Whitby Goth Weekend: Everything you need to know about its origins and this year's spring event

Whitby Goth Weekend is a twice-yearly music festival, located in North Yorkshire's seaside resort of Whitby, which will return to the coastal town at the end of this month.

Monday, 9th April 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Monday, 9th April 2018, 2:21 pm
This year's spring Whitby Goth Weekend will take place on April 27-29

This music festival is tailored to goths who travel far and wide to attend this festival, it’s origins dating back to 1994, but how exactly did this music festival begin and what will take place at this year’s spring event?

The history of the the music festival

This festival has been running for over two decades and was first founded when a group of Jo Hampshire’s friends, the main organiser of this event, all met in the Elsinore public house in Whitby. This pub, alongside the old-school Little Angel pub located on Flowergate, continues to be a meeting point during this popular goth weekend.

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Whitby Goth weekend was first founded in 1994 and became a twice-yearly event in 1997 (Photo by Ceri Oakes)

It is believed that Whitby was chosen for its Dracula connections, alognside the connections that had already been made between goths and Whitby locals.

The festival used to be held just once a year until it became a twice-yearly event in 1997, taking place in April and October.

This weekend event has grown into one of the most popular goth music events in the world, attracting around 1,500 people each time from not only across the UK, but from all over the globe.

The Metropole Hotel, located in the heart of Whitby, used to be used as an overspill venue for bands or musicians, but it is now also used as a venue for the Gothic Alternative Market.

Whitby Goth weekend was first founded in 1994 and became a twice-yearly event in 1997 (Photo by Ceri Oakes)

This festival used to host an 80s night which was held at Laughtons and which would traditionally end with the song Vagabonds.

Although this venue became a Wetherspoons in 2010, the 80s night has lived on and still takes place, doing so on the Sunday night.

Whitby Goth Weekend has had many different traditions over the years, many of which have come and gone, including a goth meal and a Monday evening beach party with a bonfire.

At each festival there is also a meetup event for those who have not attended the festival before, which aims to introduce them to the event and inform them of everything they need to know about the forthcoming weekend.

This year’s spring festival

The first of this year’s two goth weekends will take place this April, from 27-29, and is set to draw in not only a large number of goths from around the globe, but punks, steampunks and bikers alike.

Both Goths and non-Goths will be seen strolling around the town wearing wacky and wonderful costumes and creating a fun and friendly atmosphere to be enjoyed by all.

There will be a wide variety of different acts over the weekend, with it now being possible to buy either a weekend ticket or a single Friday or Saturday ticket, this being something that was introduced in 2013.

The main musical events and performances will begin on the Friday, with the fringe events, including the club nights and markets, taking place on the Thursday, Sunday and Monday.

The ‘Real Gothic’ football team will also be attending this event, playing in the festival’s twice-yearly annual football match against local team Stokoemotiv Whitby.

There will also be several different meetups tailored to goths with a particular interest, making the festival varied and of interest to all.

The main event will be held in the town's largest venue, Whitby Spa Pavilion, which is more commonly known as the Spa. Access to the Spa in the evening requires a ticket and live bands will play on both the Friday and Saturday from around 20.00 until just before midnight.

The current line-up for this year’s spring festival includes Dr Haze’s Freak Show from the Circus of Horrors, with Act 1 beginning on the Friday at 20.45 and Act II taking place on the same night at 22.45.

Desmond O’Connor, Aurelio Voltaire and The Last Cry will also be performing at this weekend festival.

This goth weekend is set to be highly attended once again, with many people coming from all corners of the UK and further afield to enjoy a weekend full of good music and other performances, in a friendly atmosphere by the sea.

Tickets can be bought online on the Whitby Goth Weekend shop, where further information regarding the weekend can also be found.