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Dark Waters Festival 2012
Dark Waters Festival 2012
Nottingham once revered as ‘Goth Central’ by many from all quarters of the UK’s Alternative Scene, has in recent years sought to revive this status with various goth and alternative events, clubnights, and most notably of late, through the formation and efforts of ‘The Ministry Of Goth’. Formed in 2010, Nottingham promoters Ministry Of Goth’s primary objective is to create a platform for social gatherings through events and club nights where bands and DJs perform to promote the scene. In 2011, the culmination of these efforts for Nottingham’s aspiring alternative scene came in the form of Dark Waters. A new two day annual festival of music, Dark Waters, under the umbrella of goth, is designed to promote all genres within the Alternative scene just as Whitby has since its inception back in the 1990s.
“It all began”, says DJ Heathen “when one of NMOG’s founding members, DJ Glitterhawk, approached the Nottingham Contemporary in September 2010 to look at the possibilities of setting up and running an after show party following the screening of Jeanie Finlay’s ‘Goth Cruise’ documentary. There was a bit of a buzz during the event with people asking what was next for The Nottingham Ministry of Goth? As there had been some general malaise that there was nothing to do in the week and people only had the chance to meet and catch up with friends at weekends at various club nights or at a gig, NMOG decided to lay the foundations for a monthly meet-up, rekindling social networks within the city, meeting mid week in a pub somewhere in the city centre. There was the chance for people already on the scene and those new comers to the city to all come together, chat and make friends or just come say hello to people they hadn’t seen for a while”.
Scary Bitches at Dark Waters Festival 2011
DJ Glitterhawk continues; “After talking with various people from the scene, it was a common feeling that Nottingham had virtually lost its status as a choice city for the Goth scene. NMOG felt that maybe it was time to give those people something more local and also reach out to those further away. This was the birth of Dark Waters Alternative Festival”.
Dark Waters debuted in May of 2011 and although initially beset with sound issues on the opening night, these were of little consequence as the calibre and professionalism of the selected bands encapsulated the rich diversity of today’s ever-evolving scene. From the opening act through to the closing band’s performance, Nottingham’s Ministry Of Goth had things just right, the mix of bands from around the world, the choice of DJs, a venue dressed as a cave and suitably sited away from the usual goth-botherering types, while the event attracted a sensible if not modest but visibly appreciative audience. Featured in a Nightbreed Radio special soon after the event, interview segments with some of the bands further enhanced the appeal for acts and audience alike.
The Last Cry at Dark Waters 2011
Following on from this success, Dark Waters returns in 2012 and has expanded to an impressive three days with this year’s line up of performing artists drawn from across the UK and Europe, representing an even wider expanse of genres. It is notable at becoming one of the highlights of the goth calendar with this year’s event seeing a rare UK appearance from French Deathrockers, The Cemetary Girlz and joining them, German electronic/synthpop trio Technoir representing ‘the rest of the world’. Garage glam punksters; The Dogbones, together with Pretentious, Moi? and Mechanical Cabaret each bring their own light to the Dark Waters cave, leading the way in this year’s musical extravaganza. Other acts to run the sound engineer’s gauntlet include Nottingham’s own Gina Stone, The Death Notes and the glammed up mayhem of London’s Release The Bats. This year’s event sees the addition of Ministry Of Goth’s clubnight, Batronic, running as something of an aftershow party for the Friday and Saturday, with special guest DJs providing an eclectic mix to keep the mood flowing well into the early hours.
As part of the lead up to the event, Dominion will be running features on all fifteen bands in the coming days. Dark Waters Festival 2012 runs from May 11th until May 13th at the Britannia Boat Club along the River Trent.
Tickets are available from www.ministryofgoth.co.uk/darkwaters
Both photographs courtesy of Davefish Photography www.davefishphotography.co.uk