Goths set to flock to Whitby for festival fun and frolics

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Whitby Gothic Weekend returns to the town later this month welcoming thousands of extravagantly dressed visitors to what has become one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the world.

Founded by Jo Hampshire in 1994, the official weekend, which embraces people from all kinds of genres from transvestites and steam punks, to bikers, metallers and emos, is on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April.

It will see top gothic acts including psychedelic rock band Doctor and The Medics who enjoyed a number one hit in the 1980s with their song Spirit in the Sky and headliner Voltaire who is flying in from New York to take to the stage on the Friday .

The Saturday will be more of a “trad goth night” according to WGW founder Jo Hampshire and will see Netherlands band Clan of Mymox and a host of other acts rock the crowds.

Jo, who is encouraging businesses and locals across town to support the festival said: “We said six months ago we were struggling financially and that we needed support, the Regatta has said the same thing, we are very much the same.

“We want to appeal to people to put their money behind Whitby events.

“Our ticket sales are better this April than last April but we have been feeling the pinch.

“£55 for a weekend ticket is the least of people’s expenses. We’ve tried to talk to the B&B owners in Whitby and a lot of them are still only offering a three day stay, a lot of goths might only one to come for one night.”

In addition to the live music, 100 market stalls will sell an array of gothic clothing at Whitby Leisure Centre and the Pavilion.

As always, a host of fringe events will take place across town at the Shambles, Whitby Rifle Club, the Resolution and the Met among the regular venues.

Jo said the festival is now very much a family affair as people bring along their kids to join in the spectacle and they are working closely with SIV Ltd who run Whitby Pavilion to continue its success.

Win tickets for the festival in next week’s Whitby Gazette.