Celebrate all that is weird, wonderful and winter at Dark Mofo.

If we have one thing to say about Dark Mofo, it’s to expect the unexpected. And after the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has officially 'resurrected' in style. Think derelict industrial parks turned into vibrant installations, cosy winter feasts, eyebrow-raising art exhibitions and goosebump-worthy musical performances. From walking through mazes of lights to burning your biggest fears in an ogoh-ogoh (a huge demon-like sculpture from Balinese Hinduism) to eating delicious local food in an elaborate banqueting hall, Dark Mofo will turn up the heat on your Tassie winter adventure. 

What is Dark Mofo?

Dark Mofo is a winter solstice festival – the winter version of Mona Foma which takes place during summer – organised by the Museum of Old and New (MONA). In true MONA style (and you'll have a vague inkling if you've been to MONA), Dark Mofo is all about celebrating birth and death, darkness and light, and how ancient pagan and gothic traditions intertwine with the contemporary. This year, the festival will be "exploring ideas of rebirth, reincarnation, and new life." After a hiatus in 2020 and a program half its usual size in 2021, don't expect Dark Mofo to do anything by halves in 2022. 

Dark Mofo was created and funded by multi-millionaire, David Walsh, and the Hobart City Council in 2013. From humble beginnings, it was originally a small mid-winter celebration for locals that included a public feast, a few light installations and the iconic nude swim in the River Derwent. It has grown bigger, bolder and darker every year, and is now one of the most anticipated festivals in Australia. The festival showcases the work of local and international artists every year and the lineup continues to intrigue and surprise.

When is Dark Mofo 2022?

Dark Mofo 2022 will take place over two weeks from Wednesday 8 June to Wednesday 22 June. 

What do you do at Dark Mofo?

A better question would be what don’t you do at Dark Mofo? Some old favourites stick around every year like the nude swim, the Winter Feast and the ogah-ogah burning ceremony, but the program features new exhibitions, performances and musicians every year. Previous years have included riverboat rides where you listen to how your body would decay if you were lost at sea, funeral parties (AKA: “a gothic gala ball held in a funeral parlour”), and fun/slightly spooky adaptations of famous children’s stories. Dip your toes into the weird and wonderful, or dive straight in. All is welcome at Dark Mofo. 

Dark Mofo 2022 program

Some of the confirmed artists and musicians on the bill include:

  • Nils Frahm 
  • Bill Viola
  • Doug Aitken
  • Jeremy Shaw
  • Fiona Hall & AJ King
  • Robert Andrew
  • The Blue Rose Ball
  • Kim Gordon
  • Nils Frahm 
  • Chelsea Wolfe & Emma Ruth Rundle
  • Deafheaven
  • Lingua Ignota

You can check out the full 2022 program on Dark Mofo's website.

Highlights of Dark Mofo

Festival lights at Dark Mofo

Attend the Night Mass

With elaborate laser lighting, smoke machines and eccentric decor transforming Hobart's iconic Hanging Garden precinct, Night Mass isn't just a venue for Dark Mofo's headliners, it's an immersive dance party where you can escape the everyday and let your imagination run wild. The theme this year is transcendence, and going by previous years, let's just say the lineup will be (very) eclectic. From rappers to choirs to experimental DJs, Night Mass has it all.

The silhouette of a band playing on stage

Immerse yourself in the arts

Dark Mofo is one big creative playground and everything you see and do – from eating, drinking and walking down the street – is designed to stimulate your senses. The festival program features time-old favourites, new talent and international artists every year and the diverse range of music, installations and immersive events promise to get you wondering and pondering in a way you never have before

A winter feast banqueting table

Enjoy the Winter Feast

The Winter Feast is the heart of Dark Mofo where everyone gathers to eat, drink and be merry. As you walk into the huge marquee on Princes Wharf filled with hundreds of red lights, candles and long dining benches, it feels like stepping back in time to a mysterious pagan banqueting hall. Whether you fancy warming up around one of the outdoor fires with a mulled wine or sitting inside to chow down on some of Tasmania's most delicious produce, the Winter Feast is the place to be. 

People swimming in a river

Brave the cold and go for a dip

If there's one image that sticks in people's minds when they picture Dark Mofo, it's probably the solstice swim. But here's the thing: it's in the nude. If you dare to bare, you'll join hundreds of brave swimmers on the banks of the River Derwent for sunrise before running into the oh-so-cold water for a swim to celebrate the end of the longest day of the year. It's definitely one way to wake up! You’ll be greeted with fluffy dressing gowns and crackling fire pits to warm up when you get out.

Dark Mofo FAQs

Dark Mofo primarily takes place in Hobart, although there are sometimes installations, exhibitions and performances in other parts of Tassie, too. During Dark Mofo, Hobart becomes a sensory playground with art, music, food and other sensory delights in all corners of the city.

Hobart Airport is located 17 kilometres east of the CBD. A SkyBus service travels to and from the city but it costs about the same (or sometimes less) to catch a taxi or an Uber. Car rental desks are available at the airport and many companies also have an office in town. If you need a hire car, book early as prices rise substantially during peak travel periods when hire cars are in high demand.

Most places in Hobart are within easy walking distance. There are no trains, trams or public ferries but there are buses. If possible, you might like to avoid travelling around using public transport on Sundays as it can get tricky due to the reduced timetable. If you need a hire car, book early as prices rise substantially during peak travel periods when hire cars are in high demand. 

Hobart is a fairly casual place, although locals do tend to dress up if they are 'hitting the town' at night. Smart casual is the norm at most restaurants, aside from a few fancier places like Landscape Restaurant & Grill where people tend to dress up more. It's chilly in Hobart in June, so bring plenty of warm layers like jeans, jumpers and long-sleeved tops. You'll also need a jacket, wet weather gear, sunscreen (yup, the Australian sun is strong even in winter!) and a beanie. 

Tickets for Dark Mofo are different for each event. For events like the Winter Feast, it’ll cost $10-20 at the door, while concerts and bands might range from $50 to $120+. Some events are free, so make sure you check the full Dark Mofo program for more information on events and pricing.

Dark Mofo is a two-week winter festival. This year, it will take place from 8-22 June 2022.

Despite the dark and seemingly debaucherous nature of Dark Mofo, many events are family-friendly. The streets along Salamanca’s waterfront are lit up with bright lights, many of the installations are suitable for people of all ages and the Winter Feast is the perfect place to rug up around crackling fires and eat delicious local food with the whole family.

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