The Brag Media
News April 5, 2024

Mona Foma Is Finished

Senior Journalist, B2B
Mona Foma Is Finished

Mona Foma, Tasmania’s eclectic, eccentric, world-class annual festival, is calling it a day.

Founder David Walsh explains the decision in an essay, posted Friday, April 5.

Launched back in 2009, the fest, lovingly known as Mofo, has “been magical, but the spell has worn off,” writes Walsh, owner and founder of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).

Walsh admits the most recent edition was “poorly attended,” but not the sole reason for its axing.

“Mona Foma took us around the world. But it ends here,” he explains. “Maybe the end started at Covid. Maybe it’s because the last festival was a poorly attended artistic triumph. But those aren’t the reasons I killed it.”

All good things come to an end. Mona Foma is one of those things.

“I know that we live for experience but, more and more, I seek permanence, a symbolic immortality,” he continues. “At Mona, I’m building this big thing, hopefully it’ll be a good thing, but it’s a costly thing. I’m addicted to building, and my addiction got out of hand. Some things have to go before I’m too far gone.”

Dark Mofo

As the sun sets on Mofo after 16 years, Walsh casts his memory back to the many highlights, including Peaches in 2023, Guy Ben-Ary in 2017. Gotye playing the ondioline. Robin Fox’s beacons. David Byrne and Philip Glass. Wire and Cale. The Saints and St. Vincent. Dresden Dolls and Dan Deacon. Sun Ra and Neneh Cherry. Kate Miller-Heidke and Vieux Farka Touré.

“Gratitude to all of you that came. And to those who didn’t, a silver lining: you’ll no longer suffer from FOMO for FOMA. And anyway, repetition is regimentation. And regimentation is ridiculous,” he continues.

“Greatest gratitude to those who helped put it together. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.”

Mona runs two festivals – Mona Foma in the summer, and Dark Mofo in winter. The latter has taken a year off but will return in 2025, a spokesperson tells The Music Network.

Full 2025 festival planning is “already underway,” and organisers are said to be running a reduced program around its Winter Feast in June, details to be announced April 15.

Mofo is the latest in a troubling list of festivals to fall over, among them Splendour in the Grass festival, whose 2024 edition was scrapped due to “unexpected events,” and, earlier, Groovin the Moo.

Read Walsh’s essay here


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