A shock statement regarding the loss of a pivotal venue by the organiser of Whitby Goth Weekend in mid-2018 had goths screeching like vampires on a bright and shining morning. For a moment, it seemed like one of the longest-running gothic subculture festivals in the UK and the world was over.
However, as anyone who has seen the sequels spawned by the early Dracula movies knows, the undead do not stay dead for long. The issue is a complex one, but the long and short of it is that fans of gothic rock have nothing to fear – the seaside town of Whitby, immortalised in the Bram Stoker novel as the home of Lucy Westenra, is still home to a festival that caters to their kaleidoscopic community. In addition to the Whitby Goth Weekend, the town is set to host the second Tomorrow’s Ghosts festival in April.
This is good news not only for the world’s goths, but for the town itself. The biannual event contributes £1.1 million to the local economy each year. The first Weekend was held in 1994, when 40 pen-pals met in the Elsinore pub. It was held once a year, in April, until 1997, when the first October instalment was held.
What Happened to the Weekend
According to reports, there was a communication breakdown between Whitby Goth Weekend organisers, Top Mum Promotions and long-time venue the Whitby Pavilion managers, Sheffield International Venues division, SIVLive.
The exact reasons for the breakdown were never made clear, although the organisers claimed the managers could not commit to dates. The managers, on the other hand, claimed vague threats had been made regarding the safety of patrons and staff.
Whatever happened, the name Whitby Goth Weekend is a trademark of the organisers, which is why the new festival put together by SIVLive and Absinthe Promotions is called Tomorrow’s Ghosts. It takes place on the same dates on which the Weekend was held traditionally.
Shortly after SIVLive announced the inaugural festival, headlined by Paradise Lost and Fields of the Nephelim, last year, Top Mum Promotions announced a different set of dates for its own Weekend. Those dates were later changed.
What to Expect
For those wondering if it is worth saving up their online slots Canada winnings to visit Whitby in April, it certainly looks like it will be. According to the festival website, it not only celebrates all things gothic, but embraces wider alternative rock culture also.
Much like the inaugural festival, it will host established as well as new bands, an alternative market, and that is not all. Festivalgoers will also be able to attend a film festival, as well as art, and spoken word events. Already confirmed for April’s line-up are bands such as Pop Will Eat Itself, New Model Army, and Chameleons Vox. What’s more, it looks like old favourites such as Whitby Goth Weekend’s Abbey Wharf Fringe Events organised by Top Mum Promotions, as well as the Kustom Car Show and the WGW Football Match are also set to take place.
Tomorrow’s Ghosts will run from 26 until 28 April 2019.