Winter Feast, the Nude Solstice Swim, Genesis Owusu, Marlon Williams: Dark Mofo's 2024 Gap Year Has Them All

The Mona Gala, a new exhibition, a multi-storey nightclub and late-night tunes are all happening in Hobart this winter, too.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 12, 2024

Much might be changing at the Museum of Old and New Art in 2024, including giving Dark Mofo a rest for the year and farewelling summer festival Mona Foma for good. But having a party in winter is still on the cards, as the Tasmanian venue confirmed a few months back. The lineup of events keeps growing, in fact, as part of what's now being dubbed a 'Dark Mofo presents' program.

On offer from Thursday, June 13–Sunday, June 23: Winter Feast, the Nude Solstice Swim, both Genesis Owusu and Marlon Williams playing live, the Mona Gala, a new exhibition, a multi-storey nightclub and late-night tunes that begin the next morning.

Rosie Hastie, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo 2022, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

"I know we said Dark Mofo would stay quiet, but winter wouldn't feel the same without the chance to feast and frolic during the long Tasmanian nights," said the fest's Artistic Director Chris Twite.

"As the chill of winter creeps in, I know we are already longing to feast, dance and swim together. So we're really excited to be able to present these beloved pillars of the festival this June for Tasmanians and all our dedicated Dark Mofo pilgrims."

Sam Stewart. Courtesy of Dark Mofo / DarkLab, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

If you're keen to eat your way around a huge midyear food festival on the Apple Isle, Winter Feast will be serving up plenty to tempt your tastebuds. Vaughan Mabee, the Executive Chef of New Zealand's Amisfield in Queenstown, is the the guest chef, teaming up with Mona's own Vince Trim. They'll hero unorthodox ingredients, such as Tasmanian deer and wallaby, wakame furikake, wattleseed and long-spined urchin, in an outdoor pavilion that'll be custom-built for the event.

The meats will be fire-roasted onsite, then sliced to order. For dessert, deer also proves pivotal via deer milk ice cream, a signature dessert from Mabee. You won't forget it — it comes shaped like antlers, served in a real deer skull, then topped with 'deer blood' caramel.

Courtesy of Vaughan Mabee and Dark Mofo / DarkLab, Nipaluna Hobart, Lutruwita Tasmania, Australia.

Also set to be at Winter Feast: 80 stallholders, spanning not only returning favourites, but also 25 new joints from around the state. Standout dishes to look out for include spit-roast pork buns, crispy-fried southern rock lobster sliders, neo-Nepalese goat curry, arancini filled with beef ragu and mozzarella, and mortadella cruller choux pastries, as well as milk and honey doughnuts, mulled wine and smoked beetroot vodka.

Yula (mutton bird) will also be back on the menu, while a Tasmanian sparkling wine bar is new for the year. Another change for 2024: making Winter Feast entry free on Sundays.

Dark Mofo/Rémi Chauvin. Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

If you're most excited about taking a swim sans clothes to celebrate the winter solstice, the Nude Solstice Swim at Long Beach will have a larger capacity than in the past.

Elsewhere, Owusu and Williams are each playing gigs at Odeon Theatre on successive nights; the Mona Gala will get everyone partying for the opening of exhibition Namedropping, which showcases 200-plus artistic works about status, perception and trying to look good for others; and Dark Mofo 2021's Night Shift is making a comeback so that you can hit the dance floor, get debauched and make the absolute most of the early hours.

Slow Burn, a brand-new event for 2024, is also about staying up late, only opening at midnight at Odeon Theatre's Mezz Bar. At the In the Hanging Garden precinct, Winter in the Garden will get DJs spinning tunes earlier, and also host food and drink pop-ups.

Courtesy of the artist.

Dark Mofo will return in 2025 as the full usual shebang, but better than ever — not that there's anything usual about the event.

"Dark Mofo has established itself as a beacon of artistic exploration and challenging ideas for a decade, immersing audiences in the depths of darkness and the heart of winter," said Twite earlier in 2024.

"This year, by taking a fallow year, we are taking a crucial step in ensuring that Dark Mofo continues to be a catalyst for artistic innovation, cultural dialogue, and shared experiences for many years to come."

Dark Mofo/Jesse Hunniford. Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Courtesy Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), Tasmania, Australia.

Dark Mofo/Jesse Hunniford, 2021. Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Rémi Chauvin. Courtesy of DarkLab, March 2023.

Jesse Hunniford. Courtesy of the artists and Mona, Tasmania, Australia

Dark Mofo Presents: Winter 2o24:

Thursday, June 13–Sunday, June 16 — Winter Feast week one
Thursday, June 13–Sunday, June 23 — Winter in the Garden
Friday, June 14 — The Mona Gala
Saturday, June 15 — Genesis Owusu
Saturday, June 15–Sunday, June 16 — Slow Burn
Saturday, June 15, 2024–Monday, April 21, 2025 — Namedropping exhibition
Sunday, June 16 — Marlon Williams
Thursday, June 20–Sunday, June 23 — Winter Feast week two
Friday, June 21 — Nude Solstice Swim
Friday, June 21–Saturday, June 22 — Night Shift

The Dark Mofo Presents lineup takes place at Mona from Thursday, June 13–Sunday, June 23, 2024. Head to the festival's website for further details, and for tickets on Tuesday, April 16 — from 10am for subscribers and 12pm for everyone else.

Top image: Rosie Hastie, 2022. Courtesy of Dark Mofo 2022.

Published on April 12, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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