This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Saturday 1 June 2024, 7pm to 8pm
  • Location: In-person only
    St Saviourgate York (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Join writer John Robb for a comprehensive history of goth music and culture, as he explores the origins and legacy of this enduring scene, which has its roots in the post-punk era.

Drawing on his own experience as a musician and journalist, John will cover the style, the music and the clubs that spawned goth culture, alongside political and social conditions. Reaching back further into history, he will examine key events and movements that frame the ideas of goth, from the fall of Rome to Lord Byron and the Romantic poets, European folk tales, Gothic art and the occult. Finally, he will consider the current mainstream goth of Instagram influencers, film, literature and music.

John's talk is based on his book, The Art of Darkness, which features interviews with Andrew Eldritch, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, The Cult, The Banshees, The Damned, Einstürzende Neubauten, Johnny Marr, Trent Reznor, Adam Ant, Laibach, The Cure, Nick Cave and many more.

Come along and hear a first-hand account of being there at the legendary gigs and clubs that made the scene happen.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

John Robb is a journalist, broadcaster and musician. He is the author of Punk Rock: An Oral History (2006) and The Art of Darkness: The history of goth. He is also the founder of culture website and plays bass in the post-punk band The Membranes.


University of York

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible