Balansefestivalen (The Balance Festival) is an arena where both inexperienced and experienced outdoor enthusiasts come together and challenge themselves on the yoga mat, slackline, in the mountains or climbing wall, and in the kayak. The purpose of the festival is to stimulate young people’s interest in outdoor life and encourage them to use the local areas, while also becoming more aware of why and how the natural resources should be preserved.
The idea started four years ago when Emilie Bollingberg visited Kaja Irene Mathisen’s childhood home at Hamarøy, close to Lofoten in the northern part of Norway. “I thought the place was incredibly beautiful and it had so much nature experiences and outdoor activities to offer. Kaja is proud of her hometown and wished that more people would visit,” says Emilie. The two friends then started developing the idea of a small outdoor festival where people at the same time could experience the beauty of Hamarøy.
The name Balansefestivalen came into being because they wanted to introduce people to outdoor activities that have a particular focus on body balance, such as slackline, yoga and acroyoga. Another important aspect is that the activities are done together in a social setting.
In addition to efforts done by organisers Kaja and Emilie, Balansefestivalen is made possible with help from instructors and other volunteers. The festival has been well received in the local community where they have gotten support in form of sports equipment and financial support.
Photo: Joakim Hope Soltveit.