Since 1996 Canal Street has offered large musical events to the inhabitants of Arendal, tourists and other guests. About 20-25 000 people visit this festival each year, and it takes place during the last week of July.
By using the maritime surroundings and the characteristic scenes that Arendal has to offer, Canal Street wishes to create a general experience where place, culture and history are creating a perfect setting for musical meets between artists and audience. Bathing Blues and Splash Jazz in the bay of Merdø, “Jazz in the Dumpster“ at Heftingsdalen refuse and recycling site, nighttime concerts at the Arendal Cemetary, and hidden and forgotten backyards in town are just some examples.
The festival is aimed at people of all ages, for instance through "Barnestreet", the children's Canal Street, and a talent show for youth. The main concerts in the heart of town attract thousands of lively people each night, while the backyard "Bakgården" is for a more calm audience.
About 40-50 different artists and bands visit the festival. Even though jazz traditionally has been well represented, most genres are presented here. In addition to offering the best Norwegian artists, the festival has included artists like Bob Geldof, Lauren Hill, Joss Stone, Waterboys, Gary Moore, Solomon Burke, Melody Gardot, Angélique Kidjo and more on the stage the last five years.
Arendal is a municipality in Agder county in southeastern Norway. Arendal belongs to the region of Sørlandet.
The municipality is bordered to the southwest by Grimstad, to the northwest by Froland, to the northeast by Tvedestrand, and to the southeast by the Skaggerak. The lake Rore is located on the Grimstad border along with the river Nidelva.
The coastal municipality includes several populated islands such as Hisøya, Tromøya, Merdø, Flostaøya, and Tverrdalsøya as well as many unpopulated or sparsely populated islands such as Ærøya. The island of Merdø was a major export port in the 17th and 18th centuries and now has a museum, a kiosk, and several beaches. There is regular boat service from Arendal to the island every day during the summer season.
The village of Arendal was established in the middle of the 16th century and was then called Arendall. Initially, it had no formal town status.
When the town of Christianssand was founded by King Christian IV in 1641, he granted the citizens a monopoly on all trade in Nedenæs and Lister og Mandal counties (including the area of Arendal).
Shipping, shipbuilding, and timber trade as well as mining and ironworks were important branches of industry in Nedenæs county for many centuries, especially in the Arendal region.
Ferries run between the city centre and the islands of Hisøya and Tromøya. Arendal does also have an airport, Arendal Airport, Gullknapp, although it does not have any commercial airlines regularly stopping here.
The European route E18 highway is a major transportation route through Arendal heading to Oslo in the northeast and Kristiansand to the southwest. Other main roads in Arendal include the Norwegian County Road 407, Norwegian County Road 408, and Norwegian County Road 410. The local railway line Arendalsbanen runs to Nelaug where it connects with the main Sørlandsbanen railway line, which runs between the cities of Oslo and Stavanger.
Learn more about the Arendal Music Festival
Also, check our list of the best hotels in Arendal and book your stay during the event.