Pacific Arts Festival postponed until 2021

The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FESTPAC) in Hawaii scheduled from 10 June until  21 June 2020 has been postponed to next year due to the growing global concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak.

The announcement was made by the FESTPAC Hawaiʻi Commissioners on its official website.

The international event is held every four years in a different Pacific Island nation, and it is the first time the Festival was to be held in Hawai'i.

The event organisers were prompted to postpone the 11-day event citing the health and safety of Hawaiʻi residents and festival participants.

A Samoan delegation was also invited to attend the festival this year together with other countries such as American Samoa, Aotearoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaiʻi, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn, Rapa Nui, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis & Futuna.

According to Senator J. Kalani English, FESTPAC Hawaiʻi Commission Chairman, he said that history will be witnessed in Hawaiʻi in 2021. 

“When our Pacific Island cousins come here, they will experience the welcoming, unifying, life-changing experiences they have graciously shared with our delegations over the decades,” he said.

He added that they will continue to work with their sponsors and supporters to ensure that FESTPAC Hawaiʻi will be a truly transformative and dynamic festival.

The international event is a traveling festival hosted every four years by a different Pacific Island nation. 

The South Pacific Arts Festival was started by the Pacific Community (S.P.C.) in 1972 as a means to stem erosion of traditional cultural practices by sharing and exchanging culture at each festival.

The name and participating nations have evolved into the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture we know today. 

The festival has only been postponed once before—in 1984—when political unrest forced the festival to be moved from New Caledonia to French Polynesia.

In 2016, Guam hosted the 12th FESTPAC, which drew a reported 90,000 visitors. Hawaiʻi organizers expect the festival—made up of 28 nations and as many as three-thousand delegates—will draw tens of thousands of visitors to the islands.

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