The festival Melanesia 2000 was staged in 1975. This festival, bringing 15,000 Kanak people together over several days of performances, ritual exchange and celebrations, was organised through the commitment of Jean-Marie Tjibaou.
The arts festival was part of a positive action plan partly organised and funding by the French government. The aim was to improve relations with the Kanaks who were seeking political independence. The aim was to pursue long-range plans to ameliorate the circumstances of an aggrieved colonised people and to develop a basis for more peaceful development across racial divides in the population of New Caledonia. This was perceived by French authorities as a graduated devolution, following a history of colonisation stretching back to 1853, prior to any referendum on political independence.
More than 50,000 people turned out to see the Kanak culture on display for the first time. Today the Tjibaou Cultural Centre stands on the Tina Peninsula site where the festival occurred .