12th - 16th May 2016
Wave Gotik Treffen 2016: Opening Party at Moritzbastei with Framheim, Imaginary War!, Tri-State and big Opening Event at Belantis
This year’s special treat for the 25th annual Whitsun celebration (WGT) was a free entry to the amusement park BELANTIS, where also a great opening party was taking place. And what a treat it was! There were free shuttle busses from both Leipzig’s main train station and the Agra to BELANTIS. Good for all, who arrived already wearing their admission wristlets, the queue for those without was endless. All others can just walk in feeling all V.I.P.
The 27-hectares-park with its eight themed worlds ranging from the “Valley of the Pharaohs“ to the “Isle of Knights“ was covered in dark colours. Originally, promoters expected 5,000 to 6,000 guests. At the end, the event attracted over 10,000 festival visitors to have enchanting hours in the romantically lit and spacious area and its relaxed atmosphere – and simply have fun. I personally have not been to an amusement park in ages and enjoyed myself like a little child, enjoying two rollercoasters (including the hurricane with its 100% vertical section) and the water ride, with its -again almost vertical- slide.
Since the -admitted- nice fireworks were shifted from midnight to half past ten, the visitors had to wait in the cold, some for over half an hour, because all attractions were closed during the fireworks. Anyway, the fireworks were the big highlight of the evening with the lake as a mirror. Afterwards, a selection of well-known DJs from Germany and abroad worked three dance-floors with various styles of dark and alternative music, among them the two founders of WGT: Michael Brunner and Sandro Standhaft. Really a perfect start of the 25th festival jubilee. It was a once in a lifetime experience (We wouldn´t mind a repetition though ;) ). An amusement park gone Goth”
Besides the big opening event at BELANTIS, there were several pre-opening events in the city. At Felsenkeller, there was an EBM event and at Moritzbastei, “Schwarzes Leipzig Tanzt” with three live bands and several DJs took place. The Moritzbastei features an incredible cartoon exhibition by Reinhard Kleist, “Der Traum von Olympia”(dreaming about Olympia), and art by Patrizia Zschuckert and Frank Schletter in the “Opernkeller”, organized by the “Kunstkonzil”. The black and white cartoon ”Der Traum von Olympia” tells the story of a female athlete and refugee. The many different skulls depicted in the pictures in the “Opernkeller” fit the WGT perfectly. Before the concerts, many visitors enjoyed the exhibitions and later on had some food and drinks. Finally at eight, the concert evening started with TRI-STATE, IMAGINARY WAR! and FRAMHEIM.
The Moritzbastei is the only remaining part of the city’s ancient fortifications. It was built as a bastion in-between 1551-1554. Today, it combines historical architecture with modern events in the heart of the city, next to the University and the “Neue Gewandhaus“. The pre-opening parties at the Moritzbastei have always been a tip for insiders and are always a good way to start this incredible festival. And the visitors of the Moritzbastei are not disappointed tonight. The bookers of the Moritzbastei and the organizers of the WGT are a great team, booking bands both for the Wave Gotik Treffen and the Moritzbastei. UNZUCHT for instance will perform at the “Ritze”, as the Moritzbastei is affectionately nicknamed, on Nov, 24th 2016. HARPYIE on the 10th of Oct 2016. The pre-opening concert was free for all WGT visitors. All others were able to buy a ticket for eight euros.
FRAMHEIM was the name of explorer Roald Amundsen's base at the Bay of Whales on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica during his quest for the South Pole. The red-haired singer, guitarist and writer Dorain up front, her band mates Ray on synthesizers and Leo on bass and e-drum, behind her, FRAMHEIM open up the first evening in the Moritzbastei. The small venue, which is also well-known for its clubbing nights in its cellar, is nicely crowed as usual. The sound is good as ever at the “Ritze“ and the audience enjoys the (somewhat) progressive mix of electro and wave by this German band founded in 2012. Dorain, with her Fender Strat, minimal make up, black blouse and dress shows that you don´t need to show a lot of skin to be sexy.
The songs intros often sound almost ambient, Dorains deep voice always clear over the synth and e-drum sounds. When the guitar sets in, the audience move their heads along to the music. WELCOME TO THE WGT!!! FRAMHEIM will support MILA MAR on the 22nd Jan 2017 at the Felsenkeller. FRAMHEIM’s set included their songs ‘Jarre’, ‘Closer’, ‘Walk’ and many more. https://www.facebook.com/framheimofficial / https://youtu.be/gISmc-fXlCs
The catchy electro pop/ rock of IMAGINARY WAR! was much appreciated. Their 2012 debut ‘replacing the ghosts’ had press and audience turn their heads towards their hometown Ulm in Germany. IMAGINARY WAR! is Joki Schaller (vocals), Axel Kunz (drums), Roman Geiselhart (guitar) as well as Lars Vegas (electronics). As well as playing songs from above mentioned debut, IMAGINARY WAR! played new material like their single ‘made a decision’. https://www.facebook.com/imaginarywarband / https://youtu.be/WBEu6xzGU5o
Adam, Krebl and Haldor make symphonic dark electro from Germany. The dark, sinister and at times almost creepy synth sounds, with Gregorian backings, sometimes danceable drum-beats, accompany a scratchy voice that is not agreeable to all. https://www.facebook.com/HiomH / https://youtu.be/MlQhQ72OE8M
Meeting old friends and making new ones. This is the WGT. We enter the matrix of the Agra and say hello to our friends there. Most vendors have had a stand at the WGT for years.
Gallery opening event at Moritzbastei
At the end, some words about camping (where I stayed) and other accommodation possibilities. To gain access to the vast camping ground, with its cleaning facilities, you need to obtain an “Obsorge“ ticket for additional 25 euros. The party never ends! On the festival ground you can mingle with your neighbours, talk and party into the wee hours of the morning (or longer). Those you want to make sure to get some sleep at nights or at least mornings, who like a little more comfort and privacy, have a couple of options: you can find accommodation in the hostels and hotels of Leipzig or private accommodation. A lot of nice people from Leipzig rent out rooms and even entire flats for the feast. I once rented a very nice flat from a dope smoking Ska-loving police officer…
Pictures by Jan-Markus Holz (Schwarzes Leipzig) – Pre-Opening at Moritzbastei – and Danny Sotzny (Monkeypress) – Belantis Event