Australians love a good music festival, and while there’s been a blotted history of troubled events in the last twelve months (chiefly the controversial financial fallout from the Peats Ridge Festival collapse), 2013 has seen a number of new events springin up on the music festival calendar to great success.

From Live Nation’s entry into the festival market, tapping hip-hop superstar Nas to curate the inaugural Movement Festival, which goes head-to-head with Supafest this April, to the strange saga of the inaugural Stone Music Festival, managing to rope Van Halen for an exclusive headline slot before absorbing Aerosmith into their lineup for an Arena rock superstar double-act for this Saturday 20th April.

Now there are three more names to add to the music festival milieu, with MONA FOMA announcing a sister winter event to its summer MOFO festival, a new boutique event for the NSW North Coast, and a group looking to hire 200 hectares of farm land for a music festival.

Following on from the growing success of Tasmania’s MONA FOMA Festival, which this past January coaxed the likes of David Byrne & St Vincent, Dirty Projectors, Death Grips, and Amanda Palmer to the Hobart-based Musuem’s 2013 festival, organisers have announced an exciting addition to the state’s winter festivities, as E Travel Blackboard points out

The newly birthed DARK MOFO is pegged as the “darker sister” to the Museum Of Old And New Art (MONA)’s summer MOFO series, and prospective festival-goers can expect a rich exhibition of arts, storytelling, and fitting for its winter tone – a large-scale ‘fire and light’ event held at the Salamanca night markets at Hobart’s Princes Wharf No 1.

Along with the arts installations, the musical lineup is being arranged by Violent Femme/current member of supergroup The Break/MONA curator Brian Ritchie, who – as he flaunted in our recent interview with the man – has earned MONA the ‘Best Contemporary Music Festival’ Award at the Helpmann Awards, which “means that after four editions we have received the respect of our peers and the public and it is fairly meteoric rise for a new festival,” Ritchie detailsThe newly birthed DARK MOFO is pegged as the “darker sister” to MONA’s summer MOFO series… the full, deliciously eclectic lineup [to] be revealed on April 19th.

As well as accolades, MONA also raised over $150,000 in a special charity concert for Tasmania’s bushfire victims in February, with a stellar lineup featuring Lemonhead Evan Dando jamming with Aussie guitarist Spencer P. Jones, Talking Head David Byrne & St Vincent, and a closing slot from Hoodoo Gurus.

Fans can expect the full, deliciously eclectic lineup for DARK MOFO to be revealed on April 19th, but Ritchie and festival organisers have confirmed Martha Wainwright as the first act for the festival’s inaugural bill, as part of the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter’s forthcoming Australian Tour this June. The winter DARK MOFO takes place the same month between the 13th to the 23rd of June at MONA and various venues across Hobart’s city and waterfront precinct.

Leaping across the bite to New South Wales, The Music recently confirmed that the brand new boutique music and arts festival, Sounds On Sunset, will take place at the Sundowner Tiona Tourist Park and Conference Centre on the state’s North Coast, gifting regional music lovers a musical weekend on the Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of May.

Fresh from dropping their Moving Out of Eden record, The Snowdroppers will headline Sounds On Sunset with their swampy blues-rock, joined on the lineup by a host of domestic bands, including Galleri, Mar Haze, Jimmy Bazil Project, Royal Chant, The Whores For Pinot, and Jame Bennett.

The bands will rock the Saturday half of the festival, while the Sunday is dedicated to winding down with arts, crafts and food stalls – tickets for the whole two-day event costing a bargain $25 (via OzTix), including entry to camping on-site, while kids under 12 get free entry.

Finally as Weekly Times Now reports, a collective group called Yellow Sunshine are looking to launch a new three-day music festival, to an exclusive crowd of 4,000, and is scouting regional areas to hire a reported 200 hectares or more of farm land for their inaugural event. Brand new boutique music and arts festival, Sounds On Sunset, will take place at the Sundowner Tiona Tourist Park and Conference Centre on the state’s North Coast

Project consultant David Rogers tells the paper that organisers need two weeks access to the farmland for festival preparation, putting the call out to land holders for a rental cheque for property, valued at $20,000, adding the only damage would be the stamping of a few thousand revellers dancing.

“They’re basically young hippies and into the environment so we don’t expect any trouble,” a company spokesman tells Weekly Times Now.

It’s unclear if the Yellow Sunshine mentioned in the article is the same group that put together the ‘People Gathering’ festival in Melbourne’s Brunswick, at the CERES food, environment, and community centre in December 2011 with a lineup of artists and DJs playing electronic genres like dubstep, psytrance, and techno. The Yellow Sunshine group have been sporadically promoting DJ and electronic tours so its a possible match.

The number of new music festivals that are springing up in 2013 follows what was a very tough twelve months for the market, with many falling over in 2012, either through lack of organisation and infrastructure, or over-reaching ambitions. Including charity event One Great Night On Earth quietly folding, the dissolution of the Kangaroo Island Surf and Music Festival after blowing $500,000, the cancellation of Perth’s On The Bright SideVictoria’s Castle Music Festival missing out on council permits, Tasmania’s Soundscape Festival quietly exiting the sceneRaggamuffin calling it a day, and NSW’s Central Coast Coaster Festival coming apart.

Then of course there was the debacle surrounding the Peats Ridge Music Festival involving the collapse of the New Year’s event, artists and crew missing out on money, allegations of suspicious book-keeping, a change in receivership after a company coup, and the promoter seemingly skipping town.

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