Tasmania’s award-winning winter festival announces 2016 dates and a quest to take on the international arts scene.

Tasmania’s premier mid-winter festival, Dark Mofo, is set to return to Hobart’s waterfront from June 10 – 21 this year.

“We are pleased to be able to announce that Dark Mofo will again be held in Hobart in June,” said Creative Director Leigh Carmichael. As in previous years, events will take place across Hobart’s waterfront from the sandstone-lined venues of Salamanca Place to the industrial art playground ‘Dark Park’ at Macquarie Point.

Carmichael and Hospitality and Events Minister and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman have agreed to double the previous state government funding – now totalling $2.1 million – to secure the popular festival.  Last year’s ten-night mid-winter extravaganza drew 270,000 attendances to events across the city, created more than 400 jobs and contributed $46 million to the state economy.

“The cultural and creative industries are extremely important economically, but maybe above all, they make Tasmania a great place to live and work; they enrich our lives, challenge us and ultimately define who we are,” says Carmichael. “We are very honoured with how the community has embraced this festival, and we are striving for it to become a hallmark in the Australian cultural calendar.”

The announcement comes just weeks after Dark Mofo, and its summer festival sibling Mofo, each won $45,000 as joint winners of the Group Award at the prestigious 32nd Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards.  “The vision for the festival is to become a major player on the international arts scene,” Carmichael said in an interview with the Sunday Tasmanian.

Plans for 2016 include a P&O cruise vessel sailing from Sydney to Hobart to coincide with the festival, adding an extra 2000 visitors to the island – a rarity in the middle of a Tasmanian winter. The popular City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast, which draws international chefs including Jake Kellie, Sean Moran and others to Tasmania, will again be held at Princes Wharf 1 from June 15-19. For brave individuals, the annual Nude Solstice Swim held after the longest and coldest night of the year will happen on Tuesday 21 June at 7.42am.

“It’s also important to acknowledge the commitment shown by the City of Hobart, and our other major partners, whose funding allow the event to happen,” Carmichael said. “We understand the importance of this event to Hobart and the community, and we will endeavour to do everything we can to ensure its success. The art world moves pretty quickly – you get hot spots like New York in the ‘60s, they only last five or 10 years. While the current agreement is for one year, we are working very closely with the State Government, Events Tasmania and Tourism Tasmania on a longer term vision for the festival.”

The Dark Mofo 2016 programme will be announced in April. Sign up to the mailing list for updates.