Tips from the locals: Øivind Holthe

As general manager and festival manager of Blåfrost and Slipen Scene, Øivind manages Salten’s largest festival during the winter months. You can experience leading artists on this unique stage in what was once a boat building yard.

2020-01-1710:05 Otelie Knædal

Foto: Martin Losvik

1. What is your coolest cultural experience in Salten?

Providing its ok to be shamelessly immodest, nothing gives me more gooseflesh than seeing 1,200 people rocking in ecstasy here at Slipen Scene. Those special moments when the artist and the festival audience become one. A sing-along, forest of hands in the backlight and the total, all-consuming excitement instantly become a common memory book. Right here in this dilapidated boaty- ard that was transformed into a uni- que concert venue through creativity, fellowship and a sea of volunteers. It’s all about the moments when absolutely everything is right, an air pocket of collective joy. I have wiped many tears of joy in recent years, from my regular place at the back of the main hall at the top of the dark stairs where no one can see me.

2. What are your best cultural tips?

My best cultural tip must be: Don’t postpone until tomorrow what you can experience today. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Norway’s smallest hotel at Storjord for peace at heart and by a babbling river, then a coffee close by at the Adde Zetterquist art gallery. Eat dinner at Bjørk in Bodø, while the last beer tastes best at Hundholmen. Dama Di serves the small concerts you didn’t know you would love, and Pangea gives you a taste of the world in the middle of the square. Even better is the genuine North Norwegian sense of freedom of teeing off at the third hole at Myklebostad – with the Midnight Sun and the Lofoten mountains as a backdrop in an unbelievably beautiful painting. For a few brief seconds, before the ball drops into the Vestfjord, the world is completely level.

3. Why should people experience the Salten region?

Salten has everything. We are far more than the Gateway to Lofoten. You can sum it up best by quoting the local musician Terje Nilsen: “You have to have been there to understand”.