Whitby Spa Pavilion North Promenade Whitby YO21 3EN
Whitby shakes off its Goth connections every autumn as it welcomes back Musicport, an indoor world music festival that has seen stellar growth and stellar names since debuting in 2000. Born out of a backstreet music shop in Whitby, and supporting a year-round concert venue in town (the Compass Club), everything comes together each October when Musicport welcomes an amazing line-up to the Whitby Pavilion – from bona fide stars of the world music scene to up-and-coming roots performers who may just be the next big thing. This means everything from Polish urban chaos outfits to Malian superstars, Courtney Pine to Mory Kante, all performing by the seaside in a North Yorkshire fishing town – albeit one with a bit of a boutique vibe these days. Five stages in the main building host most of the acts, though there are break-out gigs in local venues, plus workshops, events, a DJ cafe and open mic stage. There's also indoor camping (it is October, let's face it), plus a whole phalanx of local B&Bs which take the strain for the weekend. It's unique, and just a little bit wild – rather like Whitby itself – and if ever there was an incentive to experience the fabulous North Yorkshire coast this would be it. Think blustery beach walks, fish and chips, great seafood restaurants, harbourside strolls and abbey ruins – with added African rhythms and poetry slams.