Forty years ago, British teenager Kate Bush was watching a BBC rerun of a 1967 miniseries based on Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights. That program must have captured her attention, because she did some research into it and found that she and Brontë shared a birthday, July 30. Taking that as an omen, Bush decided to compose a pop tune based on characters and situations from the novel. The resulting single, also called “Wuthering Heights,” was released by EMI in January 1978 and topped the U.K. chart, becoming Bush’s biggest hit and signature song. In the days before MTV, Bush also made two promotional videos for “Wuthering Heights.” The more memorable of these two featured Bush dancing in a fog-shrouded field while wearing a bright red dress. The song, the dress, and the field remain emblems of Bush’s eccentric career to this day, so much so that her fans are occasionally inspired to gather en masse and recreate the “Wuthering Heights” video in separate locations around the world. The first such event took place in 2013.
Mashable’s Ariel Bogle wrote about the most recent gathering, which occurred last Saturday. Dubbed “The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever,” a name with which few could possibly argue, the event was staged in several different cities simultaneously, including Berlin, London, Brighton, and Melbourne. Germans, Brits, and Australians alike donned red dresses and, in some cases, wigs to mimic Bush’s iconic look and equally iconic dance moves from the song’s video. Men and women of all age groups were invited to participate. And participate they did, by the thousands. It was like the most harmless, eccentric zombie infestation of all time. Instead of chowing down on the flesh and brains of the living, these hordes merely wished to cavort merrily in the open air. Considering the melancholic nature of the song’s lyrics, the event appears remarkably upbeat. Naturally, moments were shared via social media as well.
Should anyone wish to participate in the next such event, here is the original “Wuthering Heights” video from the late 1970s. Take careful note of both the costuming and the choreography.