March 11, 2020
HONOLULU, HI – FESTPAC Hawaiʻi Commissioners announced today that the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FESTPAC) is rescheduled for June 18-27, 2021. Hawaiʻi was set to host FESTPAC 2020 this June—but growing global concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak prompted event organizers to postpone the 11-day event citing the health and safety of Hawaiʻi residents and festival participants.
“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,” said Senator J. Kalani English, FESTPAC Hawaiʻi Commission Chairman. “We continue to work with our sponsors and supporters to ensure that FESTPAC Hawaiʻi will be a truly transformative and dynamic festival.”
FESTPAC 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 (SPC) 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.