THE 2011 MONA FOMA festival will show people around the globe that Tasmania can produce world-class cultural events, Arts Minister David O’Byrne said yesterday.

Helping launch MONA FOMA on Hobart’s Salamanca lawns, Mr O’Byrne said: “This will be a magnificent event for Tasmania, it showcases what we’re all about in terms of arts and culture.

“It’s really important for how Tasmania presents itself to the rest of the world and the rest of the nation we are now a vibrant, progressive community that can produce things of international significance.” The arts, tourism and the economy would benefit.

Mr O’Byrne, who was himself the singer in the rock bands Impressive Clergymen and Chainsaw Honey back in the early ’90s, said the Tasmanian Government’s financial contribution to the festival would in fact help boost the state’s economy. “The State Government is putting in $350,000 per year, which is a small contribution in terms of the overall contribution that is already provided by the owners of MONA,” he said.

“We think it is an important investment not only in terms of arts and culture in Tasmania, but also in terms of tourism dollars and building the economy more broadly.”

The Hobart launch yesterday followed a national media launch in Sydney on Wednesday, which music curator Brian Ritchie said would help generate Australia-wide, and international interest.

“People are pretty ecstatic about what’s happening here in Tasmania,” he said.

“We do have the element of surprise, because people might not think that things like MONA FOMA would be happening in Tasmania.”

See today’s Mercury for you special four-page MONA FOMA guide.


Mona’s Opening Highlights, online HERE