Dark Mofo Festival’s Mass Skinny Dip Deemed Obscene By Police

When a group skinny dip planned for Tasmanian festival Dark Mofo attracted over 200 registrations, it didn’t only stun the organisers of the event – who were expecting around 15-20 people to show – it also caught the eye of local police, who swiftly pulled the plug on the preparations after dusting off the old “contrary to public decency” chestnut.

The public preparation event called upon the hardest of nudists willing to brave the bone-chilling midwinter temperatures of Tassie’s Derwent River for a 50m skinny dip. 25 people were going to be kitted out in body paint, with the remaining 175-odd remaining nude people just…well, chilling, I guess.

Police have warned that, should any still attempt the feat, they will be arrested for it. The whole thing reeks of a 1980’s frat-inspired college comedy – a “you’ll never shut down the Omega Dark Mofos” type deal, except that, well, it’s been shut down, with organisers succumbing to the pressure from authorities and axing the event from the festival’s program.

Leigh Carmichael, Creative Director of Dark Mofo has since commented, explaining that:

“We thought it would be a bit of fun, really…We thought there’d be 15, maybe 20 people, so it was going to be quite a small event…once it got to 200 people… I’ve got no idea, but I imagine a beach full of bums.”

With the inaugural festival on the horizon, you want to be on the good side of police, so the verdict left little option to Carmichael:

“While it was a bit of fun, as soon as you start seeing the word ‘arrest’ come through on the email the fun disappears pretty quickly.”

Hobart Lord Mayor Damon Thomas has explained that this was a decision on behalf of the police, not the council, who would have been more open-minded about the idea – in fact, council didn’t even get a look-in. “We’d be less than a good governance if we didn’t consider everything brought forward to us,” said Thomas.

Dark Mofo plans to celebrate the cold and dark of winter, rather than hiding from it. The festival takes place all around Hobart putting on art displays and live music to warm us up. We understand you will need to be clothed for this, however.

UPDATE 21/05/2013

Common sense has prevailed and the ban has been lifted after event organisers moved the skinny dip to a more private location.

(Via ABC News)

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