Whitby Goth Weekend this April has been cancelled
Goths will not gather in Whitby this spring after the first of the town's biannual festivals was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Several of the venues and pubs used to host live music, club nights and the Bizarre Bazaar market during Whitby Goth Weekend are no longer open and organisers have now made the decision to call off the April festival.
They hope to still hold the October event as planned once restrictions are lifted.
The cancellation will be a huge blow for the town, as hotels and guesthouses are often fully booked by the goth community during the festivals and pubs are busy. A large number of 'goth watchers' also visit Whitby to admire the outfits on display.
The organisers plan to run an online 'virtual bazaar' selling goods made by independent traders associated with Whitby Goth Weekend.
A statement from Whitby Goth Weekend read: "Our inbox has been inundated with requests for information and updates since the government conference on Friday.
"Sadly 5.30pm on a Friday is not a good time for the government to give us information and meant that we were unable to have any real conversations with our venues and staff over Saturday and Sunday.
"With pubs, restaurants and leisure centres now closed, our venues will not be open over April's WGW dates. Before this latest advice we were running off of announcements that permitted us to operate due to the intimate nature of our venues and events - this, naturally, is no longer the case.
"Beyond this, after viewing scenes from the coast this weekend, we encourage people to please follow Government guidelines and self-isolate.
"Do not fill small seaside resorts like Whitby, no matter how much you love the beautiful town. It is not safe, and with such a small population, could prove to have horrific effects.
"Please be sensible, contact your accommodation and cancel if you can. We'll see you all in October."
The Whitby Goth Weekend was founded by Jo Hampshire in the Elsinore pub in 1994, and became a twice-yearly gathering in 1997. It's never been cancelled before.
It's thought the weekends contribute over £1million to Whitby's economy and there are around 10,000 nights booked in local guest accommodation.