Abbey Wharf, Alternative, Bizarre Bazaar, corsets, Doctor and the Medics, Dracula, Goths, Halloween, October 24-27, St Marys Church, Steampunks, Vampires, Victoriana, Victorians, WGW, WGW 2019, WGW part II, Whale bones, Whitby, Whitby Goth Weekend
Whitby Goth Weekend 24-27 October 2019
Twice a year Whitby, a quaint seaside town in North Yorkshire, becomes the mecca for the darkside. Goths, Steampunks, Victorian enthusiasts all gather for the Whitby Goth Weekend. The event, which grew out of a goth music festival developed by Jo Hampshire back in 1994, is now so huge that accommodation is often booked out for two years in advance and it’s estimated that it these two weekends bring in over a £1.1 Millions pounds to the local economy.
I’ve been going to the Goth weekend for many years with Bonnie and Occasionally Miss Jessel has managed to join us, but life and general mischance have meant I’ve not been since the 2015 October event. My recollections of the at last visit was that there was a change in the air, the Goths who came for the music festival seemed to be in retreat in the face of Victorian enthusiasts and the Steampunk advance. The locals also seemed to be growing tired of photographers and visitors disrespecting and damaging the historic graveyard of St Mary’s. What had always seemed to be a very inclusive and welcoming atmosphere had developed fissures and the tensions were bubbling up to the surface. While I still enjoyed the evant, I was left wondering what would happen, if, indeed, it would survive.
I’m happy to say that WGW is going strong. In the face of a huge explosion in popularity over the last few years and the diversity of alternative sub-genres in evidence, it is clear that the event has successfully evolved and regenerated into a wonderful and inclusive event.
These days the music events have diffused and WGW have many official events across the weekend. The events are all free, but you can get fast-track and VIP tickets (which are worth it, as even after 11pm the Queues were long). Jo and the other organisers seem to have successfully brought music back to the forefront of the event Abbey Wharf played host to a Stars and Moons Productions Barnum and Bailey/Greatest Showman themed night, headlined by the legendary Doctor and the Medics. It was packed out and there were queues all night to get in.
The Bizarre Bazaar has also lost none of its allure since moving from Whitby Pavilion to Whitby Leisure Centre (just a short way along from the Pavilion).
This year sadly Miss Jessel was unable to join me, but Bonnie and I went down with some younger friends who had never attended the event before. I don’t think that they were quite ready for how difficult it was to get anywhere without being swarmed by photographers! One of them even made it into the national papers (look for ‘woman in black corset and dramatic face makeup enjoying a stroll’ in the link below) not bad for her first visit!!
Here are some of the images from Whitby Goth Weekend 2019.
The Goths and the Victorians
Death stalks the St Mary’s graveyard.
Steampunks and the rest
Steampunk explorers at the whale bones
FROM THE HAUNTED PALACE!!