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Major Dark Fringe Hobart events cancelled just days out from opening

Pulse Tasmania
Dark Fringe. Image / Supplied

The curtain has come down on the major attraction for Hobart’s Dark Fringe festival,just two days before its scheduled opening night.

Organisers say their ‘Rattle Ground’ event in St David’s Park and their exclusive ‘Crystal Ball’ event have been cancelled following a team meeting yesterday.

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‘Unexpected’ upfront costs for security personnel have been attributed as the cause of the cancellation, with organisers citing a lack of additional government funding to make up the shortfall.

Dark Fringe, which was widely recognised as the ‘saviour’ when Dark Mofo cancelled their 2024 events, reportedly required $264,000 to deliver the ‘bare minimum’ this year.

Dark Fringe. Image / Supplied

Organisers have put the blame on a lack of interest from the state government in funding the program, however it’s understood Dark Fringe did not submit an application for funding until a month ago and did not accept a lower offer.

“Despite repeated requests, Dark Fringe organisers did not submit an application until 6 May 2024,” an Events Tasmania spokesperson told Pulse.

Dark Mofo Artistic Director Chris Twite had previously praised Dark Fringe as a great replacement for their cancelled 2024 events. Image / Pulse

“Due to the late application, Events Tasmania conducted an expedited, yet robust, assessment process resulting in an offer of $200,000 being made for the 2024 event.”

“The government has ensured additional support is available to the events sector this winter and has worked with various existing and new event organisers on ways to increase visitation during the cooler months.”

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Other, much smaller Dark Fringe events, which are being held at venues like Town Hall and Grand Poobah, are expected to continue.

Dark Fringe organisers say they will be refunding ticket-holders in the coming weeks.

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