THE organiser of the official Whitby Gothic Weekend (WGW) says this year’s event went back to its origins and was more about the music.
Jo Hampshire told the Whitby Gazette the March WGW had been a success and defended the split which has led to two different goth weekends being organised and confusion among visitors to the town, hotels and businesses.
She believes there is room for two events and the town’s traders, shops, pubs, restaurants and b&bs will get two bites of the cherry.
Ms Hampshire, who has been running the official WGW for 17 years, said: “As a business it has not been quieter than the normal April events.
“Our numbers at the Pavilion have been exactly the same, in fact it was 75 people short of a sell-out.
“Tourism estimate that between 5,000 and 7,000 people are in Whitby each goth weekend.
“It looks like it was quieter because people weren’t sat in the pubs the way they normally do – that is because it went back to being a music festival for people interested in music. It was like the old days.
“We had about 600 in the Pavilion Friday night and about 1,125 on the Saturday for The Damned.
“They hardly do any UK gigs but they are great friends of the festival.”
Splitting from the Alt Fest event, which will be taking place until Monday, was still the right move, says Ms Hampshire, who added that businesses shouldn’t be worried the split will affect trade.
She added: “When we come together there is not enough accommodation, places to eat and everywhere you go is absolutely packed.
“Businesses, shops and hotels shouldn’t be worried, they should see it as a positive thing.
“Normally they will be turning people away, they will take more money split over two weekends than they would have if it was a single weekend.
“Going forward, we will keep going the way we do, if Alt Fest continues we wish them well but I am concentrating my energy on what my festival is about and that is about the music.”
Over the weekend, the official Whitby Gothic Weekend distributed 20,000 flyers advertising the November event and has set up a website called www.wgwtraders.co.uk listing 160 businesses that have had goth weekend stalls.