Arendalsuka is the largest political gathering in Norway held annually since 2012. The event’s mission is clear: strengthen the belief in political empowerment and democracy through open debate and involvement.
We aim to lower the threshold for political participation and inspire civic engagement by creating a politically independent forum where everyday citizens meet political leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and the media.
As organisers of Arendalsuka, we create the arena - and then we invite organisers and exhibitors to create the content.
Arendalsuka was founded in 2011. Since 2012, the week has been the largest political gathering in Norway. Arendalsuka has assisted in the foundation of the Nordic and Baltic Festival Network of similar gatherings cooperating and contributing to the overall mission.
‘Almedalsveckan’ in Sweden was the democracy festival that inspired a few individuals to establish a similar gathering in Norway – now known as Arendalsuka. Arendalsuka is a result of co-creation between the municipality, national- and local political parties, NGO's, universities, research institutions and private companies.
Key numbers & facts
Key numbers and facts from 2012 to 2021 (in Norwegian only)
Ownership and organisation
Arendalsuka is owned by the Municipality of Arendal. The Mayor of Arendal is head of the democracy festival and leads the work of the Arendalsuka council.
The council consists of people from different groups of participants in the festival, such as organisation for employers, unions, from the school sector, county municipality and more. The council helps the festival set direction. The councillor of the Municipality of Arendal is the CEO of the festival.
The project team runs the everyday tasks of Arendalsuka, from planning through implementation. The team is led by 3 project leaders.
The Arendalsuka main program committee consists of three people with various background. The committee works independently and cannot be coerced.
The Arendalsuka Ung-committee is local and operates by the same principles.
Arendalsuka is a result of co-creation between the municipality, national and local political parties, NGO's, universities and research institutions and private companies. A wide range of reference groups are annually involved in setting the direction of the festival, as thus mentioned above.
Arendalsuka is mainly (85 %) funded by sponsors. Their contribution is purely support for a democratic festival like Arendalsuka, and in full awareness that they have no say in the development or the content of the festival.
Read more about sponsorship (in Norwegian only)
Democracy Festival Association
The European Democracy Festival Association creates an important network for Arendalsuka, both in learning and facing challenges together – as the pandemic. As democracy is at risk in many areas in the world, also Europe, the Association becomes increasingly more important to the members, as it is for upcoming festivals.
Visit Democracy Festival Association website.