Happy World Goth Day everyone. It’s May 22nd, and what apparently started out as the day the BBC 6 Music Station narrowed it’s alternative music selections to focus specifically on Gothic. A small group of dedicated fans of Goth have been making efforts these last few years to expand the celebration into a global culmination of events to celebrate all things Gothic, as well as to garner community support for things like the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. To me, mid May seems a little incongruous, but maybe that’s the point. After all, if Hallmark can invent holidays, why can’t we?
WHAT IS WORLD GOTH DAY?
Goth Day is exactly what it says on the wrapper-a day where the goth scene gets to celebrate it’s own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world. It all started off as ‘Goth Day’ just in the UK back in 2009, but the following year we decided to push the idea across the globe.
SO WHAT IS THIS SITE FOR?
The purpose of this site is to centralize as much as possible everything you would need to make Goth Day a success in your part of the world, and therefore make the goth scene a success in your part of the world.
Please bear in mind that this the Goth Day website is a ‘labour of love’ of a few dedicated people, and not a corporate body with several hundred staff in the background! There may be times when you don’t see much going on here; all we ask is patience-we’ll get round to updating the site as much as possible.
In the meantime, you can contact us with any questions you have about Goth Day -we’ll try to help.
You will find downloadable promotional posters, web banners & other helpful bits as we can provide them on this site, and if demand requires it in the future, a discussion board will be put in place for people and promoters to exchange ideas, set up meets, etc.
We’ll also keep a constantly updated list of Goth Day events as provided by the promoters so you can check for the nearest one to you. (and if there isn’t one, you could always give it a go yourself).
WHY MAY 22ND?
Frankly, if there wasn’t an occasion on the 22nd of May, that day would just sit around on your calendar not earning its keep & generally freeloading off the other dates…
Seriously though…May 22nd was the date of Goth Day, the smaller scale UK incarnation of World Goth Day in 2009, originating from a desire to turn what started as a musical subculture weekend on the BBC 6Music station which focused on punk, Brit-pop and Goth (the Goth feature was on May 22nd) into something far bigger.
NOTE: It’s understood that May 22nd might not be a convenient date for everyone to celebrate Goth Day (let’s face it; Wednesdays are a ghost-ship for any event at the best of times), so it’s more of a guideline than a hard & fast rule. Most good events happen on a weekend, but we’ll cross that bridge as the years go by.
So far we have Mother’s Day, Fathers’ Day, Christmas, all manner of religious holidays, some of you may even have special annual celebrations for your pets. It’s only fair that Goths get to have a day of their own too.
BUT DON’T GOTHS MOSTLY TEND TO SHY AWAY FROM THE LIMELIGHT (OR FOR THAT MATTER, MOST FORMS OF LIGHT)?
Yes. But there are quite a few Goths who have fought damn hard to retain their identity despite peer pressure, family pressure and indeed, any pressure to conform. And if you’ve gone to all that trouble to preserve what you believe is the ‘real you’, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to shine for a day?
ISN’T HALLOWEEN A BETTER TIME TO HAVE GOTH DAY?
I suppose it is. As long as you want to share it with half the world who think it’ll be cool to wear black for a day just so they can look ‘spooky’, and completely miss the point after you’ve gone to all that effort to look that good all year round.
WHAT CAN I DO AS A GOTH ‘OFF THE STREET’?
There’s plenty of ways, but here’s a couple just to get you started.
Take over the radio.
You & your friends can canvas your local radio station (or supersize your efforts and take on the National stations) and get them to play at least one track by a goth band.
Without descending horribly into what you interpret goth to be (because this isn’t the place for it), firstly you’ll need to think about what you want them to play.
As you can imagine, the likelihood is that your local radio station doesn’t hold the latest album by whoever is currently enticing you to shadowdance around your front room bathed in imaginary dry ice. Make an obscure request and watch them ignore you hard in the face.
It may be best to ‘stick to the classics’, such as something by the Old School crowd (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, The Cult, Sisters, etc.) as the chances are that somewhere deep in the shelves of your local radio station, there’s a very dusty chart compilation CD from the eighties that only ever got played twice, and that was probably back in the early nineties.
You could try roping in your work colleagues into things as well.
A tried & tested game on Goth Day 2009 was an office sweepstake where everyone put money into a hat/bag/whatever & phoned into their local radio station and requested a track, whoever got their track played bagged the cash. It’s a win-win scenario.
Support your local goth night.
The chances are you’re probably going to do that anyway. But the sad fact is, that compared to your local ‘normals’ club night, goth nights have a hard time surviving for a number of reasons (also something else we won’t go into) and have a habit of disappearing, especially in smaller towns & cities.
Promoters run goth nights against many obstacles, be it venue issues, customer numbers, all manner of problems. One thing they all share in common is that they’re doing it for the scene, not for the money-have you ever seen a rich goth? Me neither.
There is a saying that ‘real Goths are old’. I haven’t a clue where it comes from. But the chances are that if you happen to be in your ‘twilight years’ so to speak, the real life scenarios of a day job & being married with kids means you can’t go out & ‘get your goth on’ as often as you did when you were younger.
Pencil in a babysitter for May 22nd and check what goth gear still fits. You & the other half have earned it. Plus, the good news is that the dance you did at your friend’s wedding probably won’t get laughed at in a goth night like it did then�
BUT I HAVE NO FRIENDS AND I DON’T OWN A RADIO!
Um, I got nothing. Dress up in full regalia and dance around your bedroom to goth songs in your head? Yeah. That’ll do it.
WHAT CAN I DO AS A GOTH PROMOTER?
The world is your oyster; Give them something to come from miles around for. Use what facilities you have to hand to not just make it a night; make it an event.
Hopefully by now, many bands will have heard about Goth Day and will want to be a part of it, so book a band or two if you can for the night. Check up on the availability of guest DJ’s in your area (or outside of the area for that matter).
As far as promotional items go, go nuts-everyone likes a freebie. Why not put on a raffle & donate the ticket price to a local charity or other worthy cause?
You could team up with other promoters in your area for a joint event, lightening the load a little and potentially making a bigger event. Essentially, the possibilities are as limited as your imagination!