8th MACFEST to be hosted in Fiji with first ever Melanesian Pageant


The two-week 7th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST) officially ended on Sunday 31July with Vanuatu Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau passing the torch to Fiji as the next host.

Fiji’s Minister of iTaukei Affairs, Ifereimi Vasu, announced the consolidation of the Melanesian arts festival symposium, Melanesian music festival, and the Melanesian pageant as an integral part of MACFEST in 2026 in Fiji.

“As Fiji prepares to host the 2026 MACFEST, the government and the people of Vanuatu have certainly raised the standard, and it will be hard to match,” said the Minister.

“But I must say, it’s a true Melanesian spirit, and the challenge is accepted.”

He praised the people and Government of Vanuatu, saying despite the many challenges the country had endured with cyclones and earthquakes, with a true Melanesian spirit, the nation had accepted the challenge of hosting a successful and memorable event.

This year, the festival’s theme is “Rebuilding my Melanesian for common identity,” highlighting the importance of Pacific regionalism, and cooperation within Melanesia.

The Minister acknowledged the need to teach young people about their custom and traditional culture.

He acknowledged that Fiji as the next host will need the support of the Melanesian countries, the MSG Secretariat, and the Melanesian people in hosting the 2026 MACFEST.

“We would like to extend the same sentiments to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Director General, his team, and to the wider Melanesian family,” he said.

The country was the third host of the festival which started in 2006, and similar to Vanuatu, this will the second time for Fiji to host the MACFEST.