On the last weekend of October I decided to visit the Whitby Goth Weekend. As I was going alone and for only one night I decided not to use the campervan. Instead I used the more fuel efficient Berlingo and booked a cheap hostel. Whitby is not very friendly to wild campers so had I used the camper I would have probably stayed the night on nearby Yorkshire Moors.
Whitby Goth Weekend October 2018 – What to expect
The Whitby Goth Weekend dates back to 1994 and was founded by Jo Hampshire. It’s become so popular that it happens twice a year, one event in April and one in October. I’ve actually visited once before back in April 2016 and was keen to visit again. Whilst it is called a Goth Weekend in truth it has branched out and become much more than that. There are events in the evening with live music that appeals to goths but during the day you are just as likely to see people in steampunk costumes and even Halloween themed costumes too. For most goths it’s about a lifestyle choice and not about fancy dress so it’s entirely possible some goths will have mixed feelings about what the event has become. For someone interested in a colourful and photogenic event like myself, it holds great appeal.
The centre of the action
For first timers to this event it’s pretty easy to find the centre of the action. Generally you will see the crowds from anywhere in the town centre. One of the main focal points is the Church of St Mary which is at the top of the famous 199 Whitby steps. The church has been a controversial location in relation to the Whitby Goth Weekend. The cemetery is a religious place and the final resting place for loved ones. The tombstones though have often been used like props in photographs of people in costumes. The church is still open during the Whitby Goth Weekend and hopefully will remain so as long as people treat it with some respect.
After descending the steps you find yourself on Church Lane. This narrow, cobbled street is full to bursting with people during Whitby Goth Weekend. Luckily there are a number of alleyways leading off which make for ideal photographic locations if you want to photograph a willing person without lots of members of the public in the background.
There are also a couple of indoor locations to mention. The Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market takes place in Whitby Leisure Centre and Whitby Brunswick Centre. I didn’t personally visit either but may do on my next visit just to see what sort of items are sold.
Whitby Goth Weekend 2019 Dates
If you are interested in visiting this popular event the dates for 2019 have already been announced. They are:
12-14 April 2019
25-27 October 2019
For more information a good website to visit is the official Whitby Goth Weekend website. To see a large number of the photographs I took this year visit either my Facebook page or my Instagram account.