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New festivals set for stronger 2014

Wednesday 11 December 2013

New festivals set for stronger 2014

Three festivals, which launched this year look set for a stronger showing in 2014 after impressive debuts.

Yarra Council has voted to increase its funding for Leaps and Bounds from $35,000 to $80,000. It was impressed that the first event, in July, drew 80,000 to 293 events in 34 venues.

Jon Perring (The Tote), Mary Mihelakos (Yah Yahs) and Justin Rudge (The Standard Hotel) set it up to focus on the dynamic music scenes of Collingwood and Fitzroy. Perring told us the extra funding was most welcome.

“This year we were under-funded for what we were trying to do,” he explained. “The first festival was about getting the concept up, but it was a massive struggle.” 

The extra money means more initiatives, higher pay for the artists and the capacity to run the festival on a more “professional” basis, he said. Being negotiated for 2014 are a Leap and Bounds beer, more PBS FM live to airs, tours through studios, and greater inclusion of migrant, refugee and senior citizen members of the community.

After drawing a capacity 10,000, Queensland’s Big Pineapple Music returns next May with a more eclectic bill. Bliss N Eso and The Living End headline the first announcement of 24 acts, with electronic acts unveiled next month. There’ll be 35 acts, extreme sports and 2500 camping sites.

Hobart’s Dark Mofo festival will expand to include Launceston next year, with the Tasmanian Government announcing extra $200,000 funding. The inaugural event was an instant success, attracting 126,000 visitors and interstate tourists spending $6 million during their stay. 

Dark Mofo will go for a mix of arts and sports, with premier Lara Giddings pointing out, “Some people might see that as a clash of cultures. But there are people in the community, including me, who love both.”

Dark Mofo opens in Hobart to coincide with the winter solstice on June 21 and then heads to Launceston the following week, coinciding with the Gold Coast Suns-Hawthorn AFL match at near-by Aurora Stadium on June 28.

- Christie Eliezer