To say that MONA has completely transformed Tasmania from both an economic and cultural standpoint is probably the understatement of the century.

David Walsh‘s stupidly ambitious (and privately funded) museum and arts movement has taken over Hobart, taking it from a city that once had tiny punk gigs in Salamanca Place shutdown by two phonecalls from bourgeois fucks in Battery Point who insisted on bone silence at all times, to a town that now willingly had speakers strapped to strategic public places that blared out cannoning siren songs at dawn and dusk for nearly two weeks straight.

When a thing is that successful, expansion is an inevitability. And while the south of the state has been booming as a result of Walsh’s (estimated, so far) $300million investment, the north of the state is yet to feel the kiss of the boom’s lips.

That’ll all change though, with Walsh today not only announcing the planned construction of a seriously enormous hotel at the OG MONA site, but that he’s officially putting one of his more beloved festivals into a moving van and shipping it two-and-a-half hours up the road.

MONA FOMA – Walsh’s summer music and arts festival – will be shifted up to its new permanent home of  Launceston in the state’s north. The festival, which Walsh founded back in 2009 in collaboration with friend and Violent Femmes frontman Brian Ritchie, has achieved what it aimed to in Hobart and is now embarking on a new journey in order to tackle new challenges in the state.

“Mona Foma’s philosophy has always been to bring variety and depth of contemporary traditional arts practices to the general public. The festival’s original 10 year plan — to change the culture in Hobart — has come to fruition ahead of schedule.”

“We’d like to embark upon a new creative journey — to relocate to Launceston in search of new challenges, new collaborations, fresh partnerships and novel creative models. We want to make it bigger, better, more creative, more diverse and more famous — and by famous, we mean infamous.”

Launceston will now play host to the summer festival, while Hobart retains the hugely popular winter edition DARK MOFO.

Additionally, Walsh unveiled plans for the enormous, 172-room Hotel at MONA or HOMO, an imposing-looking bolt-constructed building that will jut out from the museum’s Berridale site over the waters of the Derwent River.

The hotel is expected to take three years to construct, creating 300 jobs during the building phase and an additional 120 jobs once the hotel opens for business. The site will feature a spa treatment centre, library, conference and auditorium centre, as well as a concert stage and a curated lawn area.

The excavation of the site is reportedly enormous, with Walsh detailing his plans earlier today.

“It’s very simple really — we like building stuff. So far it has gone pretty well for us, and hopefully also for our communities. This time, some may think it’s gotten a little out of hand. The excavation alone is more than four times the size of that for the museum.”

Both today’s announcements – the hotel and the moved festival – represent extremely exciting news for a state that has been utterly revitalised from top to bottom thanks to one weirdo maths genius gambler and his penchant for incredibly fucked up art.

It’s a bold new age for Tasmania, and spreading the love outside of Hobart can only bring good things for the best state in the country.

Source: The Australian.

Photo: Twitter.