There is no point complaining about the cold and wet in Tasmania, so instead it’s time to embrace the chilly days and long nights at MONA’s winter extravaganza, Dark MOFO. The grip of the festival sprawled across Hobart’s waterfront but stretched as far as the iconic cradle mountain, delivering the organic shocks and delights for which MONA has become renown. Returning for it’s third year, it seems that it’s now no secret that this is the wildest darkest festival in the southern hemisphere. If you like amazing food, alcohol and out of this world art and performances make sure you’re in Tasmania for the month of June.
Some of the best food and alcohol Tasmania and beyond offers. Topped off with some fiery performances. Personal favourite’s Moo Brew Pale ale, warm Hendricks Gin and Tasmanian oysters a sure recipe to get you into the mood for the later festivities of Blacklist.
The feast hall is packed with punters sampling fine food and enjoying plenty of beer wine and spirits.
Through the course of the night the outside esplanade is littered with live acts consisting of bands, poetry readings, street artists and fire shows heating up the night. Fire shows kept the crowds warm and intricate bamboo structures, complete with furnaces and fire-pits, created intimate hideaways and secret meeting places at the winter feast. Personal favourite was two piece act Guthrie, with their smooth southern rock and roll.
The Dark Park is where light and sound came together to invoke out of body like experiences. The festival’s Magnum Opus, The Fire Organ, sent pillars of fire roaring through pipework, creating dark, guttural tunes and low-frequency bass to be felt in your bones.
To further engage in the hypnotic and dream-like, Bass Bath submerged the participant in a narcosis of visual and auditory intimacy. Preceded by multiple safety warnings, your senses were cocooned in waves of intense red light, while hazy smoke, flashing lights and bass transported you to an alternate reality.
Other installations included 1,000 pulsing lights Angry Electrons by Jason James, a beautifully electric display in a hidden alleyway.
Anthony McCall’s ‘Solid Light Works’ was a haunting experience through silhouettes of lights and smoke, that somehow managed to create the feeling of isolation in a room full of people.
Blacklist reminds me of Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, a raging, pulsing celebration that walks the fine line between enigmatic extravagance and gritty, visceral delights. MONA has always been about pushing boundaries and the festival after party was no different, bringing with it a veritable playground of organic pleasure. The crowd heaved to the music, under the shade of a Christmas tree made from dismembered mannequins, and the kissing booth added clandestine sexiness to the atmosphere; coercing you to let down your hair and run amok in the unadulterated pleasure of the occasion.
Missed out on Dark MOFO? You can still get to Cradle Mountain to see Ash Keating’s exhibition until 13th September 2015 and more at darkmofo.net.au
Will Hoffmann – Launceston Tasmania