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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hobart's Winter Festival Dark Mofo 2015

It's a pagan-style winter festival called Dark Mofo, a ten day event celebrating darkness and the longest night of the year and starts this weekend.  It was created by the Museum of Old and New Art and accentuates the obscure and the weird.  

At the heart of this year's event is the Fire Organ.  Commissioned especially for Dark Mofo, the monstrous, flame-throwing pyrotechnic sound machine breathes fire and pumps out ear-shattering sounds you can feel in the pit of your stomach.  It takes pride of place in Dark Park, otherwise known as the Macquarie Point precinct.

Dark Mofo executive producer Kate Gould explained how the "auditory experience" worked.  "Gas is pumped through the pipes and they're lit, so you see fire jets coming out the top and then this mad Dutchman actually plays them like an organ - he manipulates the volume of gas through the pipes."

There is also The Winter Feast, probably the most popular event which features the best of Tasmanian food.  Last year 45,000 people took a pew at the communal tables and this year's 65 stall holders are expecting to feed around 20,000 people per night.

Winter Feast

As Dark Mofo principal sponsor, the Tasmanian state government has injected $1 million per year towards the staging of the first 
three festivals.

Swimmers arrive for the nude swim in 2014

There is a nude swim scheduled to mark the year's longest night, but jumping into the freezing Derwent River in the middle of winter will probably prove just too weird for many.

Well done Hobart.