Exaltation: Dark Mofo 2023 Program Announced
Commemorating 10 years of darkness, Dark Mofo returns to Nipaluna/Hobart from 8–22 June 2023 with another heaving line-up.
In its final iteration with founder and Creative Director Leigh Carmichael at its helm, this year will see the festival's triumphant return to its pre-pandemic scope and scale:
“The last few years have been challenging, and heavily impacted by Covid, so to finally be in a position to again release a full two-week festival program feels overwhelming,” said Carmichael.
“The tenth edition will include the return of Dark Park, a large-scale art program, eight nights of Winter Feast and a massive music program. While visitors can expect old favourites, we also have a few new surprises to unfurl.” So without further ado, here’s the breakdown for you:
MUSIC | WEEK ONE (JUNE 8–12)
Dark Mofo’s opening night celebration The Gathering will take over the In The Hanging Garden’s Cathedral and Odeon Theatre, featuring First Nations artists BARKAA, Tasman Keith, dameeeela, DENNI, MARLON X RULLA, Uncle Dougie Mansell, Katarnya Maynard, Rob Braslin, and many more artists. A presentation of artwork and performance developed in collaboration with YIRRAMBOI + Dark Mofo, ‘kin’ highlights the cross-cultural connections and kinship between Victoria’s Koorie and Tasmania’s Palawa peoples in developing works, building relationships and exchanging knowledge. In their first Australian performance since 2013, punk-rock icons Black Flag will perform a one-off exclusive for Dark Mofo. Visionary composer Max Richter (DEU) brings us two double-billed performances of VOICES - a composition in dozens of languages reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with Recomposed - his complete reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Bass-playing extraordinaire Thundercat (USA) drives his virtuosic astral acid jazz into a psychedelic funk fusion. Witch (USA) invite us to surrender to a cascading haze of fuzzy riffs from the heavy stoner doom, with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis on the drums.
Also performing exclusively for the festival, Deafheaven return to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their post-metal album Sunbather, while Drab Majesty will deliver their signature brand of synth-pop, supported by home-grown, post-punk quartet Bitumen. Eartheater will render her alluring, heady mix of skewed folktronica and avant-garde noise. Southern gothic songstress Ethel Cain is also set to haunt us, performing her first ever show on Australian shores. Borderlands will deliver a hefty program of experimental electronica, with four events across two weekends – the first of which will see David Lynch collaborator Dean Hurley perform. ART + PERFORMANCE | WEEK ONE (JUNE 8–12) Dark Mofo faves United Visual Artists return to the festival with newly commissioned work Silent Symphony. The large-scale light and sound installation has been designed to mimic planetary orbit. You can also expect to see an enormous, Korean pop culture-inspired teddy bear with lasers for eyes and a camera feeding live surveillance back to a separate space in Hobart (Giant Teddy, a new commission from EJ Son). Collaborative drone choir NYX will perform noise, music and song, while experimental film duo Soda Jerk (AUS) will present their film Hello Dankness, a 70-minute meditation on the psychotropic spectacle of American politics from 2016 to 2021.
MUSIC | WEEK TWO (JUNE 14–22) Hymns to the Dead returns with a brutal, multi-band bill featuring Norwegian shapeshifters Dødheimsgard, along with black metallers Uada, Zuriaake, and Haunter. Drowning Horse, Extortion, and Ironhawk will join forces to present an evening of heavy, home-grown talent. King Woman will play Australian shores for the first time, delivering their hallmark blend of post-rock, grunge, and distortion-drenched doom. Belarusian post-punkers Molchat Doma will also play their inaugural Australian show, along with experimental noise rockers HEALTH. Borderlands returns for week two, with three nights of electronic exploration featuring Carl Stone (USA/JPN), Rama Parwata (AUS/IDN), Lydian Dunbar (AUS), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) + Leah Singer (Contre Jour) and many more. ART + PERFORMANCE | WEEK TWO (JUNE 14–22) Florentina Holzinger will present the Australian exclusive performance of A Divine Comedy, a large-scale theatrical performance consisting of a cast of 17 female performers, over 2 hours. Motocross, woodchopping, nudity and bodily fluids will feature strongly at this performance, taking over MyState Bank Arena. Attendees can expect ample nudity, live sex scenes, hazing and strobing effects. Continuing from Week One, art and performances will include Western Flag by John Gerrard (IRL), Without Us You Would Have Never Learnt About Love by Jason Phu (AUS), Ngarnda and Boong by Curtis Taylor (AUS), as well as festival art partner exhibitions at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Constance ARI, Good Grief Studios, and Plimsoll Gallery. All this plus much, much more - which you can read about on the Dark Mofo website.
RITUAL The City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast run across both weeks of the festival, with stallholder details to be released in May. Dark Mofo’s public art hub Dark Park will make its return to Macquarie Point, with art installations and a cosy lounge bar with intimate performances; a home base to enjoy throughout the festival period. The annual Ogoh-Ogoh will be transported in a procession across the waterfront to The Burning at Mac Point, a public ritual releasing our fears by fire on the final night. The Nude Solstice Swim returns at sunrise on June 22, welcoming back the sun after the longest night. Subscriber tickets for Dark Mofo go on sale at midday on Wednesday, 5th April (AEST) To subscribe and view the complete Dark Mofo 2023 program, visit the festival's website. For a list of all musical performers announced to date, please see below: WEEK ONE (JUNE 8 - 12) Max Richter (DEU) Thundercat (USA) Witch (USA) Ethel Cain (USA) Black Flag (USA) Drab Majesty (USA) Bitumen (AUS) Eartheater (USA) Squarepusher (GBR) Plaid (GBR) Sleaford Mods (GBR) Deafheaven (USA) Zheani (AUS) Mahne Frame Fulu Miziki (COD) Zindzi & The Zillionaires (AUS) Keeley Forsyth (GBR) Tasman Keith (AUS) GLVES (AUS) THE GATHERING: BARKAA Tasman Keith dameeeela DENNI MARLON X RULLA Uncle Dougie Mansell Katarnya Maynard Rob Braslin BORDERLANDS: Dean Hurley (USA) Laurel Halo (USA) NIGHT MASS: Program to be announced WEEK TWO (JUNE 14–22)
Max Richter (DEU) Trentemøller (DNK) King Woman (USA) Molchat Doma (BLR) HEALTH (USA) Drowning Horse (AUS) Extortion (AUS) Ironhawk (AUS) Behold The Wonder (AUS) Loraine James (GBR) CORIN (AUS) Bo Ningen (GBR) Smug Anime Face (AUS) RVG (AUS) ENOLA (AUS) HYMNS TO THE DEAD: Dødheimsgard (NOR) Uada (USA) Zuriaake (CHN) Haunter (USA) BORDERLANDS: Carl Stone (USA/JPN) Rama Parwata (AUS/IDN) Lydian Dunbar (AUS) Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) + Leah Singer (Contre Jour) (USA) Julia Reidy (AUS/DEU) Tujiko Noriko (FRA) Hiro Kone (USA) KMRU (KEN) Hüma Utku (TUR) BERLIN ATONAL: Caterina Barbieri presents Spirit Exit (ITA) Blackhaine (GBR) Amnesia Scanner & Freeka Tet: kaaos.ooo (DEU) Rainy Miller (GBR) NIGHT MASS: Program to be announced.