Dark Mofo Doubles Down On Experimental Art With Full 2023 Line Up
— 31 March 2023

Dark Mofo Doubles Down On Experimental Art With Full 2023 Line Up

— 31 March 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Hinged on the occult and designed to challenge convention, Dark Mofo has long been one of the world’s most interesting festivals and a goldmine of tourism dollars for Hobart, Tasmania. Whenever the lineup drops, ticketed events always tend to sell out in a snap and that should be no different this year as Dark Mofo 2023 reveals its full 10th-anniversary program.

First impressions: organisers have doubled down on experimental electronica and ambient works this year. Music forms a large part of Dark Mofo each year, split up by signatures like effigy burning and an arctic nude swim that’d make Wim Hof proud, and in the past few years the highlights have always been the more rave-inspired happenings.

So it makes sense. The likes of Squarepusher and Trentemoller will be performing as part of Dark Mofo 2023, along with an eclectic lineup that pulls on everything from death metal to punk and hip hop. But that much is expected for regulars who each year give themselves over to Australia’s most fascinating festival.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Dark Mofo program for this year.

Winter Feast returns to Dark Mofo 2023.

When Is Dark Mofo 2023?

Dark Mofo 2023 begins on June 8 and wraps up on June 22, split across week one and week two and tied together by this year’s theme of “exaltation.”

Dark Mofo subscribers will get early access to all tickets from midday AEST on Wednesday, April 5 while the general sale kicks off at 2 PM on the same day.

The signature events like Winter Feast – a massive medieval food festival – are back, right alongside a “hedonistic masquerade ball” and heady electronica-inspired mini-festival Night Mass. Then you’ve got the industrial anti-art precinct Dark Park with firey installations and longe bars, the annual effigy burning on the final night and the nude solstice swim at sunrise on June 22.

Dark Mofo 2023 Lineup – Art

Dark Mofo will once again pull in experimental works from local and international artists.

Since art is what birthed Dark Mofo in the first place, with David Walsh creating the experimental winter festival as a conceptual extension of his iconic MOMA, the lineup of installations and performances is what helps define the festival year after year. Particularly the more controversial ones.

For 2023, art installations will include a large-scale work of kinetic light and sound instruments mirroring “planetary orbit” and two new commissions by Martu artist Curtis Taylor, one of which is a video work on blood rituals, cultural rites and lived experience.

Also on the cards is an installation of hundreds of jailbroken musical toys cobbling together a “tragic opera” about consumption and materialism, a giant teddy bear inspired by Korean pop culture with lasers for eyes and a participatory performance exploring the nature of greed.

There are others. Many others. For a festival with an art installation called “Walls of Skin,” it might take a few days to fully wrap your head around the full art program for Dark Mofo. Regulars would know exactly what to expect, but those heading for the first time are best advised to read through some of the descriptions so it’s not too overwhelming when you’re there.

As anyone who has been before would tell you, it’s easy to miss all the free and ticketed installations if you don’t know about them prior.

Dark Mofo 2023 Lineup – Music

Dark Mofo is the best time to visit MONA
Music just hits different at Dark Mofo.

From masterful composer Max Richter to funk-lacked multi-instrumentalist Thundercat, a lot is going on with the music program for Dark Mofo 2023.

The opening night, for example, will pack a healthy lineup of First Nations artists into The Hanging Garden’s Cathedral and Odeon Theatre. One the line up: BARKAA, Tasman Keith, dameeeela, DENNI, MARLON x RULLA, Uncle Dougie Mansell, Katarnya Maynard, Rob Braslin and more.

Here is a list of some of the artists you can expect across both weeks of Dark Mofo 2023:

  • Max Richter
  • Thundercat
  • Trentemoller
  • Squarepusher
  • Ethel Cain
  • Black Flag
  • Drab Majesty
  • Bitumen
  • Plaid
  • Sleaford Mods
  • Deafheaven
  • Zheani
  • Mahne Frame
  • Fulu Miziki
  • Keeley Forsyth
  • Dean Hurley
  • Laurel Halo
  • Dodheimsgard
  • Uada
  • Zuriaake
  • Haunter
  • Molchat Doma
  • Drowning Horse
  • Extortion
  • Ironhawk
  • Carl Stone
  • Rama Parwata
  • Lydian Dunbar
  • Loraine James

Of course, there’s more on the lineup as always. But listing just about everyone would be exhaustive and unnecessary. The best part about Dark Mofo’s music program is going in unprepared.

The conceptual performances are also usually the highlights. Max Richter, for example, will be performing twice for Dark Mofo, once during the first week and once during the second week. His first week performance will be a complete reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, while week two will see the composer bring his iconic SLEEP performance to a massive space, performing for 8.5 hours while listeners sleep (beds provided but BYO pyjamas).

As above, there’s almost too much about the Dark Mofo lineup to take in one hit. The best approach is to browse the official Dark Mofo website carefully and plan your leave accordingly.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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