More than six months after its Dark Mofo sister event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual Mona Foma festival has announced it will take place this year, with an expansion on the cards as well.
The dates and locations for the festival’s 2021 edition were announced over the weekend, with organisers revealing its traditional Hobart event will be joined by an earlier appearance in Launceston.
Curated by Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes, a statement revealed that the event is on track to be one of their most exciting editions to date.
“Mona Foma thrives on reinvention and we are compelled to do that big time in January 2021,” Ritchie explained. “One weekend in Launceston, and one weekend in Hobart, to spread the love. Great Tasmanian artists, unusual venues, and an irrepressible creativity.”
First held in 2009, the Mona Foma festival has been a major date on the Tasmanian cultural calendar, with its sister event, Dark Mofo, being launched in 2013. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions lead to the cancellation of the latter event earlier this year, which was on track to be headlined by the likes of Bon Iver, with further lineup details unannounced at the time of its cancellation.
Following the year that has been, which has resulted in widespread axing of events not just in Tasmania and the Australian mainland, but the entire world, organisers hope that the expansion of Mona Foma into two weekends will provide locals with a greater chance to experience a sense of cultural normalcy.
“Hosting Mona Foma across the two cities of Launceston and Hobart is a fantastic approach and will ensure that more Tasmanians are able to attend what will no doubt be an exciting and creative Festival,” explained Destination Southern Tasmania CEO Alex Heroys.
“We look forward to working with Mona and Visit Northern Tasmania to make this a truly Tasmanian festival. We expect this approach will boost the economies of both cities and assist visitors to explore more areas of our state.”
Though the lineup details of the 2021 Mona Foma event will remain unclear until later in the year, there is a strong chance that international acts won’t feature on the bill, thanks largely to border restrictions affecting the island state. As it stands, current restrictions mandate that all non-essential non-Tasmanian residents are required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival into the state.
“What sort of festival will it be?” a message on the festival’s website muses. “We don’t know yet, for obvious reasons. But it’s going to be different, even for us.
“As festival director Brian Ritchie says, ‘Today’s situation requires novel festival solutions. Join us in breaking new ground.'”
Mona Foma 2021
Friday, January 15th – Sunday, January 17th, 2021
Friday, January 22nd – Sunday, January 24th, 2021
Visit the official Mona Foma festival website for more information