6th - 9th June 2014
Wave Gotik Treffen 2014 - General issues & visitor gallery
Already for the 23rd time, the yearly Wave Gotik Treffen was taking place in Leipzig and more than 20,000 people from all over the world – of course mainly dressed in black – followed the call. With about 21,000 people, as promoters announced, this year more people made their way to Leipzig than in the last year, making the WGT a gathering of like-minded people. Many of people travelling to Leipzig even refrained from paying 99 EUR for the festival ticket and used the festival to just meet other Gothic people from various countries.
Central meeting point for many were the old walls of the Moritzbastei where several concerts, parties and a medieval market were taking place and where also one of the pre-parties was held. At the WGT, you could find there anything from Future Pop to Goth Metal, from EBP to Apocalyptic Folk, from medieval sounds to hard and electronic Industrial. The concerts and other events of the WGT were taking place at more than 50 venues spread all-over the city, like in the already mentioned time-honoured Moritzbastei, the neo-antique Kuppelhalle (Volkspalast) or also open air like at the Parkbühne. After the huge interest of WGT visitors last year, also this year’s edition offered wonderful classic music and even opera plays.
This year’s Wave Gotik Treffen was said to be the warmest in the whole history and temperatures above 35 degrees were awaiting the visitors. In several locations, temperature and humidity were unbearable, making it quite hard for the fans to see their favourite bands. A special event was surely the opening concert, a revival of APOCALYPTICA’s “Wagner Reloaded” at the Arena Leipzig, where a share of seats was reserved especially for the WGT visitors. The demand was huge leading to a special commitment: who owned a festival ticket could by at the box office of the Arena tickets for the Saturday and Sunday show of “Wagner Reloaded” for half the price. In several clubs, scene DJs from all-over the world were inviting for a dance until the early morning hours. But that’s not enough of events taking place during WGT 2014.
The 1886 sanctified cemetery “Südfriedhof” belongs to the biggest and art-historical most important European cemeteries. It is a big memorial with its outstanding park, with about 500 important works of art and the biggest European cemetery building. About 560,000 Leipzig people found their final resting place on the area, amongst them important industrialists, scientists, artists and architects. During WGT, there were several behind-the-scenes tours on the cemetery taking place. At the “Runde Ecke”, also this year was the exhibition “Children of the Night” leading you into the life of Goths in former East Germany. At the Agra event hall, we were attending the art exhibition in the café with works of von Sarah Horwath, Marcus Kauth, Paul Koudounaris, Marko Bennin, Sylke Ennen and Giovanni Perna. Of course, the festival program offered, like every year, various author’s readings and discourses, i.e. of Christian von Aster, Mark Benecke, Lydia Benecke, Markus Heitz and many more, as well as movie presentations at the cinema and the obligatory autograph sessions.
The big festival campsite was as always situated at the area of the former agricultural exhibition “Agra” at the outskirts of the city. With the “Obsorgekarte”, you were allowed to use the campground and you received the program book “Pfingstbote”. With your festival wristbands, all visitors - except press people - were allowed to use the public transport for free from Friday morning to Tuesday noon. But the best thing at WGT still was and is the unique, magical atmosphere you could feel anywhere in Leipzig. Goth from numerous countries celebrated peacefully together, enjoyed all facets of their sub-culture and were delighted by their gathering painting the streets and squares of the city black.
I especially noticed this year that there were less Cyber Goths but more Steampunkers and more people dressed in black than during previous years. Sadly, we did not make it to the Steampunk meeting on Saturday afternoon. Besides, the Werk II was not included in the list of venues this year. There were many speculations about the reasons, but there are only rumours. It was sad, that the exhibition "Soulstrip" by Schwarwel and Incestum at the orphaned Werk II had nearly no visitors. As new locations, we gut the Theaterfabrik and Täubchenthal instead. In front of the Agra, there were too many photographers (it seems to get more and more each year) and passing the entrance was kind of running the gauntlet and
I definitely don’t like it to be photographed without being asked beforehand. Another sad thing was the late timing (18:15) of the Markus Heitz reading. I prefer the readings to be taking place before all the concerts start. But well, you cannot have it all.
WGT 2014 was once more a great festival, being again full of various facets. Its guests were culturally changing the whole city for a few days. It was great to meet like-minded friends. And soon, already the preparations for next year’s WGT edition will start. A compliment goes to the organisers, helpers and the press officer of WGT. It was a pleasure once more to take part in such a well-organised event. It was an overall successful and professional event bringing fans of the Wave and Gothic scene together. Thanks to all artists too! We already look forward WGT 2015, taking place from 22nd to 25th May in Leipzig.
Pictures by Bettina Pietschmann & Karsten Schulze