SCHOOL OF SOCIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA
EXPLORING A MONA EFFECT: EXPERIENCES AND IMPACTS FROM THE RITUAL SPACE OF A MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL.
Since opening in January 2011, Tasmanian’s MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) has had significant impacts. This thesis contributes to a research field interested in understanding the potential of MONA to improve social and cultural life, attract tourists, and consolidate earnings from art related tourism (a Bilbao Effect). This thesis looks specifically at the impact of Dark MOFO, a subsidiary music and arts festival of MONA.
Dark MOFO provides a useful case study of a potential Bilbao Effect as it aimed to create a cultural (and economic) event for Tasmania’s otherwise quiet winter season. This project utilises ethnographic, visual and survey data to assess the impacts of MONA’s distinctive and innovative approach outside the museum. This research finds evidence of a Bilbao Effect through increases in tourist flows and spending, alongside enhanced cultural activity in the city that seems certain to become a sustainable part of the social calendar.