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Dark Mofo neon sign at night
Photograph: Dark Mofo/Lusy Productions, 2017. Image Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Dark Mofo returns to Hobart for winter 2021 – in what could be its final year

The annual midwinter solstice festival is back after being cancelled last year

Nicola Dowse

Tasmania's spectacular midwinter arts festival, Dark Mofo, is back for winter 2021. The annual festival has been running since 2013 but was forced to cancel last year due to the lockdowns of 2020. 

Thankfully, the festival is back for winter 2021 and will take over Hobart from June 16 to 22. Those familiar with the event will notice that those dates mean that yes, the Dark Mofo will be shorter this year, running for only one week instead of the usual two. That's not the only change coming to Dark Mofo. 

Dark Mofo creative director, Leigh Carmichael, said: "We’re dropping all sponsorship activations, as we felt they were having a detrimental effect on the festival. While we’ve appreciated the support from many high profile brands, we want to be able to pursue our own cultural agenda free from restraint and with a renewed commitment to the art."

"The Hobart City Council have withdrawn financial support and this will impact the scope and scale of the Winter Feast, which will be reduced to five nights."

What's more, Dark Mofo 2021 could be the last Dark Mofo to run. The funding agreement that Dark Mofo signed with the Tasmanian state government in 2016 expires after this year, meaning the festival's future is unclear. Carmichael says: "While our future is a little uncertain, we are optimistic that there is enough gunpowder in the barrel to propel us into 2022."

The line-up for Dark Mofo 2021 is announced in April.

Find yourself in Melbourne? Make sure you check out these artworks at the NGV Triennial.

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