22 May, 2024

Embrace the Chill: 9 must-visit Tassie festivals and events this winter

Celebrations for locals and travellers ready to immerse themselves in Tassie’s winter charm.

As winter blankets Tasmania, the island comes alive with a vibrant tapestry of festivals and events that intersect culture, art, music, and celebration. While Dark Mofo and the Festival of Voices spearhead the event repertoire, Tasmania’s winter calendar is packed with surprise and delight from every corner of the island. Think niche gatherings to grand spectacles, a range of celebrations for locals and travellers ready to immerse themselves in Tassie’s winter charm.

Dark Mofo - Winter Feast. Photo: Adam Gibson

Dark Mofo: A Journey Into the Depths of Winter’s Soul

Let’s begin with the juggernaut itself – Dark Mofo. The renowned avant-garde festival, curated by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), plunges visitors into a surreal world of art, music, and performance. A scaled back Dark Mofo presents two signature events this solstice—Feast + Swim. The City of Hobart Winter Feast runs across two weeks on the city’s waterfront, showcasing the best of Tassie’s local fare of hearty eats, alongside an unorthodox menu from guest chefs Vaughan Mabee (Amisfield, NZ) and Vince Trim (Mona - Museum of Old and New Art). Plunge into the freezing River Derwent after the longest night for Nude Solstice Swim, enjoy late night offerings Slow Burn + Night Shift, and view Mona’s new exhibition, Namedropping, where curators zero in on status and why we like what we like.

13th June - 23rd June 2024

Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival: Coastal Creativity in the Cold

Nestled along the east coast, the Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival celebrates artistic creativity against the backdrop of rugged coastline and pristine beaches. The festival invites visitors to immerse themselves in captivating art exhibitions, competitions and hands-on workshops led by local artists. With the breathtaking views of the Tasman sea, stroll along the shoreline and Arts Trail, showcasing sculptures, installations, and artworks created by local talents.

7th June - 16th June 2024

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest: Revelry Amongst the Apple Orchards

Venture south to Huon Valley for a celebration deeply rooted in pagan tradition – the Mid-Winter Fest. Held at the historic Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, this festival pays homage to the ritual of wassailing, where participants revel to ward off evil spirits from apple trees in their winter slumber. Indulge in cider tastings, join in the spirited procession of the Burning Man, costume competitions, storytelling and live folk-funk music — a true ceremonial toast to the orchards’ prosperity.

12th June - 13th June 2024

Festival of Voices - Big Sing Bonfire. Photo: Alastair Bett

Festival of Voices: Harmonies in the Frosty Air

For those who love music, the Festival of Voices offers a warm embrace of community and fire amidst the winter chill, centering around the power of song. Tasmania's premier choral celebration transforms Hobart into a melodic wonderland, echoing with the harmonies of choirs and performers from around the globe. Join in the Big Sing Bonfire, or immerse yourself in workshops, concerts, and street performances as the city hums with the spirit of communal singing.

28th June - 7th July 2024

Alex Rathgeber, Laurence Boxhall, Anna O’Byrne, Tom Conroy & Adam Murphy in the 2022 Australian production of The Moustrap. Photo: Brian Geach

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap

Fancy yourself a sleuth? Now's your chance to be part of THE genre-defining murder mystery from the best-selling novelist of all time.

Take part in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap in this thrilling West End production directed by Australian theatre icon Robyn Nevin. Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim? Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself? 

11 Jun - 22 Jun 2024, Theatre Royal Hobart

Whiskey tasting. Photo: Samuel Shelley

Tasmania Whisky Week: A Toast to Liquid Gold

Tasmania Whisky Week is an annual celebration of the island's finest amber nectar and rich whisky heritage.. This week-long extravaganza showcases the craftsmanship and innovation of Tasmania's burgeoning whisky industry and global award-winning liquid gold, inviting enthusiasts to indulge in tastings, distillery tours, and exclusive events. So whether you're a whisky fan or curious to sample the local selection from 41 passionate distillers, join in and toast to this flavoursome spirit.

5th August - 11th August 2024

Bicheno Beams: A Coastal Spectacle Under the Stars

Ready for a change of pace? Head to the coastal town of Bicheno during Bicheno Beams. This family-friendly festival illuminates the sky each night with a free, show-stopping Laser Light Show, sending this seaside village into a wintery glow. Wander through the waterfront where you’ll come across playful artworks and immersive displays that create a magic atmosphere of light and curiosity among the coastline. Added bonus: during the day you can explore the town and surroundings for outdoor activities and delicious fresh seafood.

29th June - 20th July 2024

Beaker Street Festival - Nocturna. Photo: Rosie Hastie and Beaker Street

Hobart's Beaker Street Festival: Where Science Meets Creativity

Prepare to be inspired at Hobart's Beaker Street Festival, an innovative celebration that fuses science, art, and exploration. This immersive event has a line-up of interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, and thought-provoking talks led by experts in various fields. From virtual reality experiences to culinary experiments, Beaker Street Festival offers a unique opportunity to ignite your curiosity and discover the fascinating intersection of science and creativity.

Note: The full program will be announced soon.

6th August - 13th August 2024

Devonport Jazz: Swinging Sounds in the Winter Air

Calling all jazz enthusiasts, we have a toe-tapping celebration just for you. Join in on the musical buzz of Devonport Jazz — a blend of music and culture that lights up this coastal city. Embrace smooth melodies to vibrant rhythms, with a lineup of talented local and international artists that exudes cool and fills the air with jazz. The three-day festival is packed with live performances across intimate venues, with a handful of workshops and jam sessions.

Note: The full program will be announced soon.

25th July - 28th July

As the cold winds sweep across the island, Tasmania fires up into a hub of festivities. From the bold Dark Mofo to the coastal creativity of the Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival, each event offers a glimpse into Tasmania’s wintery spirit. So, bundle up, brave the chill, and embark on a journey through the island’s tapestry of culture, art, and celebration. After all, it’s in the depths of winter that Tasmania.

 

Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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