Tasmania’s celebrated music and arts festival Dark Mofo has cancelled its 2020 edition amidst coronavirus fears.
Festival founder David Walsh broke the bad news in a typically colourful statement. You can read it in full on the official website.
“We’re killing Dark Mofo for the year,” Walsh’s statement begins. “I know that will murder an already massacred tourism environment, but I feel like I have no choice (hint: that means I have a choice).”
The rationale boils down to this: “If a staff member contracted COVID-19 a week out from the festival, we’d have to cancel because the staff would need to self-isolate for two weeks, but we’d also have to pay all the artists.”
The worst case scenario outcome could lead the festival to lose up to $8 million. Walsh also predicts coronavirus panic would slow down 2020 ticket sales.
As Walsh concludes, “[The worst case scenario] would be proceeding with Dark Mofo and having it fail, and thus having it become the final Dark Mofo.”
Dark Mofo was scheduled to return to Hobart for 12 nights from 10-22 June. Bon Iver was the first confirmed artist for performances on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 June.
In 2019, the festival featured an all-star cast of boundary-pushing artists. The music lineup included FKA Twigs, Nicolas Jaar, Sharon Van Etten, Dirty Three and Jónsi of Sigur Rós.
The cancellation follows news that Qantas is cutting seats across its network due to coronavirus.
(Lead Image: The Winter Feast / Dark Mofo)