Supported by Pyhä Ski Resort & Suomi 100
Let's face it: There isn't a city or a town in Lapland where you can spend a museum Sunday every week or month, and get surprised. You cannot wander on the streets surrounded by unfamiliar faces and streets lights, because not every street has lights, and you probably know all the faces passing by. Our ultimate nature-oriented facilities balance the lack of good gigs, exhibitions and other cultural soul food.
So, when something happens, you better clean your schedule and take some time to restock you cultural soul storage. It might take a while when you get a second chance. This is to say: We're happy to participate first ever Bättre Folk i Fjällen festival that took place at Pyhä Ski Resort last weekend.
The short but happy history of Bättre Folk goes back a few years when the first festival was organised in July on an island of Hailuoto near Oulu in Northern Ostrobothnia, a county next to Lapland in south. We're there in 2015, and that was also my first ever time in music festivals. By then we made it hardcore and slept in a tent (it was summer time), but this time we're wiser and booked a hotel. I guess there will be the summer and winter versions of the festival from now on.
Bättre Folk is an anecdote in Swedish and translates directly to "better people" – and better people supposedly like beautiful music, literature, poetry, and good conversations, thus the festival is combination of all these. In addition to gigs the festival includes music and literature workshops, and of course sauna and ice swimming. After all, it's Lapland and February.
We arrived to Pyhätunturi on Friday just to see Iisa's gig in Hotel Pyhätunturi. After morning's yoga class, Saturday was full of workshops, meetings and eventually, some more gigs. We surprised ourselves and spend almost all day riding Pyhä's slopes, though we needed to have a lunch break directly after our first lift ride, and we snowboarded to have some legendary hot dogs in restaurant Pyhä Wurst. The weekend is pretty much summed up in these pictures. For us it was about music, snowboarding and xc-skiing. The only thing missing in these pics is food that we consumed a great amount (again). On Saturday, Anssi obeyed a classic "Ski Resort Diet" having a huge hot dog with fries for lunch and a hamburger and a veggie fajita for dinner.
Vegetarian food is an issue in ski resorts in these latitudes; the restaurants tend to have rather limited selection and food often lacks of protein (and taste). Pyhä Wurst is a positive exception serving all vegan, vegetarian and also gluten free meals, that also taste delicious. Thumbs up for that!
Saturday 4th of February was also a first official Nature Day in Finland. The weather didn't do honour to the great occasion being mainly gray and foggy. On the other hand, coldish and smudgy weather created even more cosy feeling to the places where the artists performed. The gig of Mikko Joensuu was definitely one of the most eccentric ones I've ever seen, special credits for transforming an acoustic guitar to an electric one in the middle of a song. Despite the very Finnish name, Joensuu sings in English. When the next foggy day comes, let Mikko make your day.
On Sunday we, and seemingly all the other tourists over 60 years, did some xc-skiing. My skies finally felt good and I decided to participate my first ever xc-ski marathon, Arctic Circle Ski Marathon, that takes place here in Rovaniemi 25th and 26th of February. See you there!
Suom: Huh, Mikko Joensuu. Menkää keikalle jos mies soittelee jossain lähettyvillä. Aivan uudenlainen performanssi. Myös Mariska oli kova!