Culture

6 Things We’re Psyched About Seeing At Dark Mofo This Year

It’s almost time to pull out the hooded cloaks, thermals and black eyeliner: Hobart’s Dark Mofo is right around the corner, and the city is fast gearing up for its beloved celebration of all things weird, wonderful, eclectic and extreme.

Held across the winter solstice, the festival has quickly become one of Hobart’s best-known and loved events, largely responsible for planting the city at the cutting edge of alternative art and culture in Australia.

We’re already counting down the days until Dark Mofo descends; from fire, blood and unexpected street art to boundary-pushing electronic music and ear-splitting black metal, to the Winter Feast and food stalls showing off the best Tasmanian cuisine has to offer, there’s absolutely nothing like Dark Mofo.

Here are the six events we’re most excited about:

The Winter Feast

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Winters in Tasmania are cold. Like really, really, really cold. And what’s the best way to warm yourself up? Gorging on indulgent food and drink to your heart’s content. Held in a former shipping warehouse on the beautiful Hobart waterfront, the Dark Mofo Winter Feast is a festival centrepiece, and has expanded this year to meet frenzied demands, running across seven nights, from June 9-11 and June 15-18.

The Winter Feast (which is free on the final night) is packed with hearty winter eats from the best of Tasmania’s culinary world, complete with performance artists wandering around and a haunting yet warm gothic aesthetic. It attracts thousands of people each night, offering up one of the most unique dining experiences you’ll ever have.


Xiu Xiu play the music of Twin Peaks

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Photo: xiu xiu

It’s often said that Tasmania is like an Australian Twin Peaks, what with its quaint small town vibe and the vaguely mystical nature to the area. Hailing from the US, experimental trio Xiu Xiu set themselves the task of reimagining the beloved show’s soundtrack last year, culminating in one of the more interesting albums of their extensive career.

Now, more than 25 years after the cult series finished airing, a long, long-awaited third season is about to arrive online. What better way to celebrate than bringing Xiu Xiu out to perform the soundtrack live?


The Nude Solstice Swim

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One of, if not the most notorious spectacle you’ll see at Dark Mofo. The Nude Solstice Swim is exactly what it sounds like: a skinny dip in the freezing River Derwent on the morning of the winter solstice, which occurs on June 21 this year. Hundreds of brave souls gather along the coast, strip down to their birthday suits, and fling themselves right into the Arctic water. It sounds crazy, and it is – but it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.


Ulver

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Now, Norwegian experimental industrial pop music is not for everyone, and Ulver may not be everyone’s cup of tea (though in the spirit of Dark Mofo, it’s worth trying out music you normally wouldn’t). However, when experimental metal meets the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), you know it’s going to be an utterly unique experience.

Ulver are set to perform two shows at Dark Mofo: one solo show of their new album The Assassination of Julius Caesar, and one with the TSO that will be a full rendition of their cinematic masterpiece and dark liturgical mass, Messe I.X-VI.X.


A.B. Original + Thelma Plum

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Dark Mofo’s known for being weird and obscure, but that’s not to say there’s nothing a little more, well, normal, on offer. To be fair, A.B. Original are anything but normal. The hip-hop duo of Briggs and Trials came together last year to release what, in this writer’s opinion, was the best Australian album of 2016, and perhaps the most important hip-hop record to ever come from Australia.

The album, Reclaim Australia, tackled every single issue facing the Indigenous population with unbridled aggression and sheer force. The pair have also quickly become known as one of the best live acts in the country. This is not to be missed, especially given they’ll be joined by Thelma Plum, who also features on the album.

Dark Mofo runs from June 8-21 and tickets are on sale now. Check out the complete music and art line-up, food, tickets, accomodation and more information at the official Dark Mofo website.

Qantas is a Major Supporting Partner of Dark Mofo.

(All images: Supplied by Dark Mofo)