Whitby Goth Weekend organisers deny report of Government funding
The organisers of Whitby Goth Weekend have denied reports that the festival has received funding from the Government, saying it is a rival event that has benefitted.
The Government announced over the weekend that it had given £55,000 to “Whitby Gothic Festival” which it stated had been “a pilgrimage for fans of Bram Stoker’s famous novel, Dracula, for over 25 years and has also attracted visitors due to the architectural and cultural heritage of the town”.
However, in a post on its Facebook page Whitby Goth Weekend, which was founded in 1994 by Jo Hampshire as a music festival, said that the money had instead gone to the Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival.
The Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival was founded in 2018 by Absinthe Promotions after the original goth weekend lost the license to put on bands at Whitby Pavilion following a dispute with the venue’s operator SIV.
The Whitby Goth Weekend post said: “You may have recently heard from numerous press outlets that ‘Whitby Gothic Festival’ has been subject to a very tasty financial bailout from the Governments Art Funding.
“While we’d love to say we’ve got such a big bank balance on the cards, it simply isn’t true.
“Whitby Goth Weekend, the festival which has run since 1994, is not subject to any funding.
“The cash package was sent over to Absinthe Promotions, who have, by contrast, only been running for a couple of years in our place at the Pavilion, with whom we have no ties or affiliation.
“We’re still just a group of friends and family with no cash flow during the Covid-19 pandemic and that isn’t, apparently, set to change any time soon.
“We hope this clarifies for anybody who might have been confused.”
Whitby Goth Weekend started life as a small number of like-minded people meeting up in Whitby with bands being put on in a local pub.
It quickly grew and became an internationally-renowned event that attracted thousands of people to the town.
The weekend planned to begin on October 30 was cancelled last month due to a spike in coronavirus cases in and around Whitby.
The Whitby Goth Weekend Facebook post also urged people to stay away from the town during the current climate.
It added: “We’d also like to extend the message to avoid Whitby this year.
"The population in town are concerned that, despite no events running this Autumn 2020, there may still be a substantial inflow of visitors during a time when social distancing is paramount.
“Please, do be sensible, and cancel if you’re able to.
"The people of Whitby have been hit incredibly hard by this situation but health and safety should always be paramount, regardless.”
A message from the editor
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive.
We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.
Jean MacQuarrie, Editor-in-Chief