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Friday 22 September 2023

Dark Mofo blow for Tasmanian tourism

The organisers of Hobart winter festival Dark Mofo have announced that the event will pause in 2024 “for a period of renewal”.

Dark Mofo intends to reshape a more sustainable model for a full return in 2025, and set the foundation for the next 10 years.

Despite achieving record attendances and box office results this year, organisers said a reset was essential due to rising costs and changing circumstances.

An agreement has, however, been reached with the Tasmanian Government to hold two aspects of the festival in 2024 - the Winter Feast and the Nude Solstice Swim.

These two key events will also coincide with the opening of a new major exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona).

Dark Mofo artistic director Chris Twite said that the State Government had been proactive in offering solutions to proceed with the festival in 2024. But ultimately the organisers opted for a reduced scope that would honour Dark Mofo’s commitment to local community and small businesses, and give the organisation the time and space for planning for the future. 

“We are thankful for the support and assistance that the State Government has shown in response to our need to reshape for the future,” Twite said.

“Dark Mofo has always been dedicated to enriching and transforming lives through ambitious art and ideas. We want to make sure that we have a festival that continues to deliver incredible art and artists, that continues to expand its artistic boundaries and remains a beacon of creativity, innovation, and cultural significance.

“While this was a tough decision, it ensures we move forward in a viable manner. The fallow year will enable us to secure the future of Dark Mofo and its return at full force in 2025.

“We are excited that in June 2024 - amidst the rebirth and renewal of Dark Mofo - that Tasmanians and visitors alike will still be able to meet and commune around the fires of Winter Feast and cast off the weight of another year at the Nude Solstice Swim once more.” 

Dates for the 2024 Winter Feast and Nude Solstice Swim will be announced soon. 

Tourism Tasmania CEO Sarah Clark says that organisation will respond to changes in the festival programming and ensure Tasmania stays "top of mind" for Australians next winter.

Tourism Tasmania will Increase investment in its Off Season program; pursue a new strategic airline partnership to drive bookings to the state across the entire winter and deliver a one-off industry content program helping support the promotion of Off Season offers.

We shall see.

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