
As for the comedy itself, the line-up was of top quality. As fellow comedian Rufus Hound pointed out, there were five comedians who had sold out the O2 Arena on the festival's bill for the week.
Even though Jimmy Carr gave a bit of a cameo appearance at the festival - staying only long enough to deliver his set and head straight off again - he seemed struck by what he had flown into. Tim Minchin stayed for most of the week though, and by the time Altitude had closed was firmly hooked on snowboarding.
Though many of the acts performed well, comedians who made a notable contribution were Craig Campbell, whose retelling of his attempt to climb Mt McKinley caused a rumbling earthquake of a laugh that took an age to dissipate and Terry Alderton, who managed to cause havoc at his gigs by following an audience member around the room when performing at the Gala, and then stripping off at the following evening's late gig.
Though there is still room for Altitude to seize on the unique nature of the Alpine surroundings to create some genuinely unique moments, overall the quality of the festival is not in question. Though it is still finding its feet with audiences, the sheer audacity of the putting on an event in the Alps should be applauded.
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