Winter festivals have returned and we couldn't be more excited.
Winter festivals have returned and we couldn't be more excited.

Dark Mofo is back with a weird and wonderful 2021 line-up

Dark Mofo, Australia's most weird and wonderful festival, has just announced its line-up for 2021. The event will take place in Hobart from June 16-22.

Famous for pushing boundaries, this year will be no different. One event will see a public ritual in which the ashes of deceased locals will be launched into fireworks. The unmissable event, aptly called Memorial, will take place every night from 6pm-8pm at the Hobart Waterfront.

The festival will commence with the Home State Reclamation Walk, which will put a spotlight on Indigenous Australian artists and leaders as they take the crowd from Melville Street to Liverpool Street in the CBD. However, in true Dark Mofo style, the line-up also includes double-level electronica dance parties, performance art, food tricks, and much more.

Winter Feast, the nightly solstice banquet, is back. Post-punk legend Thurston Moore, a virtuoso experimental guitarist, will have a festival residency, taking to the stage alongside electronic composer Wobbly and legends of the New Zealand underground The Dead C.

And of course the weirdness will return in full force, not least because of events such as Pope Alice Close Encounters. Taking place at festival venue X-Cathedra, on Liverpool Street, the description is mysterious. "Her Divine Holiness Pope Alice, Santa Alicia, fell to Earth through a black hole and has since sparked many a myth," the website says. 

"Now She will manifest in Hobart, restoring cosmic order during the winter solstice. As patron saint of the Hanging Garden Cathedral, She'll bestow gifts upon the faithful with ancient ritual and outrageous ceremony." As you might expect, what exactly that entails remains to be seen.

It will be just as weird and wonderful as ever, including event staples such as the Winter Feast. Picture: Adam Gibson
It will be just as weird and wonderful as ever, including event staples such as the Winter Feast. Picture: Adam Gibson

South Australia History Festival

South Australia is currently hosting its state-wide History Festival, which runs until May 30. It gives locals and tourists a chance to dive into the topic of "change". 

This year's program includes open doors into historic buildings, explorations into the evolution of the state's food and wine industry, and an opportunity to laugh and cry with the LGBTIQ+ community. You can jump into criminal cold cases, learn about its mighty shipbuilding history, visit outback stations, and learn about the contributions of migrants.

"We are thrilled to steward the History Festival to life in 2021," said Greg Mackie OAM, History Trust of South Australia CEO. "The program has something for curious minds of all ages to enjoy. 

"The events are certainly unique! Where else can you spend a morning exploring the 143-year history of the South Australian National Football League, followed by an exhibition of significant Kaurna objects that tell the story of colonisation's impact on First Nations?"

Queensland Music Trails

Queensland is also taking a slice of the winter events pie with Queensland Music Trails, which is an epic music-festival-meets-road-trip concept making its debut in June.

Featuring artists such as Australian pop icon Kate Miller-Heidke, the Outback Trail winds its way through the Western Downs from Jimbour to Birdsville from June 25-27. It's a chance to see (and hear) spectacular music in some of the state's most spectacular locations.

One of the highlights will be Music for Stargazing, which will feature the world premiere of a composition by William Barton, a didgeridoo virtuoso and Kalkadunga man who recently won the prestigious Don Banks Music Award for his outstanding contributions to the arts. His piece was inspired by time spent with he local Bidjara people, and will be played for the first time under the epic night sky at the Charleville Cosmos Centre each night at 6pm.

"The road trip meets music festival idea is such a simple one, but I think it's a really powerful one. It couldn't be any more timely, with the way we're living at the moment," Miller-Heidke says. "People have the opportunity to explore deeper into their backyards than they might have done otherwise - and there's something so timeless about the Queensland outback."

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Originally published as Dark Mofo is back with a weird and wonderful 2021 line-up



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