Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fest Napuan 2013 - Port Vila, Vanuatu

“Rize up with my culture / Stanap wetem kalja blong mi” 

Fest'Napuan is set to return to the Pacific capital Port Vila for the 18th consecutive year: 16-20th October 2013. Described by past performers One Million Dollars (New Zealand), as “a wall of thick, hot tropical air, coconut trees swaying in the breeze and the sweet sounds of Vanuatu's traditional string band music...it was just like the tropical island music you'd expect with ukuleles, tea chest basses and beautiful vocal harmonies”, Fest'Napuan offers one of the friendliest and more laid-back festival settings in the world. 

 The theme “Rize up with my culture / Stanap wetem kalja blong mi” will focus on promoting the use of traditional instruments in contemporary music, highlight the importance of culture in the world today, and encourage more musicians and performers to understand that culture has an important place in the music industry. 

 This year Fest’Napuan will again incorporate Fest'Nalenga (Wednesday 16th October) by showcasing local string bands, Zion Fest (Sunday 20th October) to celebrate gospel and religious music, and Fest'Tamariki (Friday 18th October) dedicated to musical performances from primary school children supporting all genres, without restriction. Now the biggest event held in Vanuatu each year (last year attracting around 40,000 people over 5 nights), it is also now one of the most important regional cultural events held in the Pacific Islands. And one of the best things about Fest'Napuan? Entrance is absolutely FREE! 

 Another free event is Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival (LGSF), in Luganville, Santo. Fest'Napuan's sister event in the north will also return for the third time on October 11-12th, 2013. The main stage for the Fest’Napuan located in front of Vanuatu's renowned Cultural Centre and National Museum and also sits alongside the impressive Chief's Nakamal and has seen the likes of Blue King Brown, Black Brothers, Black Seeds, Not Drowning Waving, Edou, Black Rose and Rize of the Morning Star, among others, play their hearts out. Expect an explosion of brightly coloured performers rain, hail or shine. Also expect to eat well. At least 50 food stalls sell cooked food, tropical fruit, chilled coconuts and plenty of kava. All of this, alongside local arts and crafts and other merchandise, are available in the vibrant festival area. 

 Getting there Situated on the island of Efate, there are international flights to Port Vila from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. The festival site is located close to Port Vila's town centre, opposite Parliament House – an easy 20 minute drive from the airport. Accommodation As befits a Pacific festival, all artists stay in a local village close to Port Vila. Unfortunately for visitors there is no camping, but Port Vila offers plenty of accommodation for festival-goers. 

 There are details about booking accommodation ranging from budget to luxury from the Vanuatu Tourism Office http://vanuatu.travel/. 

 Lineup Simangavole (Reunion Islands), Kaumaakonga (Solomon Islands), Airileke (Aus/PNG), plus a new group out of Mozambique - formed through the Music Crossroads Association. Yet to be confirmed are bands from New Zealand, Kanaky Australia and West Papua. Keep an eye on the Fest'Napuan http://2013.festnapuan.com/ for details. 

Dates Fest'Napuan (Port Vila) October 16-20th, 2013 Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival (Luganville) October 11-12th, 2013 

 Unique to Fest'Napuan 2013: This year we are proud to support 'Music Bridges' - a series of public workshops covering industry issues such as copyright, promotion and event management that will immediately follow the festival on October 21st-23rd in Port Vila.