Dark Mofo, the world’s most extraordinary festival, returns to Hobart – the city on the edge of the world – in the middle of the deepest darkest winter from 7 through to 24 June. The Festival is a series of events, concerts, light shows and installations that deliberately encompasses the weird, the controversial, the obscure and the dark, celebrating the winter solstice in a bacchanalian fashion that ends midwinter in the famous nude dawn swim in the freezing Derwent River.
This year sees the return of one of my favourite acts from last year’s Festival, Einstürzende Neubauten, who requested to come back this year to play their album ‘Lament’ in full – a requiem for the outbreak of World War 1 written 100 years after its beginning, which will be performed live 100 years after its end. Various members from the band will also be doing solo spots throughout the Festival.
Other highlights include English doom metal merchants, Electric Wizard, St. Vincent performing songs from her fifth studio album Masseduction, the iconic Laurie Anderson celebrating language and stories through live music, video, spoken word and electronics as well as collaborating in virtual reality with new media artist Hsin-Chien Huang. There will be a series of Lynchian tribute shows featuring Lydia Lunch performing spoken word anarchic philosophy with cryptic electronics from improvisational virtuoso Weasel Walter as well as gigs from New Zealanders Tiny Ruins and Marlon Williams.
Alice Glass (ex-Crystal Castles) will be playing with Zola Jesus, and celebrated Australian Indigenous artists Archie Roach and Tiddas will perform songs from Roach’s lost album, Dancing With My Spirit — forgotten for more than 20 years and only recently unearthed.
Tanya Tagaq, a celebrated Inuk performer, throat singer and political punk, will give live performance of her 2016 album Retribution, backed by a full community choir, gathering specifically for this performance.
And Australian psychedelic dance band formed in Sydney, Jagwar Ma are doing a set.
Lou Reed Drones is an intriguing event – a sound bath created by the late Lou Reed’s guitars and amps, brought to us by Laurie Anderson and Reed’s friend and former guitar tech Stewart Hurwood. As 24 strings are activated by magnetic cones, they unleash cascading and colliding waves of feedback. Also featuring during the Festival is the regular Hymns to the Dead night featuring metal bands from around the world.
The list goes on – you can see the full programme on the spectacular here.
Added to this is the remarkable Winter Feast – a contemporary take on pagan solstice celebrations, as the city gathers around fires and under the stars to eat, drink and celebrate as the longest night of the year approaches in Australia’s southernmost city. Chefs, stalls, musicians, and menus will be announced early May.
Subscriber presale tickets are available from 6pm Australian Eastern Standard Time on Monday 9 April
General public tickets go on sale 11am AEST Tuesday 10 April
All tickets available here.
HIGHLIGHTS (*Australian exclusive)
Lou Reed Drones*,
Ryoji Ikeda* (JPN),
United Visual Artists* (GBR),
ZERO at Mona,
A Journey to Freedom at TMAG,
Matthew Schreiber* (USA),
French & Mottershead* (GBR),
Chalkroom (Laurie Anderson + Hsin-Chien Huang)*,
Soda_Jerk,Terrapin Puppet Theatre*,
Laurie Anderson (USA),
Tanya Tagaq* (CAN),
Electric Wizard* (GBR),
St. Vincent (USA),
Alice Glass (CAN),
Lydia Lunch (USA),
Zola Jesus (USA),
Nobody (Willis Earl Beal)* (USA),
Jarboe* (USA) and Father Murphy* (ITA),
Marlon Williams (NZL)
The Haxan Cloak* (GBR),
William Basinski* (USA),
Rebekah del Rio* (USA),
Iona Fortune* (SCO),
Peder Mannerfelt* (SWE),
Group A* (JPN),
ALTAR* (Roly Porter + Paul Jebanasam)*,
Pan Daijing (CHN/DEU),
Demdike Stare + Michael England* (GBR) Charlemagne Palestine (USA), many more
OTHER DARK DELIGHTS:
The return of Ryoji Ikeda’s xenon searchlight workspectra, a masked costume ball, multi-venue late-night party precinct, Twin Peaks-esque Bang Bang Bar, guest curation by Berlin Atonal (DEU), Dark Park, Winter Feast, Nude Solstice Swim, ogoh-ogoh purging and burning, theatre, orchestra, opera, more