Festival music to souls in winter

Thursday, July 5, 2018

WINTER in Launceston will be injected with a welcome dose of excitement thanks to a collaboration between the Launceston City Council and the Festival of Voices.

The festival, which has drawn strong crowds in Hobart since its inception 11 years ago, will this year treat the North to a three-day program.

While Festival of Voices chairman Damon Wise could not yet be drawn on the specifics of the performances, he promised top-quality acts for the July 14 to 16 events.

He said organisers looked forward to linking in with existing Northern events like Junction Arts Festival.

The Festival of Voices program will be released on May 6.

‘‘We are so excited,’’ Mr Wise said.

‘‘The first 10 years of FoV have been firmly focused on the South of the state, but now as we enter our second decade we welcome the opportunity to bring our celebration of remarkable voices into Launceston, and this program – in conjunction with the development of our East Coast program – reflects a greater engagement with the whole state.’’

The partnership was born of an amended notice of motion taken to the council by Alderman Simon Wood in February.

Alderman Wood said it was testament to the hard work of Festival of Voices organisers and council staff that a program had been established so quickly.

Mayor Albert van Zetten agreed that it was a coup for the city.

‘‘We need to get the public to support it over the years to see whether we can build on it,’’ he said.

Premier Will Hodgman labelled the announcement ‘‘great news’’.

The government will sponsor the event to the tune of $350,000 annually until 2017.

‘‘This increasingly popular event adds warmth and vibrancy in our winter time and has struck a chord with local, interstate and international visitors,’’ he said.

The Launceston festival will complement the inaugural Community Festival for Peace, which will run July 10 to 12, the Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival and Junction Arts Festival, scheduled for September 10 to 14.

Elements of the Festival of Voices will be taken to the East Coast from July 17 to 19.

Launceston Alderman Simon Wood, Mayor Albert van Zetten and Festival of Voices chairman Damon Wise announce the festival’s Northern road trip. The North will be treated to a three-day program. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

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