Guest post by Elana P.
2011 – Wave Gotik Treffen (WGT) is “dark scene” music festival in the world hosting numerous bands and musicians with representative music styles including: metal, gothic rock, industrial, psychobilly, synth-pop and dark electro.
The festival takes place in Leipzig, Germany and lasts for 4 days – Friday through Monday coinciding with the church holiday Pentecost, which happens to be a national holiday in Germany (this time it was on from 9 through 12 June, but the days are different every year). 2011 marked WGT’s 20th consecutive festival and to celebrate the occasion organizers scheduled the first concerts on Thursday.
WGT is not just the biggest dark scene music festival in the world; it is also the biggest gathering of a “dark family” of all kinds. After all, “Treffen” means “meetup”.
The 20th Wave Gotik Treffen lasted for 5 days at 35 venues all over the city. I should mention that the city of Leipzig is very supportive of the festival, so Goths are privy to many perks for the price of the ticket including free public transit. The trams and busses run frequently and on time, which helps to seamlessly move between venues and enjoy the festival. The official festival events include concerts, readings, movie screenings, excursions, exhibitions, opera and theater, so you can always find something to do. The only sad thing is that you cannot be at several places at the same time no matter how hard you want it.
The bands that were invited to play on Thursday night are the same bands that played on the very first WGT in 1991. I was rather nervous about missing the start because I had a connecting flight and a train ride. Luckily, I made it there almost on time, got my press pass and hurried to the main concert hall Agra – I had missed just the first song by the first band that played that night –
Das Ich – ** pages and pictures coming soon for each band mentioned in this article
Sweet William (Koln)
Wave Gotik Treffen means…well…Wave Gothic Meetup. People get together, meet their old friends and make new acquaintances. I made the most of it on Friday as the majority of my day was dedicated to social activities, the biggest being Viona’s Victorian Picnic. Viona Ielegems, a Belgian gothic and fantasy photographer, introduced this lovely picnic 4 years ago – the first year I traveled to Leipzig to attend WGT. I was usually so busy trying to go to as many concerts as possible, that I never found the time to attend this exceptional event. But this year I decided to relax and have more fun and I never regretted making this decision.
The crowd mingling about the park lawn was very friendly and equally nice to watch. Most of them came well-prepaired. Some costumes were made to match the 18th century, mainly the Victorian era with a smattering of Edwardian era inspired outfits; most upgraded to emphasize the goth component of the festival. The weather was perfect, so a lot of local “normal” Leipzig citizens had their own picnics and indulged in people watching.
Saturday concerts started with Destroid in Agra.
On Sunday we finally realized that so far we had been to too few concerts and that it was time to fix that. But we needed to have a breakfast first. Like I said, the festival takes care of its visitors – free public transport, free excursions and a wide variety of stuff to do when you’re not going to a concert. The official venue list featured at least two places that you could go to have a breakfast. One of them was an absinth bar called Sixstina, the other was a restaurant located in an old beautiful building – Ring Café. It was my fourth WGT, but so far I have never been to Sixtina, so we decided to finally go there for a famous absinth breakfast. But it was already over by the time we got there – it turned out that it was more of a breakfast for people who never went to sleep. Apparently we were too old for this kind of experience. Well, maybe next time.
Then there was a lot of walking, talking and meeting old and new friends. We spent some time with them in another interesting place – a Midieval Village, which is in a way like a Renaissance Fair, but, you know, with less geeks and “normal” people and more cool looking goths.
Fields of the Nephilim
Last day of the festival is always a bit sad. You see some people checking out from the hotels to leave their bags in the lockers at the train station, take them late in the evening and go home and you realize that it’s almost it. Fewer people really dress up on Monday and those who do don’t look as interesting as they did on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Luckily WGT Mondays are not as horrible as the usual Mondays. But then you see some people already leaving because they live too far (as if I don’t) and have to leave early because they have to go to work the next day, and you get even more sad. I try to keep up the good spirits and avoid thinking of the inevitable end of the last concert.
Since we did not get to have the absinth breakfast at Sixstina the day before, we had to try to check out the other “official” WGT breakfast place – Ring Café. Then we went to Agra grounds (yes, that’s where most of the cool people hang out between concerts and parties), walked there for a while, met some friends again, bought some souvenirs at the Agra Black Market and then finally it was time to go and see the first concert of the last day.
The concert was over, and even though there were several parties still going on and DJs carried on playing until dawn, we had to get up early the next morning and survive a transatlantic flight. It was sad, but we had to say our goodbyes to WGT, check out of the hotel, catch a train, a plain, then another plain and then finally get back home and start planning our trip to the 21st Wave Gotik Treffen in 2012.
Written by Quintessence and perverted puppet – 2011