Broadly, we had a great time this weekend - the usual silliness abounded, and as part of Real Gothic FC I'd like to thank everyone who came along - we ended up with well over £700 raised for charity.
There was one thing that really got my goat over the weekend, though, and that was what transpired in terms of the Sunday night events that "replaced" Laughtons. I've gone into the weekend in full on my blog, but I've put the relevant rant in a cut below. I'm hoping that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.
In time gone by, Sunday night automatically meant heading to Laughtons for the drunken lunacy of the 80s night. But with the passing of the night into “new hands”, and then the end of Laughtons (after what felt like a long, lingering death), I think it was appreciated that things had to change. But what I didn’t expect was for two competing nights – both effectively trying to do the same thing – to go ahead. And frankly, as soon as it was realised the week before Whitby that both nights were going ahead, it became plainly clear that we wouldn’t have the usual good-natured climax to the weekend, instead having a split audience that went along with one allegiance or the other, and so for the most part it was two half-full venues. Clever, real fucking clever.
Honestly, when are the various “organisers” going to stop acting like a group of rowdy, narky schoolchildren and take a look around at what they are doing? I can’t be the only regular Whitby Goth Weekend punter that is absolutely sick and fucking tired of wondering what latest round of drama is going to kill off. For one thing, this past weekend was noticeably quieter than usual for a spring Whitby – when the pubs (even the Elsinore and Little Angel) are half-empty into the evening on Thursday and Friday, that much is bloody obvious – making me wonder just how much damage moving the weekend forward by a month from it’s usual date caused. Then there was the club nights issue. What exactly was the late announcement of “Back to the 80s” by the “official” organisers meant to achieve? All it did was seemingly encourage those who were left high and dry by the closure of Laughtons to find themselves a new venue, and simply undercut the “other” event. Rather than slinging mud, insults and childishly “banning” certain people from one event or the other, if the organisers of both events had put their egos aside for one moment, we could have had one great night, rather than two barely average ones.
For the record, we chose to go to the Resolution’s upstairs “function room” version of the 80s night (the one that wasn’t “official”, in the end), simply as it was free, and a damned sight closer to our accomodation. The music wasn’t bad – certainly better than last October, which appeared to be missing the point of what had gone before – but it was simply too warm in there and the venue absolutely sucks for a club night. I don’t need to be reminded of shitty school discos. I understand things got a little better later on – the “official” night finished earlier, so everyone headed down to the Resolution. However a number of people, including us, had already left by this point. Well done, folks.
So, what next? Are we going to see more toys thrown out of the pram in the public between now and November? You know what I’d like? For some heads to be fucking banged together and for some semblance of a united festival to return next time around, but I’m not counting on it. I don’t give a shit about the reasons for all this starting, as organisers and promoters those involved should have been professional enough to deal with it behind closed doors and not let it affect the festival and related events that continue to run. No collaboration between goths will ever be drama-free – it’s not in our nature, it seems – but it would be nice just for once not to have to choose between which friends you see at events because competing, otherwise almost identical, events are going on.
A final note – we heard rumours, and I say rumours – from two different sources that Spa posters for the Saturday night had been defaced with “cancelled” notices during the day, however I don’t know of anyone who actually saw them. Can anyone corroborate either way? (Yet another sign, if it did happen or if it didn’t happen and rumours were spread anyway, of just how insane this situation has become).
No matter what, though, I'll be back in November, of course, as we always are...