IT may be split over two weeks this spring, but gothic visitors to Whitby have a veritable feast of entertainment in store for the first instalment of the town’s annual festival of the dark side.
DJs, markets, live music, comedy, the ever-popular Whitby Gazette versus Real Gothic football match and even an insight into the minds of killers at a Whitby pub, plus much much more is in store for visitors this year.
The fun kicks-off on Wednesday and continues over the weekend when the official gothic weekend’s events take place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March at Whitby Pavilion, where ticketholders will sees a welcome return performance from headline act – punk band The Damned on Saturday.
Fringe events continue on the Monday too, but the itinerary doesn’t stop there as from Thursday (31 March), there are another five days of jam-packed entertainment in store including bands, markets and DJs playing in various venues across town following the decision by promoters Dark Daisy fronted by Sam Hoyle to hold their events – The Whitby Alt Festival – the following week from Friday 1 to Monday 4 April.
Organiser of the official Whitby Gothic Weekend, Jo Hampshire, told the Whitby Gazette this year’s entertainment at the Pavilion has been totally re-vamped.
She said: “Instead of starting at 8pm, the first band is on at 8.30pm and the doors will be open at 7pm, ending at 2.45am on Saturday and Sunday.
“There are five bands on each night, normally we just have three.
“We’ve been trying to create a bit of new interest. We are always going to be one step ahead now.
“We will be putting 5,000 fliers around town letting people know what’s happening at the Pavilion and are launching a brand new website, www.whitbygothweekend.co.uk, which goes live on Friday.
“Thie March event has been more popular than the normal April, mainly because we’ve got The Damned performing. They are a really established band and on their website they are not advertising any other UK dates apart from Whitby Gothic Weekend.”
Miss Hampshire added once again this year, there has been a problem in securing accommodation for goths with many premises booked up, but some of her customers coming to see The Damned have told her they have been unable to book at B&Bs for just one night.
“I wish they would be a bit more reasonable,” she said. “I hope the hoteliers will work with us.
“The Damned fans just want to come and see the band but there are still a lot of people that want to come for the whole weekend and always have done but some people don’t want to.
“The Damned have played for us three times now. We’ve got an excellent relationship with them.”
The line-up for Saturday and Sunday includes Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Frankenstein and Fuzzbox, with acts coming from across the UK and Europe to take to the stage.
Miss Hampshire added: “Ticket sales are really good. We are expecting 500 to 600 people on the Friday and on Saturday because we are doing day tickets, we are edging towards a sell out.
“We’ve got the market in the theatre, the Northern Lights Suite and the exhibition hall downstairs this year.”