Biggest gathering for Pacific arts and culture returns to Hawaii next year

The world's largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders is set to return in 2024 at the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture, or FestPAC, in Hawaii.

FestPAC is held every four years, but due to Covid-19 the 13th FestPAC scheduled for 2020 was postponed.

The previous event was hosted by Guam in 2016.

RNZ Pacific reports Pacific Community, the organisers of the event, said the festival has been an important venue for the perpetuation of Pacific arts and cultures for more than four decades.

"It has developed into a unique forum where cultural sharing and learning has enhanced the appreciation of Pacific arts and culture and knowledge of the region," it said.

Council of Pacific Arts and Culture (CPAC) chair Mapuana DeSilva said Hawaii first participated in FestPAC in 1976 and has sent a delegation to every festival since then.

DeSilva said Hawaii has been hosted in great ways by all of the countries they visited.

She said FestPAC 2024 in June was their turn to return the favour to their Pacific cousins.

"It is very important for Hawaii to host the 13th FestPAC, not just to reciprocate the love and the generosity of all those countries that have hosted in the past, but it is our kuleana…our responsibility to our own people, our elders, our values, our cultures," she said.

"We are a state in the middle of the Pacific, and it is time for us to stand up and be proud and share who we are with everyone who is coming to FestPAC in 2024," she said.

The Pacific Community said FestPAC 2024 will feature live performances, cultural workshops, film, storytelling and more.

It added the gathering will also underscore urgent issues facing Pacific Islanders such as rising sea levels, the threats to coral reefs and widening social inequality.

FestPAC will be held from June 6 to 16, 2024.


The last time the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture was last held was in Guam in 2016. Photo: Pacific Daily News