Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Unified Underground and other Christian Goth festivals

Woe! Woe is me! My new pink boots are taking WEEKS to ship from Hong Kong, my seaside holiday plans are undergoing SEVERE rearrangement since the caravan we were going to stay in got sold off, and my back is sporting a distinctly healthy glow after I fell asleep in the sun at the weekend... *staples back of hand to forehead*

Anyhoo. As much as I could fill an entire post with wailing and gnashing of teeth... I'm still attempting to make posts on as many Goth-themed and Goth-friendly festivals as I possibly can, so here's another one for you - the various conferences that have been set up for Christian Goths throughout the years.

I first became aware of the Christian Goth Gathering when I saw an advertisement for the event in Gothic Beauty Magazine. As far as I can tell, the Christian Goth Gathering was the first large Christian Goth event. It took place in Maryland (USA) in 2004 and 2005, each a three-day event. Goths attending the Gathering were treated to fashion shows, live bands, games, chocolate parties (!) and worship services as well as the main conference. There have even been baptisms taking place during the event. Attendees also received goodie bags containing such yummies as black roses, CD samplers and handcrafted bookmarks from The Gothic Window.

Following the cancellation of the third Gathering in 2006, Psycho X Productions came to the rescue with a North Carolina event for Christian Goths in October that same year, which went by the name of Haven X Obscurum.

Since 2007, the main event for Christian Goths and other dark alternatives has been Unified Underground (Maryland), which is presented by Hope for the Rejected, the subculture ministry arm of Youth For Christ (subculture ministry? Why yes, there is such a thing). Unified Underground seeks to unite punk, Goth and hardcore Christians, hence the name.

At Unified Underground, attendees can expect the conference to be addressed by members of alternative Christian bands, founders of websites such as, and Goth pastors. There are also smaller break-out seminars designed to allow smaller groups to discuss topics on a more personal level. Bands from each of the three subcultures represented by the event perform. There is also a fashion show, and at the 2007 event there were several games of dodgeball...

My favourite aspect of the fun and games at this event is the prize-giving ceremony - prizes are awarded to those who have travelled the farthest, have the most piercings, longest hair, biggest tattoo, smallest tattoo.

Unified Underground has since grown into a larger event encompassing a wider spectrum of underground subcultures - "Punk, Metal, Hardcore, Hippie, Goth, Skater and Hip Hop," according to the website. It is still taking place annually.


Maeam said...

Amazing. I wonder if other religions have gothic gatherings...! It'd be awesome to see a Muslim one, but that's probably asking for too much...especially now...

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