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... QVMAG Courtyard, 2 Invermay Road, Launceston

From giant inflatable musical balls and a sea of onesies, to acoustic sewing machines, special performances by Violent Femmes and Mali’s answer to Tina Turner, Launceston’s inaugural Block Party will deliver an aural banquet moving between the classical and contemporary, the conventional and the unusual.

To kick off the festival, Mofo is heading to the jewel of the north, and throwing a massive free block party for thousands of Launcestonians (plus their grandparents and kiddlywinks) on Sunday 14 January at the QVMAG Courtyard. There’ll be music and art galore, drinks aplenty and a proper spread by Mona’s Heavy Metal Kitchen and a heap of local producers.

For those who don’t know what to wear – no problem, we’ve got it covered when artist and fashion designer Adele Varcoe transforms the courtyard into a romper paradise. Backed by a cacophony of musical sewing machines sampled and amplified by electro-acoustic composer Dylan Sheridan and spontaneous dance performances by Stompin, 1,000 onesies in various sizes (from baby through to adult) made by the local community will be given away for free during the Block Party. We’re calling for all Launcestonians, interlopers and wannabe performers to wear them with pride. First in, best dressed.

Milwaukee’s legendary punk rockers Violent Femmes will head up the highway to perform for one night only; described as “the most uncompromising, unapologetic, and important band in Australia,” indigenous punk lyrical activists Dispossessed will destroy the status quo – and they’re not afraid to speak their minds; Mali’s answer to Tina Turner Amy Sacko and maestro of the ngoni Bassekou Kouyate will combine the traditional sounds of African tribal rhythms with psychedelic rock and blues; and Evan Carydakis Quartet will present a tribute John Coltrane’s seminal album A Love Supreme.

Behold the Sound Bubble, a high tech cube / blow-up stage where violinist Anna McMichael will improvise to the sound design of composer Damian Barbeler; a cross between a giant UFO and an inflatable beach ball, Jon Rose’s Interactive Sonic Ball will be set loose amongst the crowds – chock-a-block full of technology it will turn into a gigantic interactive musical instrument; laser beam, light, sound and colour from audio visual whizz Robin Fox will need to be seen to be believed.

Mary Shannon (Bansheeland) with her solo project Disrepute, will experiment with electronic beats, sad rock, multi-layered vocals, bathroom recordings and washy guitars; Tasmanian gothic grit from Launceston activist Emma Anglesey, joined onstage by musician Yyan Ng; and local jazz group, Jason Whatley Quintet are bringing the band back together just for the Block Party; and an exhibition by Tasmanian artists in partnership with University of Tasmania Collection exploring the desire for mobility and speed.

Other highlights over the mini Mofo weekend include Gotye paying tribute to French electro-pop maestro Jean-Jacques Perrey; instrumental group Godspeed You! Black Emperor, accompanying The Holy Body Tattoo dance ensemble, both from Canada; and Seven, an ongoing project of Sawtooth ARI featuring works in seven art spaces by seven pairs of artists.

To register entry: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/queoouqghvhvnoo/AABdOCSzMeep9Sxch5Wfcv2aa?dl=0