Home » News » We Talk Verbier, Troxler, and a Summer Polaris? – Polaris Festival Organiser Interview
We Talk Verbier, Troxler, and a Summer Polaris? – Polaris Festival Organiser Interview
2nd November 2017
It’s almost that time of year again. Polaris is nigh and we’re already starting to hear the thumping beats, taste the nefarious beers, and feel the ringing hangovers! And aren’t we excited! Are you? You should be! Want to go together? No, No— It’s ok.I wasn’t that up for it anyway.
Polaris is one of Verbier’s worst kept secrets. It draws crowds from around the world – and for good reason: Some of the world’s best DJs come to these sheets of white annually, dowsing us in their unique sounds. We love it. It’s a sincere break of the ordinary for us. What better cause for you to bring you and your enthusiasm over to these lands of wonder than this superlative event.
We had a chat with Polaris’ organiser, Raphael Nanchen to get you excited! Here’s what he had to say:
Verbier’s known as the playground of the rich. We can’t help to notice that Polaris doesn’t necessarily align with that lifestyle – which we love, it’s nice to diversify the area. Considering this, it begs us to ask what were your main intentions with Polaris?
I started a festival 15 years ago called Caprice. I stopped that around 5 years ago, and I missed organising festivals.
I come from Valais, I love my mountains – I think it’s a nice playground to bring a music festival, so I wanted to do continue to do that.
Yeah, the music of Polaris is underground and alternative, but weirdly the people coming to the festival are kind off upper-class. But, it’s people who like to party… know how to party. It’s an interesting mix to have those sorts of people in this weird and unique atmosphere.
To people who haven’t been before, can you describe the vibe for them?
The main stage is located at the top of the mountain, at around 200 metres above the sea. It’s within a big transparent tent.
You party from midday to midnight. You’re very far away from everything, and you’re in the mountains, so it brings some magic; magic you won’t find at any other club in the city.
It’s kind of small, the capacity is about 2,500 people. We have acts that usually play in front of thousands and thousands of people, so to have them there in front of such a small crowd, it makes it very, very unique.
We noticed Seth Troxler’s back after DJing in 2015. Was his last set that good?
He’s an amazing musician. We love what he produces. We love how he plays.
His set in 2015 was very great. It was the first day of the festival. During his set it was a beautiful sunset – it was really magic. You can find a video of him playing. It will give you an idea of what sort of set he can play here.
Seth has become a very good friend of the festival. So it’s great to have him back.
What’s the future for Polaris? Do you like the level it’s at now, or are you envisioning bigger, better?
We are very happy with the festival’s current level. With the location, it’s very strict, so it’s hard to expand. However, we are thinking of doing more days. Right now, it’s only three days, we’re thinking of extending to four or five.
We have to liaise with the ski resort. We hope the people of Verbier will understand it’s a good event for Verbier and will let us extend to more days.
We think it would be interesting to build a stage in the village – we would need authorisation for that, but we’re working on it.
There is also an idea of doing a summer edition; it will be called Solaris. We’re working on that too.
We’re thinking we could extend to other places in the world. We’re thinking Japan – we’re currently talking to some people over there. Or even perhaps in the Rockies in the United States. So, we’ll see. But yeah, we really want to develop this concert of electronic music of great quality in unexpected and beautiful locations.
How do you think Polaris compares to the likes of Snowboxx and Horizon? What gives you your edge? Or was it more just a case of bringing that sort of thing to these planes of white?
More and more winter festivals are appearing at ski resorts. With Polaris, our main intention is to keep the best quality music with music legends and newcomers playing here. We don’t want to draw thousands of people here with subpar EDM – the quality of the music is what gives us our difference.
We put the surrounding, the view (due to the transparent tent) in the middle of the concert. This is what we want to keep.
We want to work with Verbier’s tourism and fill the resort when it’s not as busy. As we love Verbier.
Chalet Apartment Rentals
We’re incredibly excited for Polaris festival. And after reading this, you should be too! If you are, have a look at our chalets. You’re going to need somewhere to lay your head – somewhere comfy. Because of, well, you know– because of the beers. Look out next week for our article telling you 5 acts you’ve got to see this year.