After a decade delighting culture vultures around the world, Hobart’s winter arts festival, Dark Mofo, is taking a one-year hiatus in 2024. The festival’s new artistic director, Chris Twite, said this “period of renewal” would prepare Dark Mofo – which has been a major tourist drawcard for the Tasmanian capital since its launch in 2013 – for a full return in 2025.
Disappointing as this may be, all is not lost, with two of the fest’s annual staples (or “rituals” as Dark Mofo organisers call them) still scheduled to take place next winter. The Nude Solstice Swim, which coincides with the southern hemisphere’s longest night, has achieved cult status, with as many as 2,000+ swimmers donning red swimming caps (and nothing else) as they wade into the icy waters of the River Derwent. The Winter Feast, which draws together the best food, beer, wine and spirits Tasmania has to offer, is another popular event that will still take place. In previous years, more than 85 stall holders have been part of the eight-night pop-up food festival, heroing local produce. Keep your ear to the ground – official dates for 2024 are on their way.
Taking the baton from founding artistic director Leigh Carmichael, who stepped down from the role after this year’s event, Twite said the decision to call off 2024’s Dark Mofo was made to ensure the fest’s longevity. “Whilst it’s a tough decision, it allows us the time to ensure we have a festival for another decade of darkness,” he said. “It allows us to face, head-on, rising costs and changing conditions to ensure the future for a full return in 2025.”