The first two acts for Mona Foma 2020 have been announced.
Electronic producer Flying Lotus - the great-nephew of Alice Coltrane - will put on a psychedelic jazz-hip hop audiovisual show, which will require 3D glasses.
"I've seen him play a few times, and it's always mind blowing," festival director Brian Ritchie said.
Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi will treat audiences to "very meditative, and somewhat introverted music, that unfolds gradually over the course of a few hours," Mr Ritchie said.
He talked Mona Foma 2020 ahead of the full line-up release on October 18.
FV: What can you say about next year's program?
BR: The way it's shaping up is that it will be the most diverse program we've had yet - and considering how diverse it usually is that's saying something.
FV: Do you mean diverse in terms of the gender and cultural background of the artists, or of the types of art?
BR:Both. Festivals that are focused too much on one thing are boring, it's as simple as that. I can say that as someone who has played at many a festival [with the Violent Femmes], they can be so boring. Part of my desire with Mona Foma was to do the things that I hasn't seen done very often. And coming from David Walsh, and Mona, having an arts background for the festival rather than a commercial background, enables us to do that. I was given the opportunity to come up with a festival concept, so I thought, why not do the most ideal kind of festival?
FV: What makes a festival boring?
BR: Most festivals I think rely on a list of names, but the experience itself might not really work. We ask the audience to take a leap with us every year on a lot of unknown artists; sometimes it's the first time they've been to Australia. So the audience has to come with an open mind and be willing to trust us that the offering is good, rather than just expect to hear what they've heard on the radio.
FV: Is Mona Foma a, 'what Brian Ritchie has been listening to this year'?
BR: No, we have a lot of discussion with the team - I have a really good staff to bounce ideas off of - and we talk about what have we done before, what new things can we try, how do we balance it all. A lot of thought goes into the balance of it. It's like putting together a meal: you're not going to have lamb, lamb, lamb, sausage, steak - you need to mix it up with some vegetables. Sometimes it's about giving people a voice who don't generally have a voice - particularly women, women are very discriminated against in the music industry. [Mona Foma 2019 was over half female artists.]
- Early bird Festival Hub and separate Ludovico Einaudi tickets at monafoma.net.au