‘Mofo asks you to surrender to music, sound, sight and space’ – Brian Ritchie, Curator.
Established in 2009, Mona’s Festival of Music and Art (or Mofo for short) is held annually in January and is curated by Brian Ritchie.
Mofo combines local and international artists in music, dance, theatre, spoken word, visual art and new media into unique audience experiences.
The festival is internationally renowned for its high calibre and diverse programming which prioritises experimentation and collaboration across various platforms.
In 2018 Mofo took its first steps into the north of Tasmania, holding a mini-Mofo in Launceston in the leadup to the final ‘Weekend at Walshy’s on site at Mona.
While the drive and defiance of politics and protest suffused the entire festival, so too did a sense of wonderful connection and delight between performers. It was in the solos traded between Brian Jackson and Andrew Legg, copying each other’s improvisations and developing them (‘Everyone up here is doing this for two reasons: love, and joy’, Jackson proclaimed.). It was in the face of Jamila Woods’ guitarist during her cover of ‘Killing in the Name Of’, pumping out that iconic riff with a huge grin as the crowd cheered. It was the trombonist in the Hobart Liberation Orchestra leaning in to watch the drummer, nodding, smiling. It was a reminder of the power of music to connect players and audience, a feeling summed up perfectly by Fémina on day one, who called out to the crowd, ‘Who doesn’t understand a word of what we’re saying?’ A sea of hands shot up. ‘But who understands the feeling of what we’re singing?’ In response, a deafening roar.
Arts Hub review of Mofo 2018
It’s the most utopian large-scale festival in Australia: there’s no trash on the grass, everyone reuses their stainless steel cups, water is abundant and free and modern art replaces billboards for Vodka brands. The festival attracts a crowd of young and old alike and I didn’t see anyone spew on themselves the entire weekend. You’re in Walsh’s backyard after all. You have to be nice.
Guardian Australia review of Mofo 2017
“Bloody hell,” I say as we round a corner at Faux Mo to see a wheelie bin tipped against a wall. “Those mad geniuses. What isn’t art around here?”
Broadsheet review of Mofo 2016