1st - 5th June 2017
Wave Gotik Treffen 2017 - General Issues, Electro All Stars & Visitor Gallery, Victorian Picnic, Steampunk Picnic
It was for the 26th time that the Wave Gotik Treffen (WGT) took place in Leipzig. After the highly attended anniversary last year, this year around 21,000 fans of the dark scene came to Leipzig from all over the world. They even came from Australia, Japan, and Argentina.
For many, the Moritzbastei with all the concerts, parties, and the medieval market inside the venue and around its walls was the main meeting place. There were about 200 bands playing tunes from Future-Pop to Goth-Metal, from EBM to Apocalyptic Folk, from medieval sounds to harsh, electronic Industrial. The concerts and events of the WGT took place in about 50 places spread over the entire city area, such as inside the ancient walls of the Moritzbastei, in the neo antique dome hall Volkspalast and in the venue Schauspielhaus. There was also a great interest in classical music during the last years, and so many WGT guests enjoyed once more wonderful classical music; one could even experience some opera performances. Moreover, international DJs of the scene invited us to countless clubs to dance until dawn.
Leipzig had prepared even more for the mass of visitors. Every year the arranged tram line number 31 is taking visitors as fast as possible from one venue to another. The bus line 32 was new this year, mainly to offer a better connection to the district Plagwitz in the evening and at night. Also or the first time, one could even marry in proper style at the WGT. The registry office of the city of Leipzig arranged the casemates of the former Pleissenburg underneath the New Town Hall for the occasion. Up to five couples were able to sit down and tie the knot at the festival.
The Südfriedhof, a cemetery located in the south of Leipzig, was opened back in 1886. It is one of the largest cemeteries in Europe and one of the most important ones in art history. With its outstanding park grounds, around 500 impressive works of art, and the largest European cemetery building, it is truly a great landmark. So far, 560,000 Leipzig inhabitants have been laid to rest there, including countless important entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and architects. Furthermore, mayors and also the world-famous Thomaskantors (cantors at St. Thomas) and conductors of the Gewandhaus rest in peace at the South Cemetery. Once again, guides took people on a tour across the Südfriedhof to the Wave Gotik Treffen.
As last year, there was an exhibition and guided tours on “Goths, Punks and Co. - Alternative Youths in the Eye of the Stasi” in the “Round Corner”. In the SED state, anyone dressed in black with hair teased high listening to THE CURE or DEPECHE MODE used to attract the attention of the state security service. The Agra Cafe presented photographs and an exhibition of artworks by Sarah Horwath, Jea Pics, Luise Läßig, Alexander Schlesier, and Leander Wennige. As usual, the large camp site was located at the former agricultural trade fair “Agra” at the outskirts of the city. The ticket titled “Obsorgekarte” didn't only allow you to camp there, but also included the “Pfingstboten“, the detailed WGT programme. The weather was fitful this year; first it was way too hot, then rain came down in buckets, and then the temperatures were pleasant again.
This year, many people were disappointed about the band line-up and were not quite certain which shows they should go to. Sadly, there were two more negative aspects. First, some bands that we wanted to see played at the Moritzbastei which was completely overcrowded so that we couldn't get in. For example, BEYOND OBSESSION, THE FIRM INC, ANGELS & AGONY, and also RROYCE would certainly be better staged in the Kohlrabizirkus. Second, some parents brought their toddlers to gigs such as FUNKER VOGT or SUICIDE COMMANDO and in some cases even without any hearing protection – absolutely unacceptable!
In front of the large stage, Agra Hall 2, the photographers' pit was enlarged. Thus, the photographers didn't have to take turns any longer when shooting the main acts. Up to about 45 photographers could do their job at the same time. The lighting was bad though during most of the concerts being often just red, which doesn't lead to good concert photos. However, in front of the Agra site and in the city there were too many photographers and many WGT guest, almost as if running the gauntlet, didn't appreciate being photographed without their permission. We obviously asked before taking pictures and hope that folks will find the photos they are in.
Thursday, 1st June, 2017 - Electro All Stars
On a beautifully sunny Thursday we travelled from Berlin and, unfortunately, had to deal with a lot of traffic jams. When we finally arrived we headed straight to the Agra to get our festival wristbands first. Like every year, the WGT started for us at the tavern called “Bayerischer Bahnhof” where we are delighted to meet up with friends - Annie, Patrick, and Dani, nice that you were there - and to eat and drink something delicious. In the last few years this has become our personal WGT kick-off. Afterwards, on we went to the WGT pre-opening party at the Moritzbastei to have a good time with the Electro All Stars DrMOIIE (DSTR), Daniel Myer (HAUJOBB, ARCHITECT, DSTR), Dennis Schober (SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS), Boris May (KLANGSTABIL), Dirk Ivens (THE KLINIK, DIVE, ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL…), Adrian Hates (DIARY OF DREAMS), and Dan of Hoyel (HARMJOY). The event proved once again that different bands and many musicians can work together and have some great fun. All of them transformed the cover songs in a very creative and entertaining way and the audience had a blast.
01. Children - Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect, DSTR)
02. Kein Zurück - Dennis Schober (Solitary Experiments) + Boris May (Klangstabil)
03. Sunglasses - Dan von Hoyel (Harmjoy)
04. Sweet Dreams - Adrian Hates (Diary of Dreams)
05. Monument - Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect, DSTR)
06. I wanna be your dog - Dirk Ivens (Dive)
07. Firestarter - Boris May (Klangstabil)
08. No Harm - Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect, DSTR)
09. Let me go - Dan von Hoyel (Harmjoy)
10. Leuchtturm - Dennis Schober (Solitary Experiments)
11. Ghostrider - Dirk Ivens (Dive)
12. Nightcall - Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect, DSTR)
13. Sky & Sand - Boris May (Klangstabil)
14. Shout - Adrian Hates (Diary of Dreams)
15. Never let me down again – all
Since we were accommodated at the wonderful Lindner Hotel, as last year, we proceeded to the hotel bar. It was an excellent evening spend together with WGT visitors, other guests and a great bartender! Still some of us stayed at the pre-opening party to dance, have a drink and meet many friends.
Pictures by Bettina & Karsten Schulze