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20th Anniversary Of The Whitby Goth Weekend

I’m quite fond of Whitby and have visited a few times. It feels pretty bleak at times, resting by the sea and overlooked by the abbey. There are a couple of times every year when the goths emerge to attend a special weekend. I attended for the first time last year to see one of my favourite singers Aurelio Voltaire. There were other music acts on too and I left feeling awed by what I’d experienced. What really stood out to me was how welcoming the atmosphere was. I felt like I belonged and could walk around freely as myself without being judged. To me that is one of the wonderful things about goths, that they tend to be open minded and accepting of others no matter what they look like. In Whitby people don’t seem to hesitate to offer a friendly hello.

I got to enjoy the festival for a second time last weekend. It was a pretty special occasion being the 20th anniversary. Rather oddly, the weather was really sunny too and I got to enjoy fish cakes, ice cream and fresh doughnuts beforehand. There was some awesome music on the night I attended; Lesbian Bed Death, Bad Pollyanna, Rhombus, Hugh Cornwell and of course Aurelio Voltaire.

Bad Pollyanna were especially amazing and touched me rather deeply by firstly singing the song ‘Define Me’ which is about not judging people and putting them into boxes. They then followed up with the beautiful song ‘Invincible Girl’, which was released to support the Sophie Lancaster Foundation – to promote tolerance of other sub-cultures and to reduce hate crime. I often feel like many sub-cultures are either under-represented or misrepresented, and have had my own set of bad experiences, so it meant a lot me. I got a signed CD from them afterwards. Voltaire was his usual funny, amazing self coming on with just a guitar and a bottle of rum. I got to hear some of my favourite songs live for the first time. There was also a sneak peak at what he is working on next. I loved the long coat he was wearing too.

Unfortunately, I did start to fatigue towards the end for it was a pretty long night. There has to be a trick to standing for so long, but I think I had it worse for I strained my flat feet at the gym earlier in the week. Note to self, at my next concert rest my feet beforehand. Oh and maybe buy some comfier shoes too.

I feel sad that it’s over now because I was looking forward to it for so long. There aren’t many goth friendly hangouts where I live. The few places I did go to have changed over the years (they’re pretty grimy too.) I suppose I’ll have to save up and wait for the next festival to come around.