Lights out on Dark Mofo's push north

DARK Mofo has withdrawn from its planned expansion into Launceston, with organisers blaming an inability to develop ``a sustainable business model''.

``It is our strong belief that the event would not be able to deliver the economic and social outcomes that an investment of public money of this size should expect, and it is highly unlikely the event would survive past the inaugural year,'' Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael said.

``Given the resources required to make the event happen, we believe proceeding at this point would be an irresponsible use of public funds.

``While we are optimistic about the opportunity, our expansion was conditional on two things; firstly, that we could secure enough financial support, and secondly that it would have no detrimental impact on the Hobart event.''

Mr Carmichael said that while Dark Mofo organisers still believed a major cultural event in Launceston throughout winter to complement the AFL games was important, in order for this strategy to work, it would need to be underpinned by a major three-month winter exhibition in order to stretch the drawing power of the investment beyond a three-day core period.

``The absence of this essential element has been a major contributing factor for our decision to withdraw,'' Mr Carmichael said.

``We hope to continue to work with the State Government, Launceston City Council, QVMAG, Tourism Northern Tasmania, local business, key stakeholders, and community to expand on the Dark Mofo concept with the hope of delivering a major northern Tasmanian event in the future.''

Organisers had planned to hold Dark Mofo in Launceston from June 20 to July 5.

It was to include a nude solstice swim a winter feast, a large-scale public artwork to illuminate the night, a Dark Mofo films program, art exhibitions, durational performance and the infamous Dark Faux Mo. 

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