Tasmanian Arts Festival Dark Mofo Is Returning This Winter and Has Announced Its 2021 Dates

It'll be shorter, but "a typically grim and gloomy affair".
Ben Hansen
February 19, 2021

Tasmania's sinister winter music and arts festival Dark Mofo has announced its return to Hobart this June. The festival was one of the first events to cancel its 2020 festivities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing a potential $5 million dollar loss that could jeopardise the future of the festival had it run and then been called off. Luckily, the organisers' foresight has paid off, with the festival preparing for a grand return in 2021.

Dark Mofo is set to run a condensed five-night festival from Wednesday, June 16–Tuesday, June 22. The reduced scope of the festival comes as a result of the Hobart City Council withdrawing its financial support, the cutting of sponsors and trepidation surrounding the potential for another cancellation. It's also the last year of the festival's five-year funding agreement with the State Government.

The festival decided to drop sponsors this year as organisers believed they were having a negative impact. "While we've appreciated the support from many high profile brands, we want to be able to pursue our own cultural agenda free from restraint and with a renewed commitment to the art," Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said in a statement.

While in previous years the festival has run over several weeks, Carmichael promises the "smaller and more intense" 2021 run to be "a typically grim and gloomy affair". The full program is due to be announced in early April.

Jesse Hunniford

Previous years' lineups have seen a fantastical combination of musical performances, performance art and large-scale installations come together. In 2019, the program featured the likes of artists Ai Weiwei and Mike Parr, American musician Sharon Van Etten and one of the world's largest glockenspiels. 2021's program can be expected too stay true to the Dark Mofo ethos with a likely increased concentration of local Australian artists due to current border closures.

Dark Mofo will run from Wednesday, June 16–Tuesday, June 22 in Hobart, Tasmania. The 2021 program is expected to be announced in early April.

Top Image: Lusy Productions

Published on February 19, 2021 by Ben Hansen
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