But for Professor Christina Goulding it was the ideal event to begin researching the dark side of consumption.
findings have been very surprising.
Professor Goulding, of the Department of Marketing and Economics at the University of Wolverhampton Business School, is a leading figure in the analysis of consumer behaviour and new forms of marketing.
discovered a surprisingly welcoming atmosphere, with relaxed, cheerful groups of people aged up to 80 who were willing to give up hours of their time to talk to her
Examining the notion of consumption and performance, Professor Goulding
uncovered a 'star' system of Goth 'performers' at the festival.
Some simply favoured black clothing, while others spent thousands on original Victorian attire or created a whole 'vampire' look, with contact lenses, fangs and top hat and tails, revelling in the attention and happily posing for tourists' pictures.
The Goths enabled her
to examine aesthetics and consumption, with modern identities drawing on notions from the past.
Professor Goulding, who is based at the Management Research Centre, has worked for the University of Wolverhampton for 19 years and her research has developed from her early interests.
PhD researched consumer behaviour, examining the heritage boom and looking at how people consume the past.
is one of the founding members of the critical marketing group, which emerged from an Economic and Social Research Council funded seminar series.
works closely with colleagues at other institutions and has supervised a diverse range of PhD students, looking at topics such as tattoos, including the notion of permanent branding and being part of a community.
While Professor Goulding
has not become quite so embedded with her
can see what attracts people to the Goth culture and has been fascinated by how it cuts across class, race and gender.
Even though her
trips to Whitby have led her
away from her
original theme of the consumption of death and mortality, this is still something she
plans to research further.
not ruling out the possibility that some of her
Gothic connections may yet assist her
in this area.