An 11 day art festival in January will bring some big-name musicians and artists to the state.
Award winning musician Goyte will headline Launceston’s own leg of Mona Foma. In an Australian first, he will perform with the Ondionline Orchastra as a tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey.
Festival curator Brian Ritchie described the line up as “astonishing”, and hopes to make a “big statement” when the event comes to Launceston for the first time.
“We’ll have Gotye performing at Albert Hall and we have The Holy Body Tattoo and Godspeed You! Black Empire at the princess theatre,” he said.
"This is a mini mofo, but we think it’s a big statement of our intent to bring Launceston in to the mofo family.”
A special cacophonic performance will see Tasmanian Taiko and Leather Orchestra perform with an array of handmade instruments.
To send off an action-packed three days, Mona Foma will throw a free block party, with food, drinks, music and art galore. Artists for the block party will be announced in December.
Ritchie said the aim of bringing the festival to Launceston was to break down the North versus South divide.
“We’re really focusing on Launceston this time and hoping to get our core followers from Hobart to come up here,” he said.
“There has been a focus on Hobart and we’re just trying to spread that further. Mofo has been going for 10 years and we are really looking forward to this expansion.”
Ritchie said Gotye attends Mona Foma almost every year.
“He specifically requested to premiere this project within Mona Foma and when we ran through the options between Hobart and Launceston with him, he was quite intrigued by the Launceston aspect of it,” he said.
“In this case it’s a matter of his interest in the festival itself, not just a commercial move for him. He’s not trying to make a buck, he wants to support the festival.”
This year’s festival is orange-themed, and will have artists such as the Violent Femmes performing in Hobart and an interactive art display of Hypnapod’s which amplifies heart beats in real time.
Gotye and the Tasmanian Taiko and Leather Orchestra will perform on January 12 and 13 from 9pm. Tickets cost $35. The block party will be held on Sunday, January 14 from 12pm.
Funding given for FOMA festival
At the Mona Foma launch on Friday, premier Will Hodgman announced the state government would give the festival $1 million funding.
“The return on investment in these things cannot be quantified. It is great for our economy, communities and it’s great for building cultural industries which are already strong and rich but are becoming internationally renowned,” Mr Hodgman said.
“Culture has broken the North South divide. The festival is a tremendous success in Hobart.
“Around 26,000 people participated in last year’s event.”
Mr Hodgman said the government might look to expand the festival’s reach to regional Tasmania so the whole state could experience the event.
“We’re at a point where we are optimistic of the success of this event. Not only does it drive economic activity, it stimulates locals to get around their community,” he said.
At the launch of Mono Foma on Friday, Premier Will Hodgman was jokingly named the event’s executive MOFO.
Gifted a bright orange tie and glasses, Mr Hodgman wore them with pride as he spoke positively about the event.
Mona Foma runs from January 12-22.