A decade of darkness concluded in Nipaluna / Hobart on Thursday 22 June, as the midwinter festival Dark Mofo wrapped up for another year.
Dark Mofo supporters set new attendance records for the festival this year, which ran over 14 days showcasing a remarkable and diverse array of around 400 artists in 65 events at 35 venues across the city, with a number of free exhibitions continuing beyond the official festival period.
More than 100,000 tickets were sold to Dark Mofo 2023 events, generating $5.5 million at the festival box office.
“I have some mixed emotions as I step aside from the festival and reflect on the extraordinary journey of Dark Mofo over the past decade,” said Creative Director Leigh Carmichael.
“Due largely to the generosity of David Walsh, with the support of the State Government and the City of Hobart, we have created something truly special. The community spirit that is evident everywhere throughout the city during the festival is quite remarkable.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the thousands of staff, artists, contractors and stallholders who have worked tirelessly to bring the event to life each and every year, and of course I’m forever grateful to the people of Tasmania for their support, participation and patience.”
“While my time curating the festival is now over, I’m entirely confident that it will continue to captivate and inspire audiences in the years to come under the direction of incoming Artistic Director Chris Twite,” said Mr Carmichael.
“This year’s festival was ambitious in its programming and so vast in scale and we’re truly overwhelmed by the response,” said DarkLab Marketing and Business Director Drew Berridge.
“There is always nervous energy within our team when taking the creative risks that we do, but we’re feeling a huge sense of achievement, seeing just how many people have come out to celebrate our dark nights together. We’re really grateful for the support we receive,” said Mr Berridge.
Interstate ticket buyers accounted for almost 65% of all sales, and over 427,000 entries were counted to festival venues overall.
The City of Hobart Winter Feast exceeded 110,000 entries across the two weeks, with almost 20,000 of those on the final Sunday night alone. Late-night revelers were drawn like moths to the sprawling Night Mass: Exstasia party precinct, with more than 15,000 tickets snapped up.
Community-driven events again shone brightest, with more than 17,500 people participating in the Ogoh-Ogoh Procession and The Burning, while 90,000 entries were recorded at Dark Park throughout the festival.
More than 20,000 entries were clocked for United Visual Artists’ installation Silent Symphony at Hobart City Hall. And a joyous cacophony of 2,000 brave souls took the dip at Long Beach for the Nude Solstice Swim to welcome back the light after the longest night.
The dates for Dark Mofo 2024 will be announced later this year. For more information, visit: www.darkmofo.net.au for details.
Image: Ogoh-Ogoh Procession and The Burning – courtesy of DarkLab Media