18th - 21st May 2018
Wave Gotik Treffen 2018 - General Issues, Visitor Gallery, Victorian Picnic, Steampunk Picnic, Victorian Village, Catafalque Meeting
At the 27th Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, as always about 20,000 mainly black dressed guests from all over the world were expected again this year, from Scandinavia, Mexico or the USA. As WGT spokesman Cornelius Brach said on Whit Monday, it was a peaceful festival.
Ultimately, there were probably around 21,000 guests in Leipzig who came to experience the WGT and to meet with like-minded people. With around 200 bands, the music ranged from classical Icelandic songs to Nordic Ritual Folk and Post Punk. The concerts and events of the WGT took place in about 54 locations, spread over the entire city, such as in the time-honoured walls of the Moritzbastei, in the neo-antique domed hall Volkspalast and in the Schauspielhaus. After the great interest of many WGT guests in the last few years, there was once again wonderful classical music to be experienced, even opera performances such as the organ and choir concert could be seen this year at the WGT: ‘French cathedral music of the 19th and 20th centuries’, ‘Veni creator - a Whitsun hymn’ and ‘West Side Story’ - a musical in two acts based on an idea by Jerome Robbins.
For many music fans there were many overlapping bands this year, so hard decisions had to be made. The weather was very nice except for the clouds on Friday. It was not too cold and not too hot, it was perfect WGT weather. In countless clubs, scene DJs from all over the world invited us to dance until dawn. The Leipzig South Cemetery, consecrated in 1886, is one of Europe’s largest and most historically significant cemeteries. There is a large monument and outstanding park comprising about 500 important works of art and the largest European cemetery building. 560,000 Leipzig inhabitants have so far found their last resting place here - including countless important entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and architects. Furthermore, the city mayors and the world-famous “Thomas Cantors” and “Gewandhaus bandmasters” found their final resting place here. Again there were guided tours of the South Cemetery available to the WGT visitors.
Also this year there was an exhibition in the “Runde Ecke” and guided tours to ‘Gruftis, Punks und Co. - Alternative Jugend im Visier der Stasi’. This exhibition documented how anyone dressed in black clothes in the former GDR state, with their backcombed hair and found listening to THE CURE or DEPECHE MODE, quickly became the target of state security. The Agra Café was again the venue for the photo and art exhibition with works by Steve Bauer, Eliza Báthory, Eugenia Bychkova, Roman Gilz, Consuelo Gorgi and Michael and Thomas Tiltmann. Exhibited works of Mexican artists were found in the New Augusteum of the University of Leipzig and in the main train station. There were also readings and lectures offered by Christian von Aster, Mark Benecke, Lydia Benecke, Markus Heitz and many more.
As usual, the largest campsite/ venue was located on the site of the former Agricultural Fair –“Agra” - on the outskirts of the city. From there WGT ticket holders received the “Pfingstbote”, the detailed WGT program book. The city’s public transport system was free of charge use from Friday morning until Tuesday afternoon to all WGT guests, except press people. The best part of the Wave Gothic meeting, however, was its unique, magical atmosphere that you could feel everywhere in Leipzig. There was also a free app, “WGT Guide”, which helped the visitors navigate around. It was noticed this year that there were hardly any Cyber-Goths, but overall a lot more black. Unfortunately there were also too many photographers in front of the Agra area or in the city itself, which already resembled a gauntlet and many WGT visitors did not like being photographed without being asked! Of course, we asked the guests for permission and hope they find their photos here on Reflections of Darkness.
In the Pagan village (“Heidnisches Dorf”) also day visitors were also allowed and unfortunately as a result, it was sometimes impossible to move properly and many simply did not go.
Visitor Gallery & Impressions
Victorian Picnic - Clara-Zetkin-Park 18th May 2018
Victorian Village – Gohliser Schlösschen 19th May 2018
Steampunk Picnic - Deutsches Kleingärtnermuseum 19th May 2018
Catafalque Meeting - Südfriedhof 19th May 2018
Overall, WGT 2018 was a great festival, which was once again very diverse and whose visitors culturally transformed a whole city for a few days. Overall, there was also a large variety of food, including vegetarian and vegan, for which I was very pleased. My highlights were SEIGMEN from Norway, ZEROMANCER and A PROJECTION. It was nice to meet like-minded friends again, with whom we almost always wandered around this year. We enjoyed the best nights at the hotel bar as the “Gothic Lindners” but also with other friends around in the city! It was just wonderful being with all of you! The preparations for the 28th Wave Gotik Treffen will begin soon.
Also a big compliment and a big thank you to the organisers, helpers and to Cornelius Brach, the press secretary of WGT. It was a pleasure to be back at such a well-organized event and to work for our music magazine. It was again a successful and professional festival that unites fans of the Wave Gothic scene from all over the world. Many thanks to the artists, the organiser and everyone who helped here. Also a big thank you to www.monkeypress.de for the pre-arranged program plan and Tobias Theiss for the great WGT app - http: //www.wgt-guide.de - which we used all the time. Thousands of Goths come back home once a year - to the Wave Gotik Treffen. We are already looking forward to the 28th WGT, which will take place in Leipzig from 7th - 10th June 2019.
Pictures by Karsten Schulze & Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)