Curated by Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes, The Break), MOFO 2015 is in its seventh year and is leaping back across the port to Princes Wharf 1 and surrounding venues including The Odeon, Theatre Royal, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart Town Hall, Salamanca Arts Centre, Spring Bay Mill, and MONA, plus a few surprises too.
The four-day festival ticket and satellite events offer a superabundance of music and art – including New York post-punk rockers Swans; seminal J-pop riot grrrls Shonen Knife; Architects of Air’s giant inflatable Exxopolis; a floating performance on the Derwent River from Alvin Curran; and Brechtian cabaret punk Amanda Palmer with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Other artists include experimental Jogjakartans Senyawa with Lucas Abela, creating a gamelan pinball machine; Dan Deacon with his Baltimore dance beats; Paul Kelly presents The Merri Soul Sessions featuring Dan Sultan, Clairy Browne, Kira Puru & Vika and Linda Bull; Chinese performance artist Li Binyuan smashing 250 hammers; and indie pop outfit Zammuto (with guest Gotye).
And there’s more… Australian-Icelandic post-classical composer Ben Frost; Swedish black metal-heads Marduk; an electric guitar orchestra with Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil); a participatory smartphone orchestra with Atticus J. Bastow; Young Wagilak Group with the Australian Art Orchestra; New Zealand post-punks The Clean; and a new breed of Faux Mo and much much more.
And if that’s not enough, there’s a MOFO Sideshow on New Year’s Day at MONA on the outdoor stage, featuring the Violent Femmes, Augie March and Ben Salter to start the year blistering in the Tassie sun.
MOFO Curator Brian Ritchie said: “We are thrilled that the audience for MOFO has developed to the point where we can present this dazzling array of creativity and know the people are ready, willing and able to come along for the ride. It’s a party with brains, heart and soul.”
Last summer, MOFO attracted more than 28,000 people to events over five days, with thousands traveling to Tasmania specifically for the festival. Almost 45 per cent of ticket sales overall were to folks from interstate and overseas.
“MONA FOMA creates a soundtrack to the Tasmanian summer. Every year the festival transforms Hobart’s waterfront into the perfect stage for an eclectic blend of artists that draws an audience from across the globe and creates a cultural centrepiece for our island state’s summer events calendar,” says Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman.
“There’s no doubt word is getting out that our island is an emerging and thriving cultural destination and events like MONA FOMA are drawing the curious to our shores. The Tasmanian Government is proud to once again team with MONA to deliver this major summer event for locals and our visitors to enjoy.”
Each year, MOFO aims to present an eclectic collection of artists that will astound, confuse and mesmerise. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will, because curator Brian Ritchie has a knack for gathering artists on the cusp of buzz. While you’re in Hobart for MOFO, visit MONA to see American artist Matthew Barney’s epic exhibition River of Fundament, happening alongside MOFO and brought to you by MONA owna David Walsh and senior curators Nicole Durling and Olivier Varenne.
Also opening alongside MOFO 2015 and featured at MONA will be the Biennale of Moving Images, fresh from Switzerland’s Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève – it’s basically the Olympics of video-art, featuring 22 new works representing the world’s best video artists.
The 2015 MONA FOMA runs from 15 – 18 January. For more information and complete program, visit: www.mofo.net.au for details.
Image: Amanda Palmer – photo by Shervin Lainez