Winter Feast extends for cruisers
Dark Mofo will boast its own cruise ship this year, a band of Vikings and an extended Winter Feast.
We are also promised, among other things, feminist punk, avant choreography, ecosexual bathing, wood-chopping, and a production of Sleeping Beauty featuring gothic puppets, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Victorian Opera. There will be 550 loudspeakers around the waterfront and lasers will play again in the night sky.
The nation's quirkiest winter festival will begin on 8 June and conclude with the customary nude solstice swim in the River Derwent on 21 June.
The P&O cruise ship Pacific Jewel will sail in on 15 June with 2,000 passengers embarked in Sydney and refreshed by two nights at sea.
Their six-night cruise tickets will include priority passes to the Winter Feast, as well as admission and return ferry ride for a visit to MONA.
P&O promises: "The wintry art and music festival of Dark Mofo is one of the country’s most unique live experiences ... a Tasmanian spin on the traditional rituals of the winter solstice packed with all the joys you’d expect of a boutique festival."
Ulver — Norway’s black metal inventors — will perform a one-off Australian show at the Odeon Theatre on Thursday, 15 June.
“Dark Mofo is one strange beast of a festival,” the group's chief vocalist, Kristoffer Rygg, said.
“And they have really pulled out all the big guns to make it possible to drag a pack of Vikings quite literally to the other side of the world in June.
“We have heard exceptional tales about this midwinter celebration.
"Considering the overall aesthetic of the festival and the type of art and acts it has featured before, this will be a trip extraordinaire and no doubt a once in a lifetime experience for Ulver.”
The band members have played together for around 25 years and have won many national awards.
No one is saying whether they will visit Ulverstone.
The Norwegians were the first act announced for this year's festival staged by MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) and supported by Events Tasmania, the State Government and the Hobart City Council.
The event's culinary centrepiece — the hugely popular Winter Feast —attracts thousands to the Hobart waterfront each night.
To cope with even bigger crowds expected at PW1 this year, the 2017 Winter Feast will run for a total of seven nights, from 9-11 June and then from 15-18 June.
Entry will be free on the final night which will feature the annual Ogoh-Ogoh parade and burning ceremony.
“The Winter Feast is the heart and soul of Dark Mofo and reached its capacity in 2016,” the festival's Creative Director, Leigh Carmichael, told The Mercury.
“In order to provide a good experience to the influx of new visitors arriving from Sydney on the P&O cruise, we’ve decided to increase the number of nights and spread the event over two weekends.
“Our new five-year agreement with the State Government includes some ambitious visitor targets, and we see this decision as a core strategy, as a way of expanding the event and maximising available room nights, at what is now becoming quite a busy period.”
Hobart's Lord Mayor, Sue Hickey, said the Winter Feast had “dramatic social and cultural impacts” on Hobart, on top of its obvious economic benefits.
It attracted 270,000 attendees last year.
“It’s a mark of the success of the Dark Mofo and City of Hobart Winter Feast that the event’s organisers have decided to extend the event to seven nights over two weekends,” she said.
“Hobartians have strongly supported the feast in the past and I’m sure they’ll be out in force again this year.”
In the north of the State, key buildings in the mural town of Sheffield will be bathed in coloured light from 29 April to launch the inaugural Finance Brokers of Tasmania Firelight Festival.
From 4 May, lasers will project from three different locations on to the dramatic rock face of Mount Roland near the town.
The inaugural Firelight Festival has been combined with the annual Kentish Arts Festival.
The President of the Kentish Arts Festival, Des Brown, said. “I’m delighted Finance Brokers of Tasmania has joined us in this exciting new community venture and there are many more opportunities for businesses and individuals to join us as partners."
Organisers received $40,000 in Federal Government funding to stage the trial Firelight Festival.
Image courtesy of MONA
4 April 2017, Edition 182