If you’ve not ticked Mona Foma off your festival bucket list yet, then this is undoubtedly the year to do so. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Australia’s most potent collision of music and art will take place at Mona for the last time – so if you’ve been thinking about heading across the Bass Strait, there’s never been a better opportunity. More than just a music festival, Mofo is a veritable adult Disneyland that needs to be experienced at least once. Not to mention, you’ve got the world-class Mona Museum to explore, coupled with a winery, vineyard and brewery on site.
Here’s everything you need to know before jetting off.
After a self-contained film festival within a festival? Cinemofo has you sorted. Each film unpacks the spirit of liberation and protest. Program highlights include Vanishing Point – an adventure-fuelled road film about a drug-addled Vietnam veteran – and Marina Abramovic in Brazil: The Space In Between, a documentary delving into the matriarch of performance art’s connection between between spirituality and creation. Friday January 19 – Saturday January 21 at Cinemona, Mona.
The Ghosts of Nothing Featuring Laura Purcell
What if Johnny B. Goode wasn’t a freewheelin’ guitar-slinger, but instead re-imagined as the seventeenth century’s most melancholy clown, Pierrot? Find out when this titular clash of cultures and eras takes place from Wednesday January 17 until Sunday February 25 at Contemporary Art Tasmania.
SAAKA: Hunger For Gluttony
Hobart-based designer Lychandra Gieseman critiques mass consumption and environmental decimation through the very medium that is notorious for doing so. Part fashion show and part call to action, the experience is completed with the industrial sounds of Military Position. It’s happening at Mona’s Tennis Court on Saturday January 20.
The Museum of Everything
The Museum of Everything can’t be easily categorised. The same goes for the art you’ll find inside it. The travelling institution first opened in 2009 and has now made its way across the pond to occupy Mona. Its aim is to showcase creations from by those who fall outside the traditional art world paradigm; ordinary people like you and I. The thing is, ordinary people are capable of the extraordinary. Find out exactly what that looks like in this stunning exploration of outsider art throughout the festival.
The Green Brain Cycle
The Green Brain Cycle sees pianist Michael Kieran Harvey interpreting the characteristics of numerous insects while writer Arjun von Caemmerer uses the music to build ‘concrete’ poems on the walls of the gallery – featuring installations from Brigita Ozolins. Happening daily in B3 Central Gallery, Mona.
Combining song, stories and theatrical performance art, Breadwoman Variations sees Anna Homler – the woman made of bread – joined by numerous special guests to depict cosmic tales. Catch it at the Turrell Stage on Friday January 19 and the Organ Room on Saturday January 20.
The Violent Femmes + Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Milwaukee acoustic punks The Violent Femmes deliver a career-spanning performance which sees them stripping back their classic hits with help from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. It takes place at Federation Concert Hall, Hobart on Monday January 22 and Tuesday January 23.
Mayhem’s seminal 1994 album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas changed the game when it was first released and has become a certified classic in the years since. Scandinavia’s sons of black metal will take to the Mona Main Stage to perform the album in full with Attila Csihar of Sunn O))) on vocals. Sunday January 21.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Prolific post-rock behemoth Godspeed You! Black Emperor will be making their way from Canada to perform new tracks from their new release Luciferian Towers in what’s set to be an unmissable Mofo moment. Catch them on Friday January 19 at Mona’s Main Stage.
Artist and activist Camae Ayewa joins forces with Rasheedah Phillips to form punk-poetry duo Moor Mother. Their blend of energetic hip hop and electronica teamed with thought-provoking lyrics smash down the flawed systems of modern society. Catch Moor Mother at Mona’s Main Stage on Friday January 19.
Genesis Bryer P-Orridge
Seminal artist and singer-songwriter Genesis Bryer P-Orridge will be taking the stage for a galvanising melange of poetry and psychedelia. She’ll be joined by Edley ODowd at Mona’s Main Stage on Sunday January 21.
Gotye Presents a Tribute to Jean–Jacques Perrey
In this Australian premiere performance Gotye will be joined by the Ondioline Orchestra for a musical tribute to the French electronic composer and pop visionary Jean-Jacques Perrey. This one goes down in Launceston at Albert Hall on Friday January 12 and Saturday January 13.
Launceston Block party
Kicking off Mini Mofo in Launceston is a free block party on Sunday January 14, inviting locals and visitors alike to enjoy music and art galore. There’ll be plenty of food and drink to see you through as well.
Think of Faux Mo as your official Mofo after party. Bringing a slew of good times to Hobart’s waterfront after the main festivities wind down, highlights of the late night art party include Dutch-Iranian electronic artist Sevdaliza, Brooklynite DJ and producer Animal Feelings AKA Oli Chang, and Chicago DJ extraordinaire Jlin. It goes down from Friday January 19 – Sunday January 21.
Peppers Cradle Mountain
If you’re wanting to use your down time to see a bit more of Tasmania, take a few extra days off work and book into Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Situated within Cradle Mountain National Park, you can explore the wilderness, take in breathtaking vistas and enjoy the warming weather while hiking your way through pristine corners of natural beauty.
If hiking isn’t your thing and your idea of a holiday is more along the lines of cosying up with a glass of wine and a good book, look no further than Truffle Lodge. Located 30 minutes from Mona, Truffle Lodge offers extravagant safari tents overlooking the River Derwent for a luxury camping experience.
Thousand Lakes Lodge
Experience the barren and beautiful wilderness Tasmania is renowned across the world for by checking in to Thousand Lakes Lodge. Located in the Central Highlands World Heritage Area of Tassie, it’s the ultimate place to experience the Western Lakes in all their glory. If you’re after a pristine escape from city life, this is the place for you.
FOOD & DRINK
The Golden Hour
Appropriately named, The Golden Hour is the best way to take in the sunset from Mona’s rooftop, featuring the awe-inspiring installation piece, Amarna, that catapults the beauty of the setting sun into a new realm.
Mona’s Cellar Door offers a world of fine wine and craft beer. Mona has two onsite options for wine and beer enthusiasts with Moorilla Winery and Moo Brew brewery at the museum’s doorstep, meaning the drinks are as fresh as they come. Take a tour of the winery and brewery while you’re at it and taste your way through the delectable range of locally brewed beverages.
Mona is introducing Pharos, a new space within the museum, this December. It extends out onto the River Derwent and features a range of artwork from James Turrell, Jean Tinguely, Charles Ross, Richard Wilson and Randy Polumbo. The space will also house a new bar where you can hang out, have a few drinks and listen to live music with performances by the festival’s Artists in Residence. It doesn’t get much better than that.
There will be a great deal to see and do throughout the festival; never fear though, for there are plenty of ways (and a handy guide on Mofo’s website) to get around each location. For those taking the journey out to Mona, the festival is running a shuttle with daily tickets (or three day passes) available, including a chance to ride on the ferry. There are also taxi, bike hire and buses available.
For events in Hobart and Launceston, there is plenty of public transport around as well as a chance to walk to each exhibit and catch a glimpse of the art installations that can be found all over each city.
Mona Foma takes place at Mona, Hobart from Monday January 15 – Monday January 22 and various venues in Launceston between Friday January 12 – Sunday January 14. For tickets and the full program, head to mofo.net.au.
Written by Kate Streader & Perri Digby