10 Fun & Weird Things You Can Do At Dark Mofo This Year
Your guide to getting dark and arty this winter.
Ready to get weird, dark and wonderful? Tasmania’s premier winter festival Dark Mofo is gearing up for another round of killer music, food and art. Running for two weeks from June 10, they’re billing this year’s event as a certified “maelstrom of cultural pandemonium” and we want in. Mona will be hosting a slew of events around Hobart, each as vague and mysterious as the next. Here’s ten highlights of the eclectic lineup, decoded and demystified.
#1 Dark Mofo Winter Feast
For fans of: Deliciously decadent food, #foodstagrams, Hobart’s harbour views
The hugely popular Winter Feast is returning for five whole nights of food (yes!) from June 15. This communal banquet will this year focus on flame-grilled street foods and will be spreading out over Prices Warf Shed No. 1, Castray Esplanade and the Salamanca Lawns. Oh and just FYI, the final night (Sunday June 19) is free.
#2 Asylum, by Mike Parr
For fans of: Spookiness, ghost tours and performance art
Aussie performance artist Mike Parr will bring his one-off installation ‘Asylum’ to Willow Court in the Derwent Valley on Thursday June 10 to kick of the festival in a slightly sinister style. For those new to Hobart, Willow Court (which is about a 30 minute drive north of the city) once laid claim to a historic ‘mental institution’ that dated back to 1827. Parr has created a series of works that will occupy different buildings of the old asylum, and will feature videos, sounds, photographs, objects and an interactive piece that will be revealed on the night.
There’ll also be an exclusive 72-hour performance by Parr called ‘Entry By Mirror Only’ which will see the artist draw for three days straight, non-stop, as much as possible. The site will be open for 24 hours during this time, and entry price is a mirror of any kind, which you’ll leave behind.
#3 ZHU, Lubomyr Melnyk & Savages
For fans of: All night dance parties, super fast pianists and incendiary rock’n’roll
Dark Mofo’s musical contingent is bigger and better than ever this year. Mysterious US electronic producer ZHU will be kicking off the opening night party on Friday June 10 with a mix of electronica, deep house and possibly a whole bunch of glow sticks.
Ukranian musician Lubomyr Melnyk, billed as the fastest concert pianist in the world, is set to give his only Australian performance at the Federation Concert Hall on June 19.
Similarly, British punk-rock band Savages are bringing their lust for life to the Odeon Theatre to Saturday June 18 for an evening of pure fire. Do not miss this.
#4 Dark Park
For fans of: The outdoors, Mona, art in general
Dark Mofo’s public art playground, Dark Park, is returning to Macquarie Point on Hobart’s docks with a huge collection of works by international and local artists. These immersive and interactive installations will run nightly throughout the festival, from 5pm to 10pm, and will surely get you out of your comfort zone. Keep an eye out for Patrick Hall’s newest exhibition (he’s the genius behind the ‘I love you’ drawers currently on display at Mona) called ‘The Cloud’, which sees hundreds of illuminated faces displayed in hanging bottles that seep into a fresh pool of water below. Intense.
#5 The Funeral Party
For fans of: Morbidity, partying, costumes
The Funeral Party, held on June 16, bills itself as “a gothic gala costume ball held in a funeral parlour”. So ~art~, so Mona, so awesome; this will be one for the ages.
#6 Hymns to the Dead
For fans of: Black metal, heavy metal, death metal and every other genre in between
Hymns to the Dead is a collection of the “darkest” music Dark Mofo could find. Prague rockers Cult of Fire, Swedish prog-black metal Tribulation, Greek death metal Dead Congregation and Melbourne’s doom lords Inverlock will all be hitting the stage for a night of killer tunes and incendiary stage presence. Black clothing recommended.
For fans of: Pirates, shipwrecks and…data?
‘Divination’ by Nancy Mauro-Flude is the pirate trip of your dreams. A ’30s era DaDa cabaret meets a cyberpunk Internet cafe, lead by the Pyrate Queen and her crew who will be conducting a conversation with pirate girl chatbots in a sea of data surrounding a shipwreck. If you’re a little confused, no one’s blaming you. You’ll just have to see it to understand it. The maiden voyage will be on Friday June 10 at 7pm and continues until Sunday June 19. Be sure to register in advance here.
For fans of: Dancing and debauchery
This list just wouldn’t be complete without Dark Mofo’s premier after-hours arty party, Blacklist. Taking over the huge Hobart City Hall precinct, artists have yet to be announced, but this shindig always delivers. Expect out-of-the-box weirdness, over-the-top extravagance and dancing ’til dawn.
#9 supersymmetry [experience]
For fans of: Interactive art, science being explained through art
A new sensory installation by Ryoji Ikeda will hit Mona’s gallery space this winter. The piece references an extension of space-time symmetry that’s focused on two classes of elementary particles – boson and fermion – to help explain why particles have mass. It opens on Saturday June 11 from 5pm and is set to blow your socks off.
#10 Nude Solstice Swim
For fans of: Ice cold water, shedding your inhibitions and your dignity
Dark Mofo’s annual Nude Solstice Swim takes place on the morning of the shortest day of the year (Tuesday June 21) and sees a bunch of brave folk shedding their inhibitions (and clothing) for a icy cold swim at Long Beach in Sandy Bay. The ritual is enacted as the sun rises – and know this: this is not a spectator sport, it’s a right of passage.
And we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s on offer at this year’s Dark Mofo. Click here for a full look at the lineup.
(Lead image: Dark Mofo/Facebook)
Check out Qantas flights to Hobart here, or use the fare finder below.