FORGET THE SINGLETS AND SOUTHERN CROSS TATTOO CROWD. THESE EVENTS ARE THE BEST WAY TO GET A DECENT LOCAL CULTURAL FIX.
WHAT: The annual summer event at Tasmania’s MONA always delivers a host of brilliant local and international acts. As well as a special performance by Canadian singer Peaches, this year’s festival of music and arts delivers two of heavy music’s biggest names – Faith No More singer Mike Patton, who fronts tētēma, and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, who’s performing with Puscifer. WHERE: Hobart, TAS WHEN: January 18-22 mofo.net.au
WHAT: This year’s impressive program covers visual arts, theatre, opera, film and more. But the highlight is Rufus Wainwright, set to perform a one-off concert on March 18. The show sees him present his debut opera Prima Donna, as well as selected works from Rufus Does Judy, Wainwright’s recreation of Judy Garland’s classic 1961 show at Carnegie Hall. It’s the only chance to see him in Australia, so get in fast. WHERE: Adelaide, SA. (Obviously.) WHEN: March 3-19 adelaidefestival.com.au
WHAT: A mixture of arts and music, the latest Sugar Mountain line-up is headlined by Blood Orange, responsible for one of 2016’s best albums, Freetown Sound. He’s joined by local and international acts, including British rapper Little Simz and Aussies Big Scary, Methyl Ethel and Jaala. Organisers are also bringing back Sensory, a restaurant that combines food, sound and visuals. WHERE: Melbourne, VIC WHEN: January 21 sugarmountainfestival.com
WHAT: After being saved from extinction when funding dried up last year, 2017 sees founder John Polson celebrate Tropfest’s 24th anniversary in Parramatta. Launched by heavy-hitters Sam Neill and George Miller back in August, all films must be under seven minutes and include a “signature item” to ensure they are created specifically for the festival – this year, keep an eye out for pineapples. WHERE: Sydney, NSW WHEN: February 11 tropfest.org.au