Push for Dark Mofo in North

DARK Mofo organisers say about $1 million will be needed for the event to happen in the North but it could become a major tourism drawcard.

Museum of Old and New Art organisers in Hobart are putting the finishing touches on the event for the capital in June and yesterday urged Launceston to make it happen in the North.

Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael said he was disappointed this winter's inaugural Northern Dark Mofo was cancelled due to organisational difficulties, but was optimistic it would happen next year.

Mr Carmichael said money, good organisation and original Northern ideas were needed for the event to succeed.

He said about $1 million in cash and kind was needed, with much of that in-kind support already in place with MONA running the Hobart festival.

Also necessary was a long- running, high quality lead-up event, such as a substantial exhibition at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, or a string of smaller festivals tied together under the Dark Mofo brand.

Finally, Mr Carmichael said it was vital the event had a unique Northern flavour, and not just a re-run of the Hobart event. It also had to be "owned" by strong Northern leaders.

He said organisers of the successful summer food and drink event Festivale would be a good choice.

Mr Carmichael said he expected to meet Northern leaders soon after Dark Mofo ended in Hobart in June to "see what the appetite is", with a decision to proceed needed in August or September.

"By then we will need to bite the bullet and have a crack at it," Mr Carmichael said.

"But I believe that it needs to be very much about the North ... it needs to be driven, backed and supported in the North.

"We want to work with them in a supporting role to see a major cultural event happen up there.

"We need a couple of strong leaders to put their hands up."

The event already has the support of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten, who said on the weekend that he was disappointed this year's event fell over, and the council was working to ensure the event happened next year.

But Mr Carmichael warned it would not be easy.

The nude solstice swim is a staple event of the Dark Mofo arts festival. Picture: Remi Chauvin, supplied

The nude solstice swim is a staple event of the Dark Mofo arts festival. Picture: Remi Chauvin, supplied


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