Businesses urged to help Dark MoFo shine

THE future of a Dark MoFo in Launceston lies in the hands of the city's businesses.

While the Museum of Old and New Art has confirmed its winter festival will make its Northern debut in June, its wow factor and whether it comes back again in the future depends on community funding.

MONA has asked the Launceston City Council to contribute $171,000 to the $1.2 million event so it can be unique and as good as possible.

However, council development services director Michael Stretton told business representatives at a meeting at Launceston's Town Hall last night that the council couldn't afford that.

``There has been interest, we've spoken to a few people who seem keen to contribute, so we're pretty confident we will get some sort of contribution,'' Mr Stretton said.

Business will have about two week to let the council know if it will contribute, as it has to decide whether it will support the event financially on March 24.

Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael said MONA wanted to bring the festival to Launceston because the people had asked for it, but it had already contributed more than enough to it.

``This is a big marketing exercise for MONA, so David (MONA owner David Walsh) is prepared to chuck in a lot of money for Hobart but he's not really that keen to spend more in Launceston when he's already spent $500,000 on it,'' Mr Carmichael said.

``And we're (MONA) already in over our heads.''

Mr Carmichael said it cost about $4 million for both the Hobart and Launceston events.

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