Whitby Goth Weekend

Whitby Goth Weekend

Whitby Goth Weekend logo and iconic image of Whitby Abbey
Genre Gothic rock, Industrial music, Electronic body music, Gothic metal, Synthpop etc
Dates Twice Yearly (April and October/November)
Location(s) Whitby, North Yorkshire, England
Years active 1994 – present
Founded by Jo Hampshire

Whitby Goth Weekend abbreviated to WGW or referred to by attendees as Whitby, is a twice-yearly music festival for goths, in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England, organised by Jo Hampshire.


Whitby Goth Weekend is an alternative music festival held in Whitby. The event consists of two nights of live bands (Friday and Saturday) at the town's largest venue, The Spa Pavilion, and three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) of alternative trade stalls at the Spa Pavilion, Whitby Leisure Centre, and Whitby Brunswick Centre.

The term "Whitby Goth Weekend" is sometimes used as a generic term to describe events during the week in Whitby as a whole, although the name of the event and its associated logo are registered trademarks of Jo Hampshire of Top Mum Promotions.[1][2][3][4]


Screaming Banshee Aircrew on stage at Whitby Goth Weekend, April 2005
Uninvited Guest on stage at Whitby Goth Weekend, October 2006

The origins of WGW are in a meeting of around forty of Hampshire's pen-pals in 1994. The first meeting was held in the Elsinore, public house in Whitby which with the Little Angel continues to be a meeting point during the weekend.[5] Hampshire said Whitby was chosen for its Dracula connections, although probably more so because the connection had already fostered a sense of acceptance on the part of locals and businesses rather than any inherent romanticism regarding the location.[5]

The festival was held yearly until 1997, when it became twice-yearly in April and October. It has grown into one of the world's most popular goth music events attracting around 1,500+ attendees from across the UK and beyond. The main event is held in the town's largest venue Whitby Spa Pavilion (known as the Spa) and the Bizarre Bazaar 'Goth Market' is also held there and at Whitby Leisure Centre and the Brunswick Centre. Access to the Spa in the evening requires a ticket and live bands play on both Friday and Saturday from 08:00 until about midnight.

The Metropole was often used as an overspill venue for the Spa, with bands due to play the next evening/or playing from the previous evening. In recent years it has been used as a venue for the markets as well as the clubs, Manic Monday and Sexy Sunday. RAW Nightclub and Abbey Wharf are used for official fringe events, and other venues including The Resolution, The Rifle Club and The Metropole are used for unofficial events.

For many years there was an 80's night held at Laughtons, a genuine venue from the 1980s. The night would traditionally end with the song Vagabonds. In 2010 this venue became a Wetherspoons Hotel, but the lineal descendant of the 80's night continues to take place on the Sunday night.

The "weekend" starts during the day on Friday and fringe events are held on Thursday, Sunday and Monday including club nights, markets, and a charity football match between visiting goth team Real Gothic, and local team Stokoemotiv Whitby. During the October/November event there is an independent custom car show, 'Whitby Kustom' in the grounds of West Cliff School. There are also several "meet ups" aimed at goths with a particular interest, e.g. Lolita Goth.

Newbies who have not attended the event before, are referred to as "Whitby Virgins". To help introduce them to the event, there is a WGW Virgins Meet Up on the Friday morning at the Spa.

Over the years there have been several "traditions" that have come and gone. Some of these include the Net.goth meal, as well as the traditional Monday evening beach party, which included a bonfire and occasional fireworks.


The event results in booming business for the town in general, with the weekend contributing £1.1 million per annum to the local economy.[6]

Sophie Lancaster

The October 2007 festival was dedicated to the memory of the murdered Goth Sophie Lancaster (who had attended three Whitby Goth Weekends) and a collection of more than £3,000 was raised from various events to fund a memorial bench to her in the town.[7][8][9]

Recent times

Since 2013 it is now possible to buy either a weekend ticket, or a single Friday/Saturday only ticket.

In the mid-2000s the October weekend on or near Halloween began to attract large numbers of non-goths in Halloween, horror, historical, fantasy and Sci-Fi costume. Including buskers and street entertainers, which has led to an increase in photographers and large crowds. Members of the Goth subculture have disassociated themselves from what is seen as a "non-goth fancy dress and photo parade".

In recent years, the weekend has attracted other alternative subcultures, including Victorian vampires, rockers, punks and members of the steampunk subgenre. Some regulars consider it is no longer a purely "Goth" weekend. It was acknowledged by Jo Hampshire in the 2014 Whitby Goth Weekend Guide, that in order to survive the event would have to diversify into other areas that have influenced Goth.

Concerns have grown about disrespect being shown to the graves in St. Mary's Churchyard by photographers using them for photographic purposes which has resulted in a petition to have the area closed during the event, an action that Whitby Goth Weekend fully supports.[10] The Bram Stoker Film Festival, which also takes place in the town, have rehashed the proposal to build a movie set graveyard which photographers would be charged to use.[11]

Whitby Goth Weekend acts by year

(*) indicates headline act for each night/event

Event # Title Date Bands (split into nights where applicable)
1 Whitby 1 2–4 September 1994 Friday:
Inkubus Sukkubus*, 13 Candles, Nightmoves, All Living Fear

[12] [13]

2 Whitby 2 1–3 September 1995 Saturday:
Children On Stun*, Shadowmaker, Suspiria, The Horatii, Manuskript
3 Whitby 3 27–29 September 1996 London After Midnight*, The Marionettes, *Corpus Delicti, Die Laughing, Midnight Configuration
4 Whitby 4 25–26 April 1997 Friday:
James Ray's Gangwar*, Dream Disciples, Libitina
Stun*, The Merry Thoughts, Judith
Emma Conquest, Robed In Desire, The Tortured, Violet Times
5 Whitby 4.5 31 October – 1 November 1997 Inkubus Sukkubus*, Manuskript, Psycho TV Rosetta Stone*, The Horatii, Sunshine Blind
6 Whitby 5 24–25 April 1998 Faith and the Muse*, Die Laughing, Nekromantik All Living Fear*, These Crimson Dreams, Isobels Shrine
7 Whitby 5.5 30–31 October 1998 Sunshine Blind*, Funhouse, Nervosa, Dream Disciples (at overspill venue), Passion Play (at overspill venue) Rosetta Stone*, Emma Conquest, Faithful Dawn, Sunshine Blind (at overspill venue), The Sisters Of Murphy (tribute act at overspill venue)
8 Whitby 6 23–24 April 1999 Switchblade Symphony*, The Last Dance, Denyze & Ed Alleyne-Johnson Manuskript*, This Burning Effigy, Star 80
9 Whitby 6.5 5–6 November 1999 Dream Disciples*, Manuskript, Passion Play, The Breath Of Life (band) (at overspill venue), Sneaky Bat Machine (at overspill venue) The Breath Of Life*, The Narcissus Pool, The Chaos Engine, Sneaky Bat Machine, Manuskript (at overspill venue), Dream Disciples (at overspill venue), The Chaos Engine (at overspill venue)
10 Whitby 7 28–29 April 2000 Mesh*, Saints of Eden, The Chaos Engine Sigue Sigue Sputnik*, VNV Nation, Putra-Chic
11 Whitby 7.5 3–4 November 2000 Clan of Xymox*, Screaming Dead, Mist Of Avalon Inkubus Sukkubus*, Emma Conquest
12 Whitby 8 27–28 April 2001 Dream Disciples*, Attrition, Adfinem Je$us Loves Amerika, The Last Days, Seize, The Faces Of Sarah
13 Whitby 8.5 2–3 November 2001 Andi Sexgang*, Sorrow D.U.S.T., Finger Puppets, Swarf, Rome Burns, Cauda Pavonis
14 WGW 9 26–27 April 2002 Paradise Lost*, Manuskript, Passion Play, Je$us Loves Amerika Action Directe, Arkam Asylum, Little Match Girl, Synthetic
15 WGW 9.5 1–2 November 2002 Last Rites*, The Narcissus Pool, Swarf Beautiful Deadly Children, Ordinary Psycho, Season's End, Spermwhale
16 WGW 10 11–12 April 2003 Belisha, deadfilmstar, Scary Bitches, The Ghost Of Lemora, Torsohorse Red Lorry Yellow Lorry*, Spares, Synthetic, Psychophile
17 WGW X 30 October – 1 November 2003 Thursday:
Inkubus Sukkubus*, Faith and the Muse, DeathBoy
Wayne Hussey*, The Chaos Engine, All Living Fear
Icon of Coil*, Sheep on Drugs, Goteki
All About Eve*, Manuskript, Rose McDowall
18 WGW 11 23–24 April 2004 The Damned*, Earth Loop Recall, Zombina and The Skeletones The Mission*, Dream Disciples, Libitina
19 WGW 11.5 29–31 October 2004 Manuskript*, The Last Dance, Corrosion, Faetal Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction*, Claytown Troupe, Beautiful Deadly Children, Torsohorse Alien Sex Fiend*, Glass, Ovni[14]
20 WGW 12 22–23 April 2005 Gene Loves Jezebel*, Voltaire, Psychophile, Screaming Banshee Aircrew In the Nursery*, QueenAdreena, Devilish Presley, Greenhaus[15]
21 WGW 12.5 28–29 October 2005 Doctor and the Medics*, NFD, DeathBoy, Katscan Rico*, Mechanical Cabaret, The Modern, Neon Zoo[16]
22 WGW 13 21–22 April 2006 Manuskript*, Swarf, Misty Woods & GDM, History Of Guns The Breath Of Life*, Frankenstein, Zombina and The Skeletones, Spares[17]
23 WGW 13.5 27–28 October 2006 The Damned*, Vampire Beach Babes, Trauma Pet, Xykogen XPQ-21*, Katzenjammer Kabarett, Inertia, Uninvited Guest[18]
24 WGW 14 27–28 April 2007 The Last Dance*, Sohodolls, D.U.S.T., RazorBladeKisses The Crüxshadows*, Bella Morte, Machine Gun Symphony, Rome Burns[19]
25 WGW 14.5 26–27 October 2007 The Cassandra Complex*, Crud, Ghost of Lemora, Voices of Masada The Birthday Massacre*, Sins of the Flesh,[20] All Living Fear, Pro-jekt[21]
26 WGW 15 26–27 April 2008 Star Industry*, Skeletal Family, Cauda Pavonis, Dyonisis Clan of Xymox*, Mercurine, Screaming Banshee Aircrew, Snuff Radio[22]
27 WGW 15.5 31 October – 1 November 2008 Specimen*, Christian Death, Rezurex Wayne Hussey*, Voltaire, The Beauty of Gemina[23]
28 WGW 16 24–26 April 2009 Abney Park*, The Last Dance, Zeitgeist Zero[24] Diary of Dreams*, The House of Usher, RazorBladeKisses[25]
29 WGW 16.5 30 October – 1 November 2009 The Eden House*, Zombina and the Skeletones, Grooving In Green Faith and The Muse*, Adoration, Rhombus[26]
30 WGW 17 22–25 April 2010 Justin Sullivan*, Deviant UK, In Isolation Anne-Marie Hurst*, Pretentious Moi?, Vendemmian[27][28]
31 WGW 17.5 29–31 October 2010 Wayne Hussey (with special guests Simon Hinkler, Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls)*, Autumn Cannibals, The Last Cry[29] Manuskript*, The Stripper Project, Pro-jekt[30]
32 WGW 18 25–27 March 2011[31] Red Lorry Yellow Lorry*, Fuzzbox, Dr Arthur Krause, Black Moth, Dutch Order The Damned*, Frankenstein, The Beauty Of Gemina, Luxury Stranger, Pink Hearse
33 WGW 18.5 4–6 November 2011[32] Abney Park*, The Mist of Avalon, Devilish Presley, Cryogenica, Berlin Black Chameleons vox*, Voltaire, Rhombus, The Dark Shadows, The Death Notes
34 WGW 19 27–29 April 2012[33] In The Nursery*, Ugly Buggs, The Spiritual Bat, Last July Gene Loves Jezebel*, Die Laughing, The Bellwether Syndicate, Red Sun Revival, Dead Eyes Opened
35 WGW 19.5 2–4 November 2012[34] Mesh*, Fangs On Fur, Inertia, Dutch Order, Last July Alien Sex Fiend*, Blitzkid, All Living Fear, The Last Cry, Bad Pollyanna
36 WGW 20 26–28 April 2013 Voltaire*, Doctor and the Medics, Zombina and the Skeletones, Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons Clan Of Xymox*, Skeletal Family, The Danse Society, Deviant UK, William Control
37 WGW 20.5 1–3 November 2013 William Control*, Fearless Vampire Killers, Ashestoangels, Bad Pollyanna Diary Of Dreams*, Bella Morte, Rabia Sorda, Method Cell
38 WGW 21 25–27 April 2014 Toyah*, Vince Ray & The Boneshakers, Cold In Berlin, Alexa De Strange New Model Army*, The Last Cry, UK Decay, Jordan Reyne[35]
39 WGW 21.5 31 October – 2 November 2014 Heaven 17*, Visage, Deviant UK, Black Volition Voltaire*, Hugh Cornwell, Rhombus, Bad Pollyanna, Lesbian Bed Death[36]
40 WGW 22 23–26 April 2015 Thursday:
The Birthday Massacre*, Abney Park*, The Red Paintings, Ashestoangels
The Crüxshadows*, Bella Morte*, Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic, The Last Dance
Andi Sex Gang*, The Chameleons Vox*, Manuskript, Jordan Reyne
The Damned*, William Control*, Doctor And The Medics, Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons[37]
41 WGW 22.5 30 October – 1 November 2015[38] Altered Images*, Fearless Vampire Killers, Bad Pollyanna, Chasing Dragons Spear of Destiny*, The Last Cry, Vince Ripper and the Rodent Show, In Isolation[39]
42 WGW 23 22–24 April 2016 Therapy?*, The Red Paintings, Lene Lovich, Hands Off Gretel Wayne Hussey*, Fuzzbox, Rhombus, She Made Me Do It[40]
43 WGW 23.5 4–6 November 2016 Heaven 17*, Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic, Manuskript, Kitty in a Casket The Mission*, Skeletal Family, Children On Stun, Chasing Dragons[41]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whitby Gothic Weekend.


  1. "Case details for trade mark UK00002598441: Whitby Goth Weekend". IPO. 3 February 2012.
  2. "Case details for trade mark UK00002608916: WGW". IPO. 18 May 2012.
  3. "Case details for trade mark UK00002608920: logotype". IPO. 1 June 2012.
  4. "Case details for trade mark UK00003016493: Whitby Gothic Weekend". IPO. 8 November 2013.
  5. 1 2
  6. "Whitby's goth visitors' £1m seaside bounty". BBC News Online. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  7. "Memorial planned for murdered goth girl". Whitby Gazette. 9 October 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  8. "Goths unite in tribute bid for tragic Sophie". Halifax Evening Courier. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  9. "Sophie's memory to live on". Whitby Gazette. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  10. Close St Mary's Churchyard in Whitby over the Goth Weekends https://www.facebook.com/whitbygothweekend/posts/1015075705251684
  11. Burgess, Kaya (17 May 2016). "Whitby to make a scene for the goths". The Times (71912). p. 21.
  12. Photo of original stage running times, posted to the WGW Facebook group by Matthew North of All Living Fear, March 2015 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153093893700631&set=gm.10155364046870381&type=1&theater
  13. Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Archived 26 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. Archived 28 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. Archived 6 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. Archived 5 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. Archived 1 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. Archived 21 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. Archived 5 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. "NEWS". Whitby Goth Weekend. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  23. "NEWS". Whitby Goth Weekend.
  24. Line up announcement video from Official WGW YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udaDZ7WVvNc
  25. Line up announcement video from Official WGW YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6-hwYO6wNo
  26. Line up announcement video from Official WGW Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/whitbygothweekend/videos/vb.273203669438895/797118157047441/?type=3&theater
  27. Dates announcement from Official WGW Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/whitbygothweekend/photos/a.273213002771295.62608.273203669438895/822487117843878/?type=1&theater
  28. Line up announcement video from Official WGW Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/whitbygothweekend/videos/vb.273203669438895/837100003049256/?type=2&theater
  29. Line up announcement video from Official WGW Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/whitbygothweekend/videos/vb.273203669438895/909456592480263/?type=2&theater
  30. Line up announcement video from Official WGW Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/whitbygothweekend/videos/1025005804258674/


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