Imagine if you developed a gambling system that over time won you hundreds of millions of dollars. What would you do?  Throw a huge party for everyone to enjoy, build an empire or spend all your cash on expensive art?


Well in David Walsh’s case, all of the above but with one difference, he not only throws one huge party, he throws two! MOFO in the summer and ‘DARK MOFO’ in winter.


This year, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) was kind enough to invite Backpacker Tas to join in on the fun of the MOFO festivities, and we have to say it was quite possibly the best 4 days of our life.


The MOFO festival is held in Hobart and is put on by the generous folks from MONA. It utilises a mixture of venues all over Hobart.  The focus is squarely put onto music and art, which can only be fairly described as being far from the art of the ‘Mona Lisa’ and the music commonly found in the top 40 mega mix. MOFO boasts obscure artists from all over the world, placing the global spotlight right over beautiful Hobart.



Some of the artists include


Beijing artist Li Binyuan who performs a captivating performance where he single handily smashed the living daylights out of 250 hammers over the course of one hour.
See him work his magic here!


New York experimental rock band The Swans who rock out with climaxing noise and sound.




All the way from Syria, Omar Souleyman, which was nothing we have ever heard before, but we loved it. He performs traditional Middle Eastern songs in Kurdish and Arabic while maintaining zero emotion and a few hand gestures thrown in.





Another highlight was Amanda Palmer who we loved before we even heard her music; she’s an avid ambassador for Couch Surfing and has the true backpacking spirit  (you must watch her TED talk), not to mention she has a great song about her Map of Tassie!





Another outstanding performance was Osaka punk rock band Shonen Knife; I’ve never seen a band to look so happy for the entire performance, they sing about meowing cats and they also do amazing Ramones covers.





The act that had the best crowd involvement was Dan Deacon from New York. Imagine 2,000 people running around in an out of control tornado, or the whole crowd doing synchronized dancing to his great electronic beats.



This is such a small sample of the almost 100 performers who performed at MOFO.


When the sun goes down the doors open up to a massive party called FAUX MO, this is definitely the highlight for anyone who likes to party or just have a crazy experience. It’s held in a beautiful old Odeon theatre in the CBD of Hobart. Once you enter you’re presented with a choice of which twisted rabbit hole to go down, with over 10 completely insane and different rooms you find yourself on an adventure of wonder and discovery. From the main theatre hall where the headline performers play, to an exuberant crowd, to a small prohibition style bar playing old school vinyl, the vibe is ever changing. Other rooms include a tron-style laser lit night club, an electronic set through a vagina, a laneway party with mc’s rapping about permaculture, Jazz bars and so much more. The acts vary dramatically and each one is as wild and entertaining as the next. Before you realise it, the sun is up and it’s time to go home.



If you’re in Tasmania, Australia or even the WORLD in January this is an event larger than life; it’s so extravagant that David Walsh actually loses money throwing the event. It’s not to be missed and it should make it on your bucket list of things to do before you die.






Will Hoffmann



Will Hoffmann – Launceston Tasmania