chapter  10
13 Pages

The Collective Ageing of a Goth Festival

WithPaul Hodkinson

This chapter explores a case study on a scenario in the form of the goth scene and, more specifically, a particular twice-yearly goth festival that has been taking place in the seaside town of Whitby in the north-east of the United Kingdom for approximately fifteen years. The Whitby Gothic Weekend (WGW) began in 1994 and developed into a twice-annual festival attended on each occasion by over a thousand goths and centred on live music, DJs and stalls selling specialist clothes, accessories and music. Socializing, catching up with friends and meeting new people have always been at the centre of the WGW experience, as is the case with a range of other festivals and conventions within the world of music and culture. The tendency towards a nostalgic emphasis on a past golden age in the organizational orientation of WGW as an event, meanwhile, was also visible in other elements of the festival’s entertainment.