Since its inception in 2013, Dark Mofo has aspired to lure Tasmanians out of hibernation to revel in celebration of the longest night, while also working to attract visitors to the state in the traditionally quiet winter months.
The new funding agreement, totalling $10.5 million over five years, includes a commitment from Dark Mofo to increase the number of interstate and overseas visitors to embrace winter on the southern island, grow attendance to the festival, increase media exposure and promotion of Tasmania, deliver a Tasmanian regional expansion program each year, and invest at least $250,000 in programming and support of Tasmanian arts-based organisations.
Dark Mofo 2015 returned an estimated $46 million to the economy and created about 400 new jobs, both full time and short term contracts. While this year’s figures are still being compiled, it’s fair to acknowledge that the festival has ignited a passion for pilgrimage to Australia’s southernmost state for the winter solstice.
“The five-year agreement that we have reached with the State Government is incredibly important for the ongoing success of the festival,” said Dark Mofo Creative Director, Leigh Carmichael. “The deal will give us the ability to expand and improve the festival, commission new works, employ and train more Tasmanians, reach further into the regions, and achieve our ambitious tourism targets.
“It will allow us the time and opportunity to develop meaningful long term partnerships with organisations like Tourism Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Detached, Qantas and the Indonesian Government.”
“We also hope to increase the presence of the Paint the Town Red campaign and see more of Southern Tasmania bathed with that fiery red glow. Having the Hobart and Launceston airports on board this year really added to the carnival atmosphere, but the highlight was the Derwent Valley community, who got into the spirit and outshone Hobart in that regard.”
“Ultimately, the festival is primarily being funded because of the community support, and we are very grateful for the passion and at times patience, that our amazing audiences have shown us. We’ll be doing our very best to repay that support by continuing to create unique experiences in the heart of winter, that are as accessible to as many Tasmanians as we possibly can.”
Dark Mofo 2017 will take place 8 – 21 June in and around Hobart. For more information, visit: www.darkmofo.net.au for details.
Image: Dark Mofo – photo by Rémi Chauvin