North's Dark Mofo festival cancelled

LAUNCESTON's version of the arts and music winter festival, Dark Mofo, was yesterday cancelled, in part due to a clash with an AFL match on the same weekend.

Launceston was set to win a three-day share of stellar art installations and music from the 10-day, Hobart-based festival held over June.

However, Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael said a sustainable business model could not be developed for the event, even though it had received great support from the Launceston City Council and state government.

``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,'' he said.

Mr Carmichael said the three-day event would need to be underpinned by a three-month winter exhibition to make the investment worthwhile.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the council would continue to collaborate with MONA and explore possibilities for a future Dark Mofo event.

The Launceston City Council at its council meeting this Monday was due to consider an unbudgeted $171,000 contribution to the $1.2 million Launceston version of Dark Mofo.

Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said the figure was the biggest  the council had ever considered for the event.

He said if the funding had been approved, the council would have sought support from Northern businesses, set to benefit from the event, to help cover the contribution.

Mr Dobrzynski said whether businesses would benefit from the event, to be held on the same weekend as an AFL match, was an issue that needed to be considered.

Events Tasmania director Adam Sproule said the organisation was supporting 15 Northern events this summer including the Launceston Ten, Tasmanian Open Dancesport Championship, and Junction Arts Festival.


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