Whitby Spring: A Tale of Two Festivals

It’s just two months until various goth-themed celebrations begin in Whitby, and time to look ahead to what is happening and when. In this, I’m grateful to the hard work of Ian Francis, who strives to add a Whitby-wide itinerary to the various groups for information. Good work!

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Top Mum Promotions, of long-standing event ‘Whitby Goth Weekend‘ which no longer holds events at Whitby Pavilion, have elected to hold their own event 12 – 14 April.
This is two weeks before Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival, courtesy of Absinthe Promotions – 26 – 28 April. Absinthe contacted me with the statement they’ve officially released to clarify any confusion;

We are getting a lot of questions regarding the split in the Spring and Winter dates between ‘Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival’ (26 to 28th April) and the previous promoter’s so we thought it best to clarify a few points.

When we first announced the festival in July 2018, we released both April and November 2019 dates and kept them as close to the usual dates as possible. After announcing this, the previous promoter announced different dates to mid-April and this has caused some confusion. We have coordinated with other promoters over this weekend to make sure our dates stay the same to make it a more inclusive festival to go to.

We have also strived to announce our line-ups as early as possible to assist in planning and will be announcing the full November line-up on 1st March. For further details please visit www.tomorrowsghostsfestival.co.uk

At the same time, allies of WGW have protested that the older festival has long established the dates, and it is Tomorrow’s Ghosts who have ‘split the crowd’ with the new times – another flare up in the ongoing grudge match it seems! Certainly, I shared the 2019 dates from Tomorrow’s Ghosts as early as July 2018, but the issue remains of who exactly fired the starting pistol first!

I note that many of the smaller promoters have elected to follow Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival, with events run by Goth Town, Sexy Sunday, Marquis Masquerade and others all tied in with the last weekend of April. Meanwhile, WGW continues to offer the ever-popular Bizarre Bazaar and Fringe events, but no word as to whether they’ll have a live music line-up or venue as yet. Should anyone be headed to WGW and wish to file a review, please let The Blogging Goth know!

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Conversely, I’m holding out and heading to Tomorrow’s Ghosts, whose stellar lineup has some artists close to my heart – The Chameleons, PWEI, New Model Army – and some artists I’m itching to see live – Saigon Blue Rain, Christine Plays Viola. It’s a great mix of classic and breaking new talent, with some international appearances as well – a wise move to head off a UK-heavy set of familiar faces. I’ll be posting regularly to social media, and a review should follow promptly.

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On the fringe events, Absinthe are pursuing a horror theme enthusiastically, with discussion events featuring the ‘Women of Hammer’ – the leading ladies from the bright-red blood-stained British classic movies who will be talking about their experiences and answering questions. Joining them will be author, historian and descendant of the famed Dracula creator, Dacre Stoker who will be updating vampire fans on his investigations into the mythology and history of our favourite Transylvanian count!
I’m very flattered to be asked to host this session so please join us on Sunday 28th and bring your most cutting questions!

Sadly this does mean I’ll miss the inaugural match between Stokomotive Whitby FC and brand new goth football team F.C. 2019 Gothenheim, who will both be taking to the turf for good causes. A great deal of delicate diplomacy has gone on to ensure a team comprised of the players in black can be fielded, whilst bearing in mind who is attending what weekend and wants to play in the first place! Please take the time to check out the beautiful (goth) game and the pitch-side punnery which is an absolute highlight of the Whitby experience.

Around all of this, I intend to step into some of the alternative events on offer such as RAW Nightclub, ekeing out my bank account in the markets, plenty of time drinking and catching up with friends in the pubs of Whitby, and my regular visits to sightseeing spots like the Abbey. I’d also recommend a visit to the Museum, which is absolutely crammed with fascinating artefacts from this beautiful town’s rich history.

Despite all of the drama, which I naively believed would be put to rest at the last event, I’m still keenly anticipating this high point in the UK Goth calendar. Will I see you there? What are you most looking forward to?

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3 Responses to Whitby Spring: A Tale of Two Festivals

  1. Ben Wilson says:

    “Certainly, I shared the 2019 dates from Tomorrow’s Ghosts as early as July 2018, but the issue remains of who exactly fired the starting pistol first!”

    Not sure why ‘the issue remains’ when you are already fully aware of the WGW page releasing its dates on 29th June 2018:

    and the WGW group following suit on the 30th June 2018:

    All this was linked in the source post for this article, so I find it odd you’re maintaining the issue of who posted first isn’t completely clear and factual.

    At the time of those posts, SIV still hadn’t confirmed who their partner was going to help them host goth events, so it’s completely impossible for Absinthe to have released anything before WGW.

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  2. Mark Johnson says:

    It has been acknowledged elsewhere that the Spa dates were already fixed for 2019 before the new promoter was announced, most likely before the new promoter was even chosen.

    TopMum were aware of those dates but chose to run their events on different weekends, at variance to their usual pattern. Which is eminently sensible if you’ve got a strong itinerary to promote… but given that 8 months later all that has been announced is a market (and a few fringe events) it appears more likely the dates were rushed out to target people who (understandably) want to get their accommodation booked early, but will nevertheless be expectating the usual full programme of events. If the usual full programme of events fails to materialise, people may well feel they have been deliberately misled, in which case I very much doubt they’ll be willing to give TopMum a second chance. Hopefully this won’t be the case.

    I don’t think there is any doubt that it was TopMum who deliberately “split the crowd”, which is the crux of the matter and the point that is trying to be made here. My personal opinion is that the Absinthe statement is inaccurate in the wording but correct in its substance, and arguing about the semantics is deliberately ignoring the message.

    The bottom line is that if TopMum genuinely weren’t aware of the Spa dates when they announced theirs, they would have now issued such a clarification, in the same manner that they have done on previous occasions for previous misunderstandings. And if they genuinely desired to be on the same weekend as the Spa events, they would have waited for Absinthe’s own announcement first to be sure. Given the lack of any other announcement for several months afterwards, it’s difficult to see what difference waiting a couple of weeks would have made. However you cut it, applying occam’s razor it was TopMum’s decision to split the dates.

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  3. Rachel says:

    I’ll not see you that weekend I’m afraid as i am going to Whitby on the earlier dates, but i hope you have a blast whatever you get up too!

    Liked by 1 person

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