Spreading Mona Foma love in Northern Tasmania this weekend

MOFO FEVER: Mona Foma curator Brian Ritchie is excited to bring the festival to the North, with bigger plans to set up a permanent homebase in Launceston for the 2019 festival and beyond. Picture: Phillip Biggs
MOFO FEVER: Mona Foma curator Brian Ritchie is excited to bring the festival to the North, with bigger plans to set up a permanent homebase in Launceston for the 2019 festival and beyond. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Mona Foma curator Brian Ritchie has big plans for the future.

If moving MoFo 2018 to the North wasn’t enough of a task, he is interested in breaking down the barriers between North and South Tasmania.

“We think music and the arts can do that in a way that maybe politics can’t do it.”

The Violent Femmes bassist said the hospitable Northern Tasmanian welcome meant the MoFo team felt very comfortable about moving the festival after the initial 2018 festival taster between January 12 and 14.

“Focusing the music festival activity up here seems like a natural move in order to spread the love and not create a glut in the one place,” he said.

Here’s our ‘need to know’ guide to Mona Foma in Launceston:

Ritchie envisioned the festival would also expand into different parts of the city, although the team was “really enthusiastic” about the Queen Victoria Museum venue.

“We haven’t even scratched the surface of this complex.”

However, for now, he was focussed on making MoFo’s first Northern jaunt a success.

“It’s hard to believe, we’ve been talking about this for almost a year and it’s right upon us.”

He could neither confirm or deny the appearance of special guest Premier Will Hodgman on the headliner Violent Femmes stage at the party on Sunday.

“When I first met him, before he was premier, (he) told me he was in a band that did Violent Femmes covers. And he said ‘and not just the pop ones! The deep cuts’,” he said.

“So he’s a real fan and he does know a lot of our songs … it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.”

A team of people, mainly from Tasmania, were helping to make MoFo in the North a reality.

When a MoFo team and Ritchie arrived on Thursday at the Queen Victoria Museum in Inveresk, it was a bare canvas.

Speakers would be staggered throughout the courtyard during the Launceston Block Party so there would be consistent sound throughout the venue, with roving performers also wandering around, he said.

“It’s possible to craft your own experience.”

If the crowds were too much, there were art exhibits and indoor areas to explore with plenty of food and drinks on offer, Ritchie said.

Unfortunately the Violent Femmes all black dress code might prevent them from donning the orange onesies he wore on Thursday, but Ritchie said he would try to persuade them to consider a wardrobe change.