Thurston Moore, Confidence Man and more announced for Dark Mofo 2021

The festival runs from June 16 to June 22

The program for the 2021 instalment of Hobart’s winter arts and music festival Dark Mofo has finally arrived.

Dark Mofo was one of the first events in Australia to cancel its 2020 iteration due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Marking its return this year, festival organisers have said they are committed to offering much of the 2021 program for free.

The festival’s music lineup boasts a mix of international and local acts, including appearances from US artists Thurston Moore, Circuit des Yeux, Wobbly and Om. New Zealand’s The Dead C will also be travelling to Tasmania for the event, as will English composer Gavin Bryars, who’ll play with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

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Confidence Man lead the charge of Australian artists, along with Lo!, Tangents, King Stingray, Misery Black Cab, The Amenta, Drug Cult, Grace Cummings and Shoeb Ahmad.

Hobart locals A. Swayze & The Ghosts, the All Saints Compline Choir, Slag Queens and Chloe Alison Escott will also be performing.

In addition to the musical offerings, signature events such as the Winter Feast, Nude Solstice Swim and The Purging and The Buring of the Ogoh-Ogoh will also make a return.

As for the art program, a host of visual and interactive artworks including Tianzhou Chen’s The Dust, Sally Rees’ Crone, Alex Podger’s Memorial and Ryoji Ikeda’s Spectra are set to be featured.

The 2021 event will also christen the new “DarkLab Bell Tower”, marking the first bell tower to be erected in Hobart in almost a century.

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“The sub-theme for last year’s festival was Death,” said Creative Director Leigh Carmichael in a press statement.

“When the festival was killed by Covid in March, we were left disoriented, confused and with a sense of loss for a program that was stillborn. The subsequent isolation of lockdown caused further anguish.”

“We, like the rest of the world, found ourselves in the midst of a long dark night. It seems that in moments of despair, when all else fails, we journey inward. A journey that is sometimes referred to as The Dark Night of the Soul. The darkness representing the fact that the destination is unknowable. The only light along the path is that which burns in the soul.”

“It is within this context that we present our 2021 festival, and pray it brings a glimmer of light in these uncertain times. We invite you to come to the cross.”

Dark Mofo 2021 runs from June 16 to June 22 and takes place in various locations throughout Hobart, Tasmania. Tickets and the full program can be found here.

The 2021 event previously came under fire for an artwork which has since been pulled by the festival due to public backlash from Australian Indigenous communities and the wider public. Titled Union Flag by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra, the work was set to feature the Union Jack immersed in the blood of those native to territories colonised by Britain.

The festival have since appointed cultural advisors and funding for Tasmanian Aboriginal artists to develop proposals for future iterations of the festival.

 

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