Air Mofo & A Nightclub Life Drawing Class: Here's What Went Down Day One Of Mona Foma 2019

19 January 2019 | 10:58 am | Jessica Dale

"The entertainment doesn’t stop there though, with one passenger opting to serenade the rest of the flight with an a capella version of Bonnie Tyler’s 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart', though we’re pretty confident that this wasn’t scheduled or rehearsed..."

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Our Mona Foma trip starts at the Qantas Lounge where we’ve been told to meet prior to the maiden Air Mofo flight, which was to be filled with passengers who won a spot for themselves and five friends to attend the festival. We’re met with a sea of AM yellow shirts, jazzed up in various ways including one punter who’s opted to wear theirs as a cape to accompany their full body gold spandex jumpsuit.

We’re greeted aboard the flight by hostesses with what we can only assume is not regulation hair height and take our seats. Of course, Air Mofo’s a cool flight, not a regular flight and we’re met with that signature Mofo flare straight away, the seat cards informing us of how to make the most of our time in Launceston (it’s the festival’s first time in the city after establishing itself in Hobart), including the correct way to pronounce the city’s name (apparently it’s to be said ‘Lon-ceston’ and never ‘In-ceston) and that you should avoid petting the monkeys that famously live at City Park due to an STD risk (they also advise the same of our fellow passengers).

We depart Melbourne and it all seems pretty standard until the drink service rolls out and our host Rochelle who welcomes us with an opera and the life stories of a few passengers on the flight. All is then relatively quiet until a ‘space monster’ comes dancing and twerking their way through the cabin; a face full of tulle and a bodysuit of glitter. The entertainment doesn’t stop there though, with one passenger opting to serenade the rest of the flight with an a capella version of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart, though we’re pretty confident that this wasn’t scheduled or rehearsed...

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We disembark what was surely the rowdiest flight heading to Launceston this week and are personally welcomed to the city by Mona Foma Artistic Director (and Violent Femmes bassist) Brian Ritchie, Launceston Deputy Mayor Danny Gibson, a glass of some of Tassie’s finest sparkling rose and freshly shucked oysters. We collect our bags and a bottle of the newly launched Launnie Longneck Lager and it’s away we go to start our official Mona Foma stint.

Brian Ritchie welcoming Air Mofo passengers

A shucking good time was had by all...

The Inversesk Precinct is certainly buzzing when we arrive, with Black Jesus Experience taking to the stage not long after. There’s artificially intelligent seesaws that hold conversation while you bounce, an incredible offering of Tassie food and drink and a whole lot of blue onesies, thanks to the Adele Varcoe & Self-Assembly Onesie World 2.0 workshop, which encourages punters to customise their own.

The Inversesk Precinct

There’s a lot to be seen, with performances everywhere (including a group in a mass game of Follow The Leader), gallery spaces and just Mofos having a great time, but what’s not to be seen anywhere is litter. Not one scrunched plastic cup, napkin or plate on the ground, thanks to the festival’s totally reusable tableware and encouraging everyone to put them in one of six differently labelled bins to be washed and reused. Kudos to you, Mona Foma!

Follow The Leader

Encouraging patrons to recycle and reuse

Among the evening’s musical performances are the US’ Julia Holter, who has people waiting patiently for her to begin what is to be a very special set, and Oneohtrix Point Never, who’s Myriad set promised “a grand, four-part performance of medieval folk, electronic dance music, R&B, and science fiction-esque visual” and certainly delivered it, taking the crowd from a floaty dreamscape to crashing synth waves and back again pretty seamlessly.

The Inversesk Precinct activities wrap up for the day and it’s time to head to the first of two Faux Mo parties for the weekend. We’re welcomed in by bagpipe players, standing high above the crowd on a fire escape between two buildings. They finish playing and we enter the smoke-filled nightclub for the evening’s performances, which includes a life-drawing class complete with a dachshund sitting on their owner’s lap while a DJ plays behind them. More power to you pup, and to you Launnie, day one has been great.

One of the many Faux Mo performances for the evening