*Bat Signal Activates*
Yes, it is Whitby time! Well not yet but close to it … And there is a bit of change for me. Indeed, last year I attended the April edition of the world famous event. I absolutely adored it and felt right at home. So, I eagerly looked to attend the October edition, aka the Halloween one … but could not see any particular events organised, as was the case for April … Disappointed, I awaited news regarding the 2019 edition … and still couldn’t see anything but club nights.
The cost of going up there really doesn’t justify me travelling for club nights, especially alone (this will change in October!). So I was rather sad, until I magically stumbled upon a page for Tomorrow’s Ghost Festival, held in …Whitby in April !
Yay, music and events! I am a sucker for music and can happily lose myself in good music. So, without skipping a bit I RSVP’d and amended my hotel booking. Oh, and the lovely Kirstin from Absinthe Promotions kindly agreed to a Q&A about the festival!
Without further ado … Meet Kirstin and Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival!
1. What is your involvement on the scene?
I guess my involvement in this particular scene started back in 1985 when my cousin took me to London to see The Sisters Of Mercy. He was working on this gig at the time and took me and my brother along with him so a huge room of black, crimped, backcombed hair and a lot of lipstick was my introduction to all things goth! I dabbled quite successfully in this scene as promoter in my early 20s before going to work in a family business of Morticians, but let’s make one thing clear, the two are not associated! Like most people who are into their music, I have no idea how many gigs I have attended over the years but seeing The Sisters Of Mercy as a young girl certainly led me down a path to more and more gigs. If I go back even further, my love for this scene started with Hammer Horror films and the Hammer House Of Horror TV series introduced to me by my Dad and that led me on another path to floaty 70s white cleavage busting dresses which I still wear when I go out on the town. I have an older brother who was a New Romantic, a die-hard Bowie fan and a vivacious social butterfly at that time and would have the likes of Marc Almond, Steve Strange, Sal Solo and David Sylvian round for tea or babysit me!
2. Tell us about your previous participation to WGW if any?
None on a personal level but sometimes gig goer. What’s great about Whitby is the coming together of people in a beautiful sea-side town and there’s no better place to have it.
3. What are your favourite things about Gothic subculture?
I know how lame this is going to sound, but I only ever considered myself a ‘goth’ as a teenager and in my early 20s. I consider myself a lover of music and it doesn’t have to be pigeon holed to ‘goth’ I love anything from The Mission to Pink Floyd, 60s Garage, Mastodon, Kyuss, Paradise Lost, Tool and the list goes on. There’s upsides and downsides to this subculture but the things I love mainly is the music and film. I’m not massively into modern day horror films as I’m bored of the same slasher type thing but much prefer old ghost stories and Hammer films like ‘Twins Of Evil’ ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ ‘Doctor Jekyll & Sister Hyde’ I also adore 80 horror such as ‘Fright Night’ The Lost Boys’ ‘Pet Sematary, the list goes on. The downside to this subculture is the elitist shit that dribbles from some.
4. What prompted you to start this new festival?
That’s a good question and without hesitation, author Dacre Stoker. Dacre is the great grand- nephew of Bram Stoker and we met some time ago and had discussed him coming over to Whitby to deliver his spectacular ‘Stoker On Stoker’ at the time. This was a brilliant talk on what it was like growing up in Dublin and what had inspired him to write Dracula. Dacre came over to Yorkshire and we stayed good friends and have since worked on other events together like our one in April called ‘Hammer Glamour and the Secrets Of Dracula. Since then, Dacre has written Hollywood’s number one blockbuster ‘Dracul’ a fantastic prequel to Dracula which has recently been bought by Paramount Pictures and to be directed by Andy Muschietti’ (director of the re-make to Stephen King’s IT). The good thing about running a festival is that you can select all of your favourite things and bring them together for other people to enjoy! Our Sunday event in April will see Dacre and our ex Hammer Horror/Bond actress’s Caroline Munro, Pauline Peart, Valerie Leon and Martine Beswick take to the stage to be interviewed by friend and blogger Mr Tim Synistr. After the previous promoter left, we were asked by SIV (Sheffield International Venues) to bring our festival to the Pavilion and last October was our first one in this venue which was a fantastic success with headliners Paradise Lost and Fields Of The Nephilim.
5. What is Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival offering compared to the old WGW? Are you concerned about the fact they’re happening in April?
We’re offering a wider variety of music, film, theatre and a thriving market where anyone is welcome. In particular, the Victorian theatre lends itself to a great, atmospheric setting for classic horror. I will never pretend that it’s wildly different from it’s hey day but my intention is to keep it a place where people can enjoy themselves, be comfortable and feel like they are truly welcome. I’m not worried about the split of dates in April as I think if you book great bands, then the tickets will sell. Over the years the goth festival has become more than any one single event. We have stuck to the traditional dates and other promoters have done also making this more of a festival with more variety. Longstanding events such as Sexy Sunday and Marquis Masquerade, the charity football team will also be appearing on this weekend making it fun again.
6. What do you want the festival goers to remember about the weekend?
Mainly happy memories and sweaty t-shirts!
Thanks again to Kirstin for this cool interview and get your ticket over here ! Pop us a message if you are going and see you there – and on the blog – as I will be covering the event and then October’s WGW!
How do you keep your scene alive? Is there much around your area? Let me know in the comments 🙂