The Whitby Gothic Weekend is a twice-yearly festival for Goths, in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England. The first festival was held in 1994, and it was held annually until 1997, when it became a twice-yearly event – generally held in April and October/November. Whitby was chosen in part because it features in Bram Stoker’s Dracula as well as inspiring it.
The origins of WGW lie in an ad hoc meeting of around forty pen-pals who Hampshire had met through NME and which was arranged in 1994. Hampshire states that Whitby was chosen for its Dracula connections, although probably more so because this had already fostered a sense of acceptance on the part of locals and businesses rather than any inherent romanticism regarding the location.
The festival was held yearly until 1997, when it became twice-yearly, now held in April and October. It has since grown into one of the most popular gothic events in the world, attracting attendees from across the UK and around the world. The main event is held at the town’s 1,000 capacity Whitby Spa Pavilion (known just as ‘The Spa’, this is also where the ‘Goth Market’ is held); however, other venues such as The Coliseum, Victoria Place are sometimes used for overspill events and various venues including The Resolution, Laughtons and RAW nightclub are used for unofficial events.Whitby Goth Week has now grown into one of the most popular gothic events in the world, attracting attendees from across the UK and around the world. Most of the events are held at the town’s 1,000 capacity Spa Pavilion, however, other venues such as The Metropole Hotel are used for overspill and unofficial events. Accommodation is normally fully booked up well in advance but have a good selection on our Whitby accommodation page.
Although referred to as a “weekend”, Whitby Goth Week includes events during the day on Friday and fringe events on the Thursday and Monday. The events always sells well and many more people attend than there are tickets available, resulting in booming business for Whitby pubs such as The Angel and The Elsinore.