Hobart's going to give Sydney Festival a run for its money come January, as it's taken over by over 200 artists for the Museum of Old and New Art's annual arts and music festival MONA FOMA aka MOFO.
You could argue about what the biggest deal of the line-up is, but let's just agree that Peaches Christ Superstar is going to be hard to beat, since it will involve the transgressive electro rocker performing Andrew Lloyd Webber's shlocktastic Biblical blockbuster – which she has described as "prog-rock extravaganza" – all nine main roles, transposed for piano by frequent collaborator Chilly Gonzales.
Other international biggies include tētēma (the musical project of Faith No More frontman Mike Patton and Australian composer/pianist Anthony Pateras) performing live for the first time as part of the Weekend at Walshy’s festival line-up; German techno and ambient electronica producer Pantha du Prince; and Puscifer – TOOL and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan's hybrid comedy-revue-meets-rock-concert-meets-variety-show.
Locals we're excited about include Regurgitator reimagining The Velvet Underground's debut album; Rainbow Chan; and stone cold legend of Australian country and folk music, Kev Carmody.
Of course, as with every MONA event, there's plenty of excellent and weird shit from people you've never heard of – for instance, an "avant garde performance opera collective" from Amsterdam performing a new work that fuses Byzantine Greek, Jewish and Turkish traditional music, with the title Before the Flame Goes Out, Memorial to the Jewish Martyrs of Ioannina, Greece (Dedicated to those whose names are remembered by the few).
Even more esoteric, perhaps, is CellF, a synth made by Perth-based artist Guy Ben-Ary using his own biological matter...Working with scientists and engineers, Ben-Ary used cells harvested from his arm to create an 'external brain' of neural stem cells, to which he connected the parts of an analogue synthesizer...
There's also a pretty dense line-up of visual art, including MONA's forthcoming visual thinkpiece/show On the Origin of Art, featuring 234 objects from 35 countries, on loan from 58 institutions.
MOFO runs from January 18-22. Check out the full line-up here.