News State Tasmania News Dark MOFO festival expands to Tasmania’s north

Dark MOFO festival expands to Tasmania’s north

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It is hoped northern Tasmania’s economy will get a boost through the sluggish winter months with the expansion of the Dark MOFO festival to Launceston.

The State Government will provide $200,000 in funding for the expansion to help stimulate the economy.

A winter feast, as well as a 10-day-feature exhibit, will be held at Inveresk at the end of June.

The festival’s creative director Leigh Carmichael says the northern festival will have its own, unique flavour.

“There will be some shared ideologies and ideas from Hobart to Launceston, but we’d like them to have their own point of difference as well,” he said.

“This up here needs to be a celebration of Launceston and the north so…there will be some theatre and some music, there’s some good ideas floating around.”

The festival’s winter feast will coincide with the AFL game between Hawthorn and Gold Coast at York Park.

Premier Lara Giddings says football fans will be encouraged to extend their stay.

“We’ve got the football going on at the same time and this is a bit of clash of cultures in some respects,” she said.

“But there are a lot of people out in the community, including myself, who love sport but also love the arts and if you can bring the two together what a great experience for people.

“It’s exciting for the entire state, not just Launceston in that respect, because we want to bring tourists to Tasmania,” she said.

“We don’t want to just bring them to Hobart to see MONA or Dark MOFO in Hobart, we want to give them a reason to travel elsewhere around Tasmania.”

This year’s first Dark MOFO in Hobart attracted thousands of people to events around the waterfront and to the Cenotaph for the light installation, Spectra.

It featured a mass mid-winter feast and nude swim to mark the winter solstice.

The Skywhale hot-air balloon sculpture caused controversy when it travelled to Launceston, with a local alderman describing it as demeaning to women.

There was also controversy in Hobart when a strobe light installation caused seizures in several people who had to be hospitalised.