Monday, July 20, 2015

Art lovers flock to Norway's SALT Festival
for group "sweat-ins" Though winter storms nearly
compromised its main gallery—a long A-frame pavilion inspired by traditional
Scandinavian fish-drying racks—Norway's SALT festival has returned for a
second summer to the island of Sandhornøya. Once again, the main draw is a
packed schedule of art installations and performances staged on a stunning
remote beach. That, and the group sweat-ins, in what's claimed to be the
world's largest public sauna. SALT's prism-shaped "ampisauna" can
fit over 100 bathers on tiered wooden benches facing the Norwegian Sea through
a wall of glass. It's got a bar, for the "hair of the dog" approach to
sweating out the previous evening's excess. This year, the experience has
been set to a soundtrack of ambient electronica from the Norwegian recording
artist Biosphere. The best place to stay for a weekend at SALT is right on
the beach, in a njalla, a mobile tent on wooden skis you can push to a spot of
your choosing. Most attendees reach this remote gathering, which also
features concerts, club nights, and themed dinners, by boat from the town of
Bodø, which has an airport offering direct flights to Oslo and Trondheim.
The project will remain on the island until 2016, after which co-founder
Helga-Marie Nordby wants to expand it to places like the Faroe Islands,
Spitsbergen, Greenland, or Iceland. The U. K. and Alaska are also
possibilities. Last summer she told the Guardian, "If you bring something
human-made into that scenery, it's not just about nature, but about our role
in that landscape. " Gunnar Holmstad
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Norway's SALT Festival is now home to a sauna with room for 100 people, a
custom soundtrack, and a fully stocked bar.

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