The Festival of the Pacific Arts 2016 may be over, but the cultural revitalization of the arts and music on Guam is still very much alive. The debut of the Hafa Adai Festival of the Arts will take place on November 4 and 5 at the Guam Greyhound Park from 4 to 11 p.m. This will see the melodic beats of 11 reggae bands hailing from Fiji to California.
“This is the first year that we are doing the festival, and we hope for it to be annual event,” said David Bell, one of the event’s producers. “This is a major concert. There will be international bands, including a couple of bands from Guam. We’ll have a large event annually, and hopefully smaller concerts every quarter.”
The Hafa Adai Festival of the Arts 2016 will also take place on other islands in the Marianas. “We will be in Saipan and hopefully on other islands, as well,” Bell added.
Although this year the music centers on reggae, Bell stated that future Hafa Adai Festival concerts will be inclusive to other music genres. Generally, the bands will be curated, but interested musicians may reach out to Bell for consideration for upcoming concerts.
“We want to involve the community as much as possible,” he said.
The concert festival is seeing large support from the community and businesses, and there will be five food trucks serving food at the event. One of the bands, Tribal Theory, will also be conducting a high school tour while on Guam. Some of the band’s members are originally form Guam.
“We hope for [the Festival] to be a signature event with further future partners,” Bell said.
When asked why they are launching the Festival, Bell replied passionately: “Music and the arts is the way we engage our culture, our ancestors, each other, and also those who are yet to be born. If we learned anything from Fest Pac we learned that this is the Pacific Way. Now and forever.”