In the course of 16 years, 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 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. Fyrjazz (Lighthouse Jazz) at the Lille Torungen lighthouse, 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 the 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.
This years artist and bands include:
Patti Smith (US), Lissie (US), Anne Grete Preus (N), Thomas Dybdahl (N), Nils Petter Molvær (N),
The Real McKenzies (CAN), May Britt Andersen (N), Cæcilie Norby (DK), Violet Road (N), Trang Fødsel (N),
Marilyn Mazur (US/DK), Eivind Aarseth (N), Synnøve Knutsvik (N), Magnolia Jazzband (N), Øystein Sunde (N),
Scheen Jazzorkester (N), Amund Maarud (N), Lars Danielsson (S), Bugge Wesseltoft (N).
Canal Street - music festival has obtained certification for their environmental efforts by:
Environmental certification of private and public enterprises, also tourism