LW – How did Dark Heart Events start ?
MGF – A ‘delectable gentleman’ asked himself… ‘Why isn’t there a gothic festival in Birmingham?’ and from that little question and an addiction to social media grew the group which became known as “Dark Heart Events”, and out of that, the first Midlands Goth Festival (MGF) plans emerged. There 10 people on the core organising group with lots of others offering help and advice too.
LW – In terms of Birmingham I automatically think of iconic rock bands such as Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, The Handsome Beasts etc. What is the Goth scene like in Birmingham ?
MGF – To quote one of our team: “I think the Goth scene in Brum needs a good kick up the arse!” and hopefully that is what we are doing!
Don’t get us wrong, there are some excellent nights out there in Birmingham (Zombie Club, or the Eddies based gigs and event nights such as The Dungeon room, Club Tron & Dystopia), and periodic University Goth Soc evenings, but there seems to be little else, in what is supposed to be the second city of the country!
Since the closure of the Toreador and Mercat pubs, and sad burning down of the original Edwards No.8 (Eddies) club, it does seem to have become more fragmented. A lot of the “back in the day” crowd have “grown up” and started going out less due to family or financial commitments – and there seems to be less of an influx of new faces on the scene, from university students to people moving to the region. Many have whispered that we need “something”, but nothing ever seemed to happen. Until now.
Hopefully with our events we will give Midlanders a new place on the Goth map!”
LW – Where did the idea to put together a gothic based festival originate from ?
MGF – The group all believe the Goth scene in Birmingham has been crying out for something more established for a few years, and putting on MGF is our attempt to bring it back and make it as good as it once was – to provide a resurgence of Birmingham as an “Alternative City” again.
The festival isn’t just for those who live on a “dark side”, but a gathering for “everyone” to look and experience something more than there preconceptions and enjoy themselves in sight, sound and mind. Birmingham is well known for embracing its multicultural and diverse community, so, along with it’s central location, was possibly the best choice to hold our first major event.
LW – What made you choose the Birmingham Ballroom for the venue to host the festival ?
MGF – It is just the right size, having a flexible layout to allow for expansion. A very supportive new ownership. The venue has been integral to the city’s nightlife for years (under various names) and local people have a great deal of affection for the place, their launch was beautifully timed with our own! It has just been refurbished so it feels all shiny and new – that’s a bonus!
LW – In terms of the bands that you have booked to play the inaugural Midlands Goth Fest why did you choose the ones that you have picked ?
MGF – Ultimately because we like them! We approached (and were approached by) lots of bands and genuinely found it really hard to choose. A lot of the team know members of several bands (which definitely helped with initial contacts) and there were so many great groups who were interested.
With the number of bands to choose from we had enough to put on several nights, featuring different sub genres. But, ultimately, as we are a self financing bunch of volunteers, we have to start small and build, so we eventually went for a line up of bands that we all like and thought would work well together.
LW – What songs are you looking forward to hearing from the bands ?
“Under The Wires” & “ target=”_blank”>New Kind Of Kick” Vince Ripper and the Rodent Show
“Reverse” & “The Eventual” by T-Lab
LW – What should we expect to see/experience from the festival ?
MGF – Tired organisers and happy people :) From the market and sideshows in the day through to the bands and disco, we’re just aiming for a day of full on goth related fun and to generate a really good buzz.
The longer term plan is to have more than one night, more than one room, and more bands! But for now, £15 (if you buy in advance) gets you 6 bands, 6 top DJs, and (not counting the Dark Market in the daytime) 9 hours of entertainment. At £2.50 a band.
LW – Are there any messages you would like to pass on to people who are interested inattending the Midlands Goth Festival (or any of the other Dark Heart Events nights) ?
MGF – As a self-funding start up, we have had to be realistic with what we can do for this first year, but we’re hoping that a success in February and at smaller events throughout the year will allow us to grow into something quite special. We have registered as a CIC (Community Interest Company) to show that we’re serious about organising things and supporting the scene – we’re hoping that people will organise themselves and support us as well! We are still looking for volunteers to help out at the festival, so please get in touch!!
For more information on the Midlands Goth Festival please check out:
For all other Dark Hearts events please check out: (and like) the official Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/DarkHeartEvents