After a successful festival this year, Dark Mofo has been called off for 2024.
Dark Mofo is one of Tasmania’s biggest drawcards, attracting thousands of locals and visitors alike to the island state each year. However, the beloved festival will be taking a year off in 2024, allowing the team to work on a renewed vision for the future.
About Dark Mofo
Dark Mofo is one of Australia’s best winter festivals, having well and truly planted itself on Tasmania’s cultural calendar. The festival revels in the gloom and cold of winter, inviting locals and visitors to Hobart alike to celebrate the dark through art, food, music, fire, light and noise, all underpinned by the longest night of any Australian capital city.
Dork Mofo will be cancelled for 2024. (Image: Adam Gibson)
The main thread running through the interwoven program of Dark Mofo is the exploration of centuries-old rituals. Many of the events aim to investigate and uncover the links between ancient and contemporary mythology, humans and nature, religious and secular traditions, darkness and light, birth, death and renewal.
Why is Dark Mofo being cancelled?
The news of the cancellation has come as a shock to many Dark Mofo loyalists. However, it isn’t as terrible as it sounds. Although Dark Mofo will be absent from the 2024 calendar, it won’t be forever. The team behind the festival will be taking a well-deserved break to focus on a renewed vision and set the stage for a stronger and more sustainable festival in the future.
It’s part of a broader plan of changes being made by Tourism Tasmania, who are aiming to ensure that Tasmania stays top of mind for Aussies next winter. Increased investment in the state’s off-season program, with higher-reaching paid media channels and an expanded media plan, will help bolster Tasmanian winter events.
People from across Australia travel for Dark Mofo. (Image: Adam Gibson)
Tourism Tasmania will also be working with Events Tas to increase the awareness of the full winter events program, with an additional $1.8 million provided to Business Events Tasmania over the next three years, with an immediate focus on winter 2024.
“We understand Dark Mofo’s need for a smaller event in 2024 as they reshape the festival for the future, and we will continue to work closely with them on their plans when the full event returns in 2025,” says Premier and Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Jeremy Rockliff.
Centuries-old rituals are often explored at the festival. (Image: Lusy Productions)
According to the Dark Mofo website, 2023’s festivities left a lasting mark. However, it also exacted its toll, prompting the decision to pause, reflect and plan out a more sustainable future so people can enjoy Dark Mofo for many years.
What does the future hold for Dark Mofo?
Don’t fret, Dark Mofo won’t entirely disappear next year. Support from the Tasmanian Liberal Government has ensured two major pillars of the festival will continue next year, despite the cancellation of the overall program. Over two weekends, the ever-popular Winter Feast and the Nude Solstice Swim will return.
The Winter Feast is a Dark Mofo program highlight.
The two events are known program highlights, having particularly excited attendees since the conception of Dark Mofo 10 years ago. There will also be a new exhibition at MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart) as part of Dark Mofo’s tiny 2024 processions.
A new exhibition will open at MONA as part of Dark Mofo. (Image: Jesse Hunniford)
The Nude Solstice Swim is a celebration of the return of light after the longest night of the year. Courageous crowds take to the cold waters of the River Derwent at sunrise, and as the name suggests, bathing suits are nowhere to be seen. The Winter Feast is a major foodie event, bringing together the best of local food, beer and wine. Guest chefs, live music and an intoxicating atmosphere have kept people coming back year after year.
The Nude Solstice Swim is a cold dive into the River Derwent.
Further details for these events will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we can look forward to 2025, when Dark Mofo will shine through the darkness brighter than ever.