On occasion of the last Mona Fomo festival – or Mofo, if you’re feeling frisky – for the foreseeable future (preparations to break ground on a new hotel concept are underway), Tasmania’s premier contemporary arts venue is planning to go out with a cacophonous bang. That not only means both pilgrims and local visitors to the festival can expect 11 days of idiosyncratic world premiere music and arts events, but a stopover in the city of Launceston to boot.
The bifurcation of the always esoteric program means that this year, the northern city of Launceston will also play host to a series of events, including an Australian exclusive performance of Canadian dance company The Holy Body Tattoo’s Monumental, the score of which will be performed by Montreal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The city will also welcome the premiere of a collaboration between celebrated singer, songwriter and musician Gotye and the Ondioline Orchestra, who will together pay tribute to the late French electronic composer and pop music pioneer, Jean-Jacques Perrey. A free Launceston Party on the last day of the festival’s stopover in the city will also open up its streets to abundant music, art, food and drinks in what will no doubt be a spectacular fashion, with artist announcements to follow in the near future.
At Mofo’s customary home, the main stage will be spearheaded by acts including Godspeed You! Black Emperor; the Chicago-based singer, songwriter and poet, Jamila Woods, who is also a noted collaborator of Chance the Rapper; the debut Australian performance of Argentinian rap folk trio, Fémina; the avant-garde stalwart Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, who will also perform alongside their Psychic TV percussionist, Edley ODowd; and the musician and producer Brian Jackson, who will pay tribute to the music of his iconic long-time collaborator Gil-Scott Heron and Nina Simon alike alongside the Southern Gospel Choir.
And in Hobart, the Violent Femmes – whose former bassist Brian Ritchie acts as curator of the festival – will perform alongside the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in a world premiere Australian exclusive reinterpretation of the orchestra experience, amongst other performance highlights that traverse the entire spectrum of aural and artistic expression – from endurance pieces, to site specific radio performances and, of course, the notorious late night after party Faux Mo, which this year takes up residence in the recently opened MAC2 hotel. Acts for that final send off are anticipated to be announced shortly.
You too can traverse the all-encompassing Mofo program in full here. Tickets are on sale now.
Mona Foma will take place at various venues across the cities of Launceston and Hobart from January 12-22, 2018.
Tile and cover image: Courtesy of the artist and Mona Foma