Eccentric, idiosyncratic, unforgettable. These are just some of the words we would use to describe Mofo at Mona, one of the world’s finest music and arts festival.
With that in mind, you can imagine our excitement when we learned the crew behind the event are kicking things off with one heck of a block party in Launceston.
Known as the ‘jewel of the north’, Launceston will host a ‘mini Mofo weekend’ on Sunday, January 14, at the QVMAG Courtyard. Complete with world-class musicians, artists, designers and an abundance of other talent, this party will be dynamic.
As is typical of Mona Foma (Mofo), the main festival held at Tasmania’s wonderful Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), the Block Party will combine the ordinary and the extraordinary in a vibrant explosion of aural pleasures, visual masterpieces and cultural experiences.
Picture giant inflatable musical balls, acoustic sewing machines and 1,000 stylish onesies. Strange? Perhaps. Incredible? Absolutely.
Wait, we almost forgot to mention the best part: this eclectic street party is 100% free.
Even though tickets won’t cost you a cent, Mofo organisers didn’t hold back when it came to the lineup.
Fresh from Milwaukee, legendary alternative punk rockers Violent Femmes will bring their iconic sound to Launceston for one night only, while Amy Sacko – dubbed Mali’s answer to Tina Turner – joins Bassekou Kouyate to perform a blend of African tribal sounds and psychedelic rock and blues.
These two groups will be joined by indigenous punk outfit Dispossessed, whose lyrics and activism has led the group to be labelled “the most uncompromising, unapologetic, and important band in Australia.” Take it from us: these guys know how to put on a show.
The Evan Carydakis Quartet will also show off their skills by performing an unmissable tribute to A Love Supreme, John Coltrane’s defining album.
We know you’re already salivating in anticipation but just take a few deep breaths, because there’s plenty more to get excited about.
Gotye – yes, that Gotye – will make an appearance with his tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey, the French master of electro-pop.
Equally enticing is Bansheeland’s Mary Shannon, who will bring her formidable talent in the form of her whimsical solo project, Disrepute.
Other prodigious performers heading to Launceston include local gothic activist Emma Angelsey (accompanied by Yyan Ng); instrumental group Godspeed You! Black Emperor joined by The Holy Body Tattoo dance ensemble (who we’re impossibly keen to see); and local jazz group Jason Whatley Quintet (who are getting back together just for the Block Party).
If you love the weird as much as the wonderful, violinist Anna McMichael is going to improvise over composer Damian Barbeler’s sound design, all of which will take place on the Sound Bubble – some kind of high-tech cube/blow-up stage.
Jon Rose’s Interactive Sonic Ball will also make an appearance, resembling a cross between a beach ball and a giant UFO. The ball is packed with technology that turns it into a unique, interactive musical instrument as it floats through the crowd.
The weekend is an all-ages shindig, so bring your grannies and your kids. There’ll be copious amounts of delicious food and enough drinks to quench the thirst of a small nation, as well as a jaw-dropping light and laser beam setup that will complement the already impressive sound and colour displays. Watch out for Stompin, who’ll be doing some spectacularly spontaneous dances.
If you need a break from the buzz, you’ll be able to admire ongoing art project, ‘Seven’ – check out the exhibition put on by the University of Tasmania in conjunction with local artists, or simply chill out and enjoy the vibe.