According to the press, a record number of 2’500 participants from five Melanesian countries attended the Festival in Papua New Guinea making it the biggest event ever organised by a Melanesian country. The Festival has brought participants from across the region – Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, and, of course, Papua New Guinea provinces. But PNG also extended invitations to West Papua, Timor Leste and the Torres Strait Islands.
Although Melanesia is as diverse as its people and their geographical locations, there are definitely close similarities among their cultures. The Festival is the chance to see unique cultures and traditions of Melanesian countries without travelling to each of them.
The next Melanesian Festival will be held from 1 to 10 July 2018 in Solomon Islands.