August 2005

The Travel Bug - Issue 3

Vanuatu Music Fest – 13th to 16th October 2005

Vanuatu's tenth annual Fest'Napuan is expected to draw 30,000 visitors to capital Port Vila for four days of free, non-stop music from October 13 to 16. The biggest musical event of its kind in the South West Pacific, Fest'Napuan (it means Festival of Song and Dance) will feature local string bands, traditional, custom, contemporary and modern music, and on the final Sunday a Christian music 'Festival of Praise.' As well as individuals and bands from many of Vanuatu's 80 scattered islands, there will be indigenous groups and soloists from Australia and Papua New Guinea, and from several other South Pacific countries that have shown interest in taking part.

In the past, musicians have come from as far afield as West Papua, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Easter island, Fiji, New Caledonia and Australia and New Zealand. The Festival aims to promote the development of contemporary music in Vanuatu by young people in music groups, offering them the chance to perform before large audiences and to expose their talents to potential government and private sponsors. Its also provides local people and visitors from across the South Pacific with the chance to see this emerging talent at not cost. For details email: info@furtherarts.org or vks@vanuatu.com.vu (Source: VTO 20/06/2005)

Melbourne - Vanuatu Ocean Race set for 2006!

A first-ever ocean race is to be sailed from Melbourne to Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila in July next year. And within a week of announcing the 1885 nautical mile event (3,200kms,) sixteen yachts have already been signed-up to take part, with owners of another fifteen expressing interest. "It’s a great acknowledgement of the attraction of Vanuatu as a sunny South Pacific haven during the Australian winter," said Marketing Manager for the Vanuatu Tourism Office, John Cvetko. "We’re anticipating a lot more yachts will be entered, and there’s also interest from New Zealand in a parallel event, with yachts from both countries then competing against each other in a race from Vanuatu to Queensland for the annual Whitsunday winter regattas."

The Melbourne-Vila race is being organised by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria, whose Event Manager, George Shaw said would offer many challenges over an expected two-weeks at sea. "Crews will sail out of Port Phillip Bay on July 2 2006 and will face the bone-chilling southerlies of Bass Strait, before heading into the exotically warm reaching conditions of the south east trade winds," Mr Shaw said. "Crews will be rugged up as they leave, yet in shorts and T-shirts a fortnight later as they sail into Port Vila harbour." The Vanuatu Cruising Yacht Club will be host club for the finish of the race, and is planning a number of local and inter-island races and competitions between the Australian and New Zealand yachts and others from around the world that will be in Port Vila over winter 2006. For more information on the Melbourne-Vila race contact the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria on (03) 9689 1622 or email orcv@orcv.org.au. Local enquiries should be direct to the Vanuatu Cruising Yacht Club. Associated Tourism enquires shouls be directed to John Cvetko at the Vanuatu Tourism Office on + (678) 22515. (Source: VTO)

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