Winter fun frozen out in the North

SHY members of Northern Tasmania might be relieved that Dark Mofo will not make an appearance in Launceston - meaning there will be no nude swim on the winter solstice.

Despite the arts, music and cultural event having support from the previous state government and the Launceston City Council, organisers said a sustainable business model could not be made for the $1.2 million Launceston event.

The three-day affair would have had to be underpinned by a three- month winter exhibition to make the investment worthwhile, organisers said.

The cancellation is a shame for the region, which would have no doubt welcomed it with open, if not shivering, arms.

Launceston residents turned out in droves to admire the surreal beauty of Patricia Piccinini's Skywhale as it floated above Royal Park in June last year.

It didn't come without controversy (Alderman Annette Waddle calling it offensive to women) - but isn't part of the role of art to challenge?

Launceston and greater Northern Tasmania hosts some brilliant events such as Festivale, the Launceston Cup, Symphony Under the Stars, A Day on the Green, Beerfest, Breath of Life, Forth Valley Blues Festival and the Evandale Village Fair.

We also have some great artistic events already too, with the Breath of Fresh Air film festival, Junction Arts Festival, Glover Prize and newcomer the Festival of Golden Words at Beaconsfield

But most of them occur in the warmer months and start to cool off along with the weather.

In the cooler months we have AFL games at Aurora Stadium, the V8s at Symmons Plains and Agfest in May, and while they are fantastic events that attract strong crowds, they are not everyone's cup of tea, which makes it imperative that there are other events so the community does not hibernate for the cold winter months.

Hopefully organisers, the council and businesses will continue to work together to build a sustainable event in the years to come.


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