Memos from Mofos

Brian Ritchie

Festival Curator

In the immortal words of Mississippi Fred McDowell: ‘You gotta move, you gotta move, you gotta move child, you gotta move. When the Lord gets ready, you gotta move.’

But perhaps I should quote Tamar (kanamaluka) Fred McDowell or Esk (laykila) Fred McDowell, because we are moving our beloved festival to a location nestled between those two picturesque tributaries.

McDowell goes on to state: ‘You may be rich, you may be poor, you may be driftin’ from door to door. When the Lord gets ready, you gotta move.’

While there is no deity involved in this move, the rich is our Fearful Leader, Mona owner David Walsh, whose generosity makes the move possible. The poor are the citizens of our island state. We’re going to give them a cornucopia of art and entertainment at a fraction of its market value.

After ten years of blowing people’s minds in Hobart and three wins as Best Contemporary Music Festival in Australia, we’re taking the show on the road to Launceston. Similar to the actual A1, this road trip is fraught with potential danger but also a sense of adventure. Not only musical and artistic adventure but also cultural and social. Our partner, the Tasmanian State Government (aka citizens and taxpayers), has asked Mona Foma to help it break down the Berlin Wall/Mason-Dixon Line/Demilitarised Zone that runs through the state, using music and art as the battering ram.

So, whether you’re from the south of Tasmania or a local Launcestonian, from any other TAS-locale, from the so-called Mainland, whether you’re international or intergalactic—we ask you to support this endeavour, not only for the kick-ass musical anarchy and artistic abandon that epitomises Mofo, but also to help us with this social engineering stunt. The utopian ideal we all desire for Tasmania hinges upon our success.

David Walsh

Mona Creator

A career of gambling, and a lifetime of pondering, has taught me that the sort of risk that’s worth taking has a limited downside but an asymmetric upside. We don’t know whether the denizens of Launceston will come to Mofo, nor do we know if planeloads of hipsters will turn up and decide Launceston is a great place to spend the fortunes they’ve all saved now that they don’t eat avocado toast. But if Launcestonians do come, and if they find even more in their city to be positive about, and if the hipsters turn up and fill all available niches, then good things could happen. That might sound like a lot of ‘ifs’ for the government, our sponsors and us, to risk a bunch of money on, but the worst that can happen is dismal failure. And the best? The best are things that we can’t forecast, but that make a difference. That’s the nature of appropriate risk. As I said, it’s asymmetric. Good things can become great things. Even though we don’t know what those great things might be, we are prepared to bet big (and potentially lose big), to see if we can make them happen.

Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

Welcome to Mona Foma, one of summer’s hottest shows in Tasmania.

After a very successful debut performance in Launceston last year, the event that always surprises and delivers the unexpected returns with fantastic sound and visual experiences popping up in many of Launceston’s most iconic locations, like Cataract Gorge and the Albert Hall.

There’s heaps of local talent taking centre stage, and you’ll also have the chance to see exhibitions and performances sourced from all over the globe. We welcome artists from Canada, Ethiopia, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and the USA.

Congratulations to the team behind Mona Foma on putting together another great festival for us all to enjoy. The Tasmanian Liberal Government is very proud to again partner with Mona to deliver Mona Foma 2019.