IN THE wake of the split which has threatened the future of Whitby Gothic Weekend, the festival returned in style with cyber-goths, steampunk and rivetheads enjoying the town’s delights.
With their every move chronicled by a legion of photographers, the goth invasion was more subdued than normal as many participants were not sure if they were even at the correct event.
Jess Shutt (24), a cyber-steam crossover from Sheffield, said: “This has got to be the quietest goth weekend ever.
“It’s quite strange, it’s like a ghost town.”
For the first time in years local bed and breakfast’s were able to display their “vacancies” signs and the Friday night main event at Whitby Pavilion, featuring bands such as Dutch Order and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, saw only around 150 people attend.
However, this was the official Whitby Goth Weekend and most refused to let the uncertainty dampen their spirits.
From hen parties to grandparents and their grandchildren the range of people proved once again that the family-orientated event offers something for all ages.
Markets such as the Bizarre Bazaar drew crowds of people eager to restock their macabre supplies or purchase the next stage in the development of their costumes.
The Killers exhibition in the Shambles brought a touch of sadism to proceedings, while the annual Athletico Gazette versus Real Gothic football game was pure murder, as the Gazette side strolled to a 3-1 victory.
With the score tied at 0-0 at half time, the Paperboys slowly turned the screws and, apart from some comical defending that led to a gothic goal, the home team showed a standard of football rarely seen on the Turnbull Ground this season.
The Killers Live at the Shambles threatened to take those brave enough into the mind of serial killers and, according to Shambles manager Tracy Stevens, was an axe-wielding success.
She said: “Everybody that went through it thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Some people came out laughing but a lot of people came out screaming.”
The Shambles was packed the entire weekend and, for those whose nerve deserted them, the “scare attraction” is expected to return for the next goth weekend.
Once again the goth festivities were not restricted to humans, with Dottie the dog and other pets getting dressed up and joining in.
Dottie’s owner Ann Glibbery said: “This is her fourth or fifth time.
“She’s the most photographed dog in Whitby.”
For those left wanting more, the Whitby Alt Fest takes place from this Friday to Monday with a full programme of events including a masquerade ball and a number of live music events.