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Where the Wild Tunes Are© Tobias Schrank

Wave-Gotik-Treffen

Things get dark in Leipzig every year at Whitsun: The Wave-Gotik-Treffen is the largest and most important event of the so-called “black scene,” covering a huge spectrum of related genres from medieval and classical sounds to gothic, EBM, and black metal.

The first Wave-Gotik-Treffen (WGT) took place in 1992 in the club Conne Island in Leipzig. At that time, the meeting was still very manageable with about 2,000 visitors. Emerging from a subculture that had developed for Walpurgis Night in the days of the GDR, but was proscribed by the East German regime for not conforming to the system, the scene was only able to organize itself after reunification. Then, as now, it was not only about the dark music, but also about the display of sometimes spectacular fashion creations and the nihilistic world view of the “goths.”

Learning lines in the rain
Special effects by Loonatik and Drinks
The graveyard scene
The golden years

Bauhaus "She's in Parties"


Over the festival weekend, the WGT extends throughout locations in the entire Leipzig area and has long been much more than just a music festival. Thematically appropriate theatre is performed, films are shown, there are readings and workshops, conjuring, enchantments, and sorcery. For outsiders, it may seem very homogeneous, mainly because of the color black, which is predominant everywhere, but this is not the case at all. Medieval sounds, traditionally performed, are heard as well as electronic body music and various, mostly extreme metal genres. You see frilled shirts as well as steampunk outfits, traditional leather cowls and long loden coats and the most fantastic hairstyles and makeup. You’ll also meet representatives of the BDSM and fetish scenes, neofolk enthusiasts, punks and cyberpunks. Not a colorful, but a very diverse crowd, characterized by peaceful and tolerant togetherness.
  • Alexia from Caen (France) © picture alliance/dpa/Alexander Prautzsch
    Alexia from Caen (France) stands in the middle of the exhibition hall on the agra grounds at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen. Every year at Whitsun since 1992, the "black scene" meets at the music and culture festival in Leipzig.
  • Visitors rest on the pagan village at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen. © picture alliance/dpa/Alexander Prautzsch
    Visitors rest on the pagan village at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen.
  • Tanzwut auf dem WGT S. Bollmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
    Tanzwut at the WGT
  • Finnish melodic death/doom metal band Swallow the Sun at the 25th Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2016 in Leipzig/Germany. S. Bollmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
    Finnish melodic death/doom metal band Swallow the Sun at the 25th Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2016 in Leipzig/Germany.
  • The Austrian-German chamber music and neo-classical band Chamber at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2015 in Leipzig/Germany. S. Bollmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
    The Austrian-German chamber music and neo-classical band Chamber at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2015 in Leipzig/Germany.
 

Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Numbers

Genre: Neofolk, Medieval music, EBM, Rock, Goth, Metal
Founded: 1992
Ort: Leipzig
Capacity: 21.000
Next event: June 3-6, 2022

Wave-Gotik-Treffen.de 

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