Dark Mofo Celebrates a Decade of Darkness With an Epic 2023 Lineup

Whats on at Dark Mofo 2023.

Nipaluna/Hobart is gearing up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dark Mofo.

The award-winning and controversial music and arts festival that takes over the Apple Isle’s capital in the coldest month of the year is one of the hottest calendar dates for anyone who likes their art on the shadowy side.

Founded in 2013 by Leigh Carmichael and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) boss David Walsh, Dark Mofo is the antithesis to the summery MONA FOMA Festival. As such, it’s no stranger to controversy and has seen hospitalisations, public nudity, and numerous protests. In 2021, the festival attempted to host an artwork called Union Flag by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra. The work called for Indigenous people to donate their blood to soak a British Union flag in but was ultimately withdrawn after public backlash.

Carmichael announced last year that he would be stepping down as creative director of the festival, making 2023 his last showing. “It’s time for new energy and new ideas to move the festival forward,” he said at the time.

As for this year’s event, Carmichael has said that visitors can expect “old favourites” and “a few new surprises to unfurl.”

‘The 10th 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 10-year history,” he in a press release announcing the 2023 programme.

So, if you’re ready to sink your teeth into some truly twisted, mind-blowing creative experiences, here’s what Dark Mofo 2023 has to offer.

When Is Dark Mofo?

As always, Dark Mofo takes place over two weeks, culminating in a final celebration timed to coincide with the longest day of the year, the Winter Solstice.

The programme will run from Thursday 8 June to Thursday 22 June 2023.

“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,” Carmichael said.

Who Is on the Dark Mofo Lineup?

The Dark Mofo 2023 lineup is split across three themes: music, art and performance, and rituals.

Highlights for music for week one this year include a first nations gathering featuring BARKAA, Tasman Keith, dameeeela, DENNI, MARLON X RULLA, Uncle Dougie Mansell, Kartyana Maynard, Rob Braslin and more.

There is also the American contemporary jazz star Thundercat, the legendary US punk band Black Flag, UK punk reprobates Sleaford Mods, and cult UK electronic star Squarepusher.

Contemporary classical/electronic legend Max Richter will be keeping things interesting in week two, alongside Danish electronic contemporary Trentemøller.

The full lineup is below:

Adelaide Chamber Singers (AUS)
Alan Licht (DEU/USA)
Aleks Danko (AUS)
American Contem­porary Music Ensemble (USA)
Amnesia Scanner + Freeka Tet (DEU/FIN/USA)
Amos Gebhardt (AUS)
Amrita Hepi (AUS)
Archie Moore (AUS)

Betty Russ (AUS)
Bhenji Ra (AUS)
Bitumen (AUS)
Black Flag (USA)
Blackhaine (GBR)
Bo Ningen (GBR)
Brigita Ozolins (AUS)
Bruno Booth (AUS)

Carl Stone (USA/JPN)
Cassie Sullivan (AUS)
Caterina Barbieri (ITA)
Christl Berg (AUS/DEU)
Cigdem Aydemir (AUS)
Curtis Taylor

David Rosetzky (AUS)
Deafheaven (USA)
Dean Hurley (USA)
Dominic Thorpe (IRL)
Drab Majesty (USA)
Drowning Horse (AUS)
Dødheims­gard (NOR)

Eartheater (USA)
Effie Pryer (AUS)
Ethel Cain (USA)
Extortion (AUS)

Fiona Hall (AUS)
Florentina Holzinger (AUT)
Fulu Miziki (COD)

Georgia Morgan (AUS)

Haunter (USA)
Heather B. Swann (AUS)
Hiro Kone (USA)
Hüma Utku (TUR)

Ironhawk (AUS)

Jason Phu (AUS)
John Gerrard (IRL)
Julia Reidy (AUS/DEU)
Julie Gough (AUS)

KEN Kartanya + KARAI
Kate Geck (AUS)
Kate Marshall (AUS)
Keeley Forsyth (GBR)
Keith Giles (AUS)
Kid Pharaoh (AUS)
King Woman (USA)

Laurel Halo (USA)
Leah Singer (USA)
Lee Ranaldo (USA)
Loraine James (GBR)
Lydian Dunbar (AUS)
Léuli Eshrāghi (WSM/AUS)

Mahne Frame (AUS)
Marguerite Carson (AUS)
Mary Knights
Mary Scott (AUS)
Max Richter (GBR/DEU)
Michelle Browne (IRL)
Milan Milojevic (AUS)
Mish Meijers + Tricky Walsh (AUS)
Moktar (AUS)
Molchat Doma (BLR)

Nicholas Folland (AUS)
Nooriyah (GBR)

Pat Brassington (AUS)
Paul Zika (AUS)
Plaid (GBR)

Rainy Miller (GBR)
Rama Parwata (AUS/IDN)
Rat Bedlington (AUS)
Raymond Arnold + Rodney Croome (AUS)
Reece Aaron Nicolaou (AUS)
Ricky Maynard (AUS)
Rob Braslin

Sandra Johnston (IRL)
Shea Kirk (AUS)
Sleaford Mods (GBR)
Smug Anime Face (AUS)
Soda Jerk (AUS)
Square­pusher (GBR)
Sue Kneebone (AUS)

Tasman Keith
Thundercat (USA)
Tisna Sanjaya (IDN)
Tom Sloane (AUS)
Tomás Saraceno
Trente­møller (DNK)
Tujiko Noriko (FRA)

Uada (USA)
Ulrich Krieger (DEU/USA)
Uncle Dougie Mansell
United Visual Artists
Ursula Halpin (AUS/IRL)

Vanguard Consort (AUS)

Witch (USA)

Yhonnie Scarce (AUS)

Zheani (AUS)
Zindzi & The Zillionaires (AUS)
Zuriaake (CHN)

How Much Does Dark Mofo Cost?

With dozens of events, performances, and activities happening across the two weeks, there’s plenty to get excited about. Dark Mofo doesn’t offer a single-price festival pass so you’re going to have to buy tickets individually for the things you want to see. The real question then comes down to how much your budget can handle.

Fortunately, Dark Mofo also has a good selection of free events, although some require you to book a slot. This includes the famous Nude Solstice Swim, which sees hundreds of people take the icy plunge into the River Derwent as the sun comes up after the longest night of the year.

Otherwise, tickets start at $29 + booking fee and go right up to $249 for a nine-hour sleep session soundtracked by Max Richter and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble – although we’re not sure you’d actually want to sleep through that one.

Tickets for all of the ticketed events at Dark Mofo go on sale here from Wednesday, April 5 at 2pm AEST. Subscribers get access to early-release bookings though so it’s worth signing up if there’s something you just can’t afford to miss out on.

Related: The 14 Best Indigenous Artists and Activists You Need to Follow

Related: The Medium Is the Message: What Galleries Are Doing to Protect Artworks from Protestors

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