The Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival was conceived in 1995 by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). The Festival takes place every 4 years with a goal to promote traditional and contemporary arts from the whole of Melanesia. The festival brings together about 2000 artists and performers from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands. In 2014, the festival welcomed diaspora Melanesian communities in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia, Timor Leste and the Torres Strait Islanders of Australia into the festival. Below is a history timeline of the festivals hosted since 1998 with their associate themes.
1998 – 1st MACFEST. Solomon Islands. Theme – “One People. Many Cultures”
2002 – 2nd MACFEST. Vanuatu. Theme – “Preserving Peace through Sharing of Cultures”
2006 – 3rd MACFEST. Fiji. Theme- “Living Cultures. Living Traditions”
2010 – 4th MACFEST. New Caledonia. Theme – “Our Identity Lies Ahead of Us”
2014 – 5th MACFEST. Papua New Guinea. Theme – “Celebrating Cultural Diversity”
2018 – 6th MACFEST. Solomon Islands. Theme – “Past Recollections, Future Connections”
In 2018, Solomon Islands is again restarting the festival cycle throughout the MSG countries with the Theme – “Past Recollections, Future Connections”. The festival will run from the 1st -10th July 2018.