Dark Mofo, the midwinter festival held annually in Tasmania, has announced its killer lineup for their 2023 edition.
Featuring an impressive list of performers, including Thundercat, Ethel Cain, Sleaford Mods, Trentemøller, HEALTH, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Laurel Halo, King Woman, Drab Majesty, Eartheater, Witch and Molchat Doma, Dark Mofo is back baby, commemorating 10 years of darkness.
Marking the festival’s tenth iteration, Dark Mofo will run from June 8 to 22, showcasing a range of international acts across two huge weeks.
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Week one for music will see performances from visionary composer Max Richter (DEU), bass-playing extraordinaire Thundercat (USA), Witch (USA), Ethel Cain (USA), punk-rock icons Black Flag (USA), Drab Majesty (USA), Eartheater (USA), pioneering English electronic artists Squarepusher (GBR), Plaid (GBR), Deafheaven (USA), Zheani (AUS), Tasman Keith (AUS) and more.
Night Mass: Exstasia is the festival’s epic late-night event, this year bigger than ever, taking over three city blocks where artworks, performances, cocktail lounges, punk theatre, cinema cabarets, clubs and junkyard raves will create a sprawling metropolis. The packed program will be announced soon.
Throughout the second week, the music program will feature the likes of Trentemøller (DNK), King Woman (USA), Belarusian viral TikTok stars Molchat Doma (BLR), Drowning Horse (AUS), Extortion (AUS), Ironhawk (AUS), Caterina Barbieri presents Spirit Exit (ITA), Blackhaine (GBR), Amnesia Scanner & Freeka Tet: kaaos.ooo (DEU), Rainy Miller (GBR), Naarm/Melbourne post-punks RVG, and HEALTH (USA), while Hymns to the Dead returns with a brutal multi-band metal lineup, featuring Dødheimsgard (NOR), Uada (USA), Zuriaake (CHN), and Haunter (USA).
Borderlands also returns for week two, with three nights of electronic exploration featuring Carl Stone (USA/JPN), Rama Parwata (AUS/IDN), Lydian Dunbar (AUS), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) + Leah Singer (Contre Jour) (USA), Julia Reidy (AUS/DEU), Tujiko Noriko (FRA), Hiro Kone (USA), KMRU (KEN), and Hüma Utku (TUR).
With a packed two-week schedule of events, Dark Mofo 2023 venues include the Odeon Theatre, In The Hanging Garden, Altar, Dark Park, Federation Concert Hall, Princes Wharf 1, MAC2, the Goods Shed, MyState Bank Arena, the Baha’i Centre, Hobart Town Hall, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Good Grief Studios, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart Library, and Long Beach in Sandy Bay.
Week one of the festival will also feature an opening ceremony called The Gathering that celebrates First Nations artists, including BARKAA, Tasman Keith, dameeeela, DENNI, MARLON X RULLA, Uncle Dougie Mansell, Katarnya Maynard, and Rob Braslin.
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The festival’s theme this year is reflection, and Dark Mofo’s lineup aims to provide an immersive experience that encourages introspection. In addition to the music program, the festival will also feature art installations, food events, and a range of other performances that showcase the unique spirit of Tasmania.
Highlights include Silent Symphony, a large-scale art installation of kinetic light and sound instruments mimicking planetary orbit; the City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast; an installation featuring hundreds of jailbroken musical toys forming a tragic opera about consumption and materialism; and Giant Teddy, a new commission from EJ Son (AUS)—a giant Korean pop culture-inspired teddy bear with lasers for eyes and a camera feeding live surveillance to a separate space in Hobart.
Another highlight will be when Florentina Holzinger (AUT) presents the Australian exclusive performance of A Divine Comedy, a large-scale theatrical performance consisting of a cast of 17 female performers, over 2 hours. Motocross, woodchopping, nudity and bodily fluids will feature strongly at this performance, taking over MyState Bank Arena. Content warning: Nudity, live sex scenes, hazing and strobing effects, adult content.
Of course, there is also the Nude Solstice Swim which returns at sunrise on June 22, welcoming back the sun after the longest night, offering renewal and resurrection to the 2000 or so courageous participants.
Tickets for Dark Mofo are already on sale, and fans of music and the arts are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment. With such an impressive lineup, this year’s festival is sure to be a highlight of the Australian cultural calendar.
This year will be the final for visionary founder and Creative Director Leigh Carmichael at the helm, who is pulling out all the stops with exclusives, new artwork commissions, the return of Dark Park, Night Mass, and the festival’s debaucherous masquerade ball.
“We’re excited to announce our tenth Dark Mofo lineup today,” state’s the festival’s creative director, Leigh Carmichael. “The last few years have been challenging, and heavily impacted by Covid, so to finally be in a position to again release a full two-week festival program feels overwhelming.
“The tenth edition will include the return of Dark Park, a large-scale art program, eight nights of Winter Feast and a massive music program. Night Mass will be expanded to five nights and will be Dark Mofo’s wildest party in our ten year history. While visitors can expect old favourites, we also have a few new surprises to unfurl.
“This year’s festival will be a reflection of the past decade, and while much has changed, our desire to celebrate the longest nights and embrace winter in Tasmania hasn’t wavered. We can’t wait to light the fires again this June.”
Get spooky in Hobart from June 8 to 22. Find out more information by heading here.