This year we re-united for a very special occasion, the XXX anniversary of Wave-Gotik-Treffen. A festival that has grown from its first edition in ’92, with a line-up of 7 bands, to the nowadays edition that included more than 250 live acts and countless activities located all over the city of Leipzig.
A meeting for thousands of dark and goths -and not only- from all over the World, the festival that survived changes of style and taste in music over the last 3 decades until it got to establish itself as the most renowed and long-awaited yearly date.
We usually focused our reports on the most important aspect of WGT, music of course, but this time we wanted to give you a different insight on the other activities that go on in the city during the joyful days of the festival. Starting from the Victorian Picnic happening on Friday in Clara-Zetkin Park, a colorful passage through the most extravagant outfits, any kind of vintage gear and accessories that refers to the British Victorian era of the late 1800, the heaven of feathers, gloves, ball gowns, wicker picnic baskets and adorned silverware. This is one of the open activities in which the people of the city can freely participate and meet the dark crowd, attracted by something out of the ordinary that you can only see once per year.
In addition to the stunning music venues (especially Moritzbastei and Täubchenthal), the city of Leipzig has some very interesting spots that in the past years we didn’t have time to explore. The Church Ruins located in Wachau, just 30 minutes outside the city, are for sure one of them. A hidden gem in the countryside with a little cemetery that surrounds what remains -in a very pristine state- of the most unlucky church of Saxony (destroyed by wars, hitten by a lightening etc). A must-visit for every goth soul to enjoy either during one of the WGT live music events (for example Arcana played there a very emotional concert some years ago) or on a more quiet an meditative field trip at sunset.
On the way back to the city there’s also the grand -and unpronounceable- Völkerschlachtdenkmal, the huge Monument to the Battle of the Nations carved in stone, that could easily fit in a Lord of the Rings landscape.
Back to music, a huge shout-out to our favorites bands of this edition, a very difficult process to narrow down to the 3 acts that in different ways left the deepest mark on our memories.
Rosegarden Funeral Party: our first concert of WGT, the best way of starting the festival with the post-punk melancholy by these emerging talents from Texas, led by the ultra-charismatic singer/guitarist Leah Lane and her perfect balance between the presence and rage of Siouxsie and the broken heart of Morrissey.
Front 242: we spoke about them in other occasions and it’s never enough to praise the absolute titans of EBM music; it’s been such a huge adrenaline rush to be part of the crowded Agra dancefloor, ignited by their beats.
Chameleons/The Mission: ex-aequo mention for the two legends of British post-punk, a look back at the golden era that get us all emotional with their setlists that include many of their masterpieces.
This edition has been a very special one but we are already looking forward to next year because there will be for sure so much to celebrate as well, so save the date and see you in the darkest crowd!
NEXT Wave-Gotik-Treffen: 17th – 20th May 2024
Hidden treasures / WGT 2023
Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Official website: www.wave-gotik-treffen.de
Special thanks to Wave-Gotik-Treffen press staff.