Counterflows: Tasmania

Mona Foma

It is really interesting being at other people’s festivals. Mona Foma is in the town of Launceston, Tasmania’s second city/town. It is small and beautifully located town on the Tamar river. When the European settlers/invaders came to Tasmania in around 1804 Launceston was also the first northern settlement. The festival very kindly offered me free access to everything. It’s amazing to see such a response from the people of Launceston. They are all out to support the festival. People from Melbourne also turn up on weekend flights. Musically it is a mash up of all sorts from big familiar names like Neneh Cherry, Mulatu Astatke and Julia Holter to Tasmania and Australian artists. Highlights for me are Japanese duo Group A, Dylan Sheridn’s mess-up of Satie’s vexation with assorted objects smashing and dripping and of course Madeleine and Tim’s pivot project. There was a certain calm brought about by six see-saws positioned perfectly next to the food stalls. One thing that surprised me was the enjoyable pop of Courtney Barnett Australia’s new wonder kid on the block. According to Maddie and Tim’s son Winnie she can often be found scoffing noodles in Lam Lam on Northcote’s high street.

One of the thing the festival does really well is integrate the goings on of the festival with the town. All around Launceston people are talking about it, with mini events popping up all over the place.

It’s all over by Monday morning and Maddie, Tim and I head off to Launceston Airport for our flight back to Melbourne.