Après Scene “More Zen” This Winter In French Alps

Patrick Thorne

05 Oct 20

The Folie Douce chain of mountain-top cabaret-bars and restaurants located in a number of leading French ski resorts have confirmed they’re assuming there will be “no clubbing” this winter.

Folie Douce has a reputation for spectacular cabaret performers, DJs, dancing in your ski boots and great food, but with the pandemic still on-going, say they are rethinking their offer for the coming winter with a new “break out concept.”

Camille Desserle, the group’s sales and communication manager told French newspaper Le Dauphin that this year will see no big parties, the temporary end of après-ski dancing and lounge music replacing electro to create “a slightly calmer atmosphere and avoid crowds.”

The establishment, which began life in 1980 in Val-d’Isère and now also has outlets in Avoriaz, Courchevel/Méribel, St Gervais/Megeve and Val Thorens says there’ll be no dancing this winter with everyone seated and tables will be spaced at least a metre apart.  Table service, ordering from the menu via a QR code and a cocktail menu will be the order of the day sand the overall atmosphere, “more zen and less festival.”

(La Folie Douce Val Thorens in the pre-COVID 19 era)

In common with most public establishments worldwide during the pandemic, face masks must be worn when walking to/from tables, a marked one-way system will be created, areas will be cleaned  more regularly with hand sanitiser widely available. There will also be staff to ensure these rules are adhered to.

Meanwhile most of the big music festivals in the Alps, many of them British-run, have now confirmed they do intend to take place this winter – in some cases the first in two years having been forced to cancel spring 2020 events due to lockdown. Several are promoting themselves on social media with images and video depicting the apres ski scene of pre-COVID 19 era and currently have little or no information on their websites about plans to operate under the pandemic.

That said some resorts are still saying that it is not yet certain exactly what apres ski, and all other aspects of a ski holiday, will look like for sure by next spring due to the ever-developing pandemic scenario.  They can only follow current advice and make assumptions based on current evidence.

The changes outlined in France, which it is being stressed are hopefully for this winter only, mirror those announced for the livelier apres ski bar scene in Austria and across the Alps and the wider ski world.