My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Monday, 30 May 2016

World Goth Day 2016: First Annual World Goth Day Picnic!

This year Inverness had its first annual World Goth Day Picnic, and I organised it! 

The assembled World Goth Day picnic contingent!
I'm hiding at the back under my hat and parasol, trying to pretend I'm short.
Photo credits are to Suzy_Bugs, who isn't shown in the photo as she's taking it!

It wasn't a big public event, I just invited every Goth I personally knew in the Inverness area to come have a picnic with me - especially as the date was after the end of my last exams and after my birthday (which was in the middle of exams!) so there were plenty of excuses to celebrate. 26 out of just about 60 people invited turned up, which considering most of those who didn't come were not doing so because of either work of family commitments, is pretty good. I didn't want to organise an official public event because that is a lot of work for something where I didn't know whether people would even want to come or not. 

I was actually surprised that 26 people turned up; I was expecting about half that. I have organised Goth events before, and in the past no more than a dozen people have turned up because it is a very small community in the Highlands, and most of the Highland Goths have at least 1 job, plus are quite spread out over a broad geographic area. 

One of my friends drove me over to the city. I have moved house, and I can't drive due to neurological issues, and it wasn't practical to take all the picnic stuff on public transport, as I had all the cups, napkins, paper plates, etc. and quite a few big bottles of soft drinks that were rather heavy. She also brought her adult-size hoops with her, and I brought my ribbons. I used to do rhythmic gymnastics as a kid, but quit due to then-undiagnosed dyspraxia making me pretty useless at it, and she does hooping, and as it was a park we were heading to we thought we'd trade skills and let some of the others have a play. We had a lot of fun, and it must have been quite surreal for the non-Goth people in the park to see Goths hooping and ribbon dancing with brightly coloured hoops and ribbons.


The picnic was held at the Bellfield Park. Initially, we were going to have the picnic at Ness Islands, but I found out less than a week before the picnic that the Inverness Race for Life 10k run was scheduled to be routed through there at the same time as our picnic (this is what happens when I am busy with university and out of touch with what is going in Inverness!), so I picked the park as a back-up location as it has picnic tables and a sheltered area. 

I ended up half an hour late to my own picnic because of a few last minute delays and traffic and suchlike, and when we got there, there were a handful of Goths, and I thought that the picnic would only be 10 people at most. As the afternoon progressed, it turned out to be 26 in total. 

We sat, chatted, ate picnic food - I baked shortbread 'bone' biscuits, and specially decorate black and purple fairy-cakes, and other people brought their own home-made food - all very delicious - and some packets of crisps, sweets, etc. If I organise a bigger, better picnic, I will definitely bake more and bring more savoury food. I wish I had photographs of all the food - the bat cupcakes, my Goth-decorated fairy-cakes (some had ankhs on them, others were black with edible silver pearls making a studded effect!) and the bone biscuits especially. 

The best thing about the picnic was it being an opportunity for Goths of all ages from the area - from 15 year old younglings to elder-Goths who remember the scene in the '80s - to enjoy being Goth, make new friends, take pride in being ourselves, and generally have fun and socialise. I had so many positive and thankful messages after the event; there has to be another picnic next year, and I will have to organise an official venue. I am not sure how to go about running a proper public event - there's things like insurance, permission from the council, making posters, etc. - but I will look into these things and hopefully next year there will be a proper public World Goth Day event, rather than a personal picnic that got rather larger than anticipated! 

Before the picnic, I had made a FaceBook group for the event, and made sure that there were basic rules on behaving in the park - no scaring the children or going to the play-park area, no dropping litter, no alcohol, and no getting in the way of other people's enjoyment of the park. Everyone kept to those rules pretty well, except for a bit of litter, and I made sure to pack everything away and throw all litter I could find in the bins there and not leave a mess for the park warden/person working at the refreshment stand. Despite the numbers, we only really used 3 of the available benches, and kept to our own little group. It didn't seem like we were interfering with the use of the nearby tennis courts or causing any sort of bother. The weather included two thunderstorms, so the park wasn't very busy that day anyway. 

8 comments:

  1. A nice-looking group, I'd say. Congratulations on organizing a successful event.

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    1. I'm really chuffed with how well the event ran :) I've never organised anything like this before! This is a step up from the smaller Lolita meets and house parties and vampire soirees I am used to.

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  2. What a lovely idea for an event! I love the picture, such a lovely assemble! <3

    http://looktheotherway.co

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    1. Suzy_Bugs took the photograph. She said everybody say "eek" instead of the usual "cheese" :P We're a bunch that enjoy getting dressed fancily for the occasion.

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  3. Everyone looks so happy! Congratulations on hosting such a fun event.

    I think not taking all the pictures of the food and events just tells us that you were present at the event. :) Glad you had a good time.

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    1. The food was eaten before anyone had chance to photograph it! I regret not photographing my fairy-cakes before taking it to the picnic, because I spent a good long while decorating them prettily.

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  4. Great work organising this! What a great turnout! I met some very good friends at our local city's Goth picnic.

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    1. I'm hoping to organise something a bit larger and more official the next time. As I did the inviting, I knew pretty much everyone there, but I'm hoping that friends who didn't know each other could be introduced, and hopefully getting people to mingle and find new Goths will be something that happens at the bigger picnic.

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