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Mona Foma gets green light

mona foma

Mona's famous Festival of Music and Art is going ahead this summer, in a huge boost to the state's tourism industry.

Mona Foma is being spread across Launceston and Hobart on separate weekends to keep numbers within COVID-19 restrictions, showcasing primarily Tasmanian artists.

It'll run from the 15-17th of January 2021 in the north and January 22nd to 24th down south, with hopes the borders will be reopened by then.

"Mona Foma thrives on reinvention and we are compelled to do that big time in January 2021. One weekend in Launceston, and one weekend in Hobart, to spread the love. Great Tasmanian artists, unusual venues, and an irrepressible creativity," Curator Brian Ritchie said. 

"Importantly, events will be held across multiple smaller venues to manage the COVID-19 risk, and venue operators and event organisers need to be aware of the requirements in place they must comply with to reduce the risk of COVID transmission to their staff and patrons," Premier Peter Gutwein said.

The event has been running since 2009 and has been based in Launceston since 2019.

Organsers say they're welcoming the opportunity to work with the local community, after 61% of Mona Foma 2020 artists came from Tasmania, including organisations such as Terrapin, Tasdance, Stompin and the TSO, along with many independent arts and performance groups.

The decision to go ahead in 2021 has been broadly welcomed by industry and politicans. 

"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. 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," Alex Heroys, CEO of Destination Southern Tasmania, said.

"With so much gloomy news about events cancelling or rescheduling across the summer, to see Mona double-down and commit to running Mona-Foma is great news. We are confident that the dual programs they’ll run between Launceston and Hobart will have Tasmanians enthusiastically travelling back and forth between our two great cities." CEO of Visit Northern Tasmania Chris Griffin said.

“We know that when Mona holds a festival, local accommodation providers book out and people come from far and wide to support the event. This event will be a lifeline for so many businesses that have been doing it tough,” Senator of Tasmania and Assisant Federal Minsiter for Tourism Jonathon Duniam said.

Robin Fox laser installation at the Albert Hall, Launceston, Mona Foma 2019. Credit: MONA/Jesse Hunniford

Image courtesy of the artist and MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia