As this years festival is drawing to its end I thought, I might as well finally finish my review for last year.
The Wave Gotik Treffen (Wave Gothic Meeting) or short WGT is a black festival that takes place on the weekend of Pentecost (Pfingsten) and stretches across the whole city of Leipzig (in Sachsen/Saxony). It offers many events, concerts and what not in every imaginable location like the Monument to the Battle of Nations (Völkerschlachtsdenkmal), the “Kohlrabizirkus“, the Moritzbastei, parks, cemeteries and many more. To get there the ticket includes free access to public transport for the weekend, which is used by thousands of black or otherwise spectacularly clothed people (Goths, Metalheads, Cyberpunks, Steampunks) that flood the city and mostly the area of the Agra exhibition centre, that also holds the camp grounds. As last year was also Richard Wagners 200th birthday some of the attractions also included opera visits.
Many years ago, when I was still quite young, my family and I visited the newly renovated main train station in Leipzig during Pentecost. Back then I hid behind my mum or dad and watched those black people pass us with fascination and a bit of fear and now I am one of those people as last year also marked my first WGT. I accompanied about half of the Black Pack there and hadn’t really planned on attending until shortly before they purchased the tickets. I let them persuade me as it just sounded too interesting. The tickets were, by the way, white and plushy, which caused an emergency meeting after their arrival.
As we had to pack three cars for eight people we met up the evening before we set off to move luggage around and discuss the route. Our third car would arrive later as they would pick up their third passenger on the way and we planned on setting off quite early the next morning, though our actual departure was about an hour later. Interestingly as we made our first stop in Gransee (shortly before Berlin) the others caught up with us and we then continued together. But not without the realization that we are far too well prepared as Schnitzel or Anice offered Mücke Italian Herbs as he complained about an unseasoned roll with topping.
Camp Laziness and a panic attack
After several hours of driving we finally reached the camp ground without our third car as they did not have a parking ticket. When the supervisor had reached us he urged us to stick the parking sticker onto the front window and since then I have an upside down Richard Wagner head there. Thank you Black Kat…
She, Anice and Kathy went ahead to find the other ones (not our third car) who already had secured their usual camping spot while Schnitzel and I assembled the handcart and secured the tents on it.
It was fun to see so many different ways how people carried their stuff to the camp ground as unlike Wacken this festival doesn’t allow camping and parking on the same ground.
As it was annoying to always take out the ticket to enter the camp ground we soon went to secure our light blue bracelets. In addition we also got a festival booklet, but not a small one like you’re used from other festival this one was a thick, hard cover book with similar ticket-plush on the cover. It also include a large schedule with every notable information for every location.
When we had finally finished setting up our camp a horrible question arose for me: “Where the hell did I put my car keys?”
Looking through all my pockets and the tent in panic I simply couldn’t find it and Schnitzel already offered to walk back to the park ground with me. When Kat tried to calmly talk me through every possible place again, I finally found them stuck between my blankets, air mattress and the side of the tent. After this fright I definitely needed a drink…
Though they had warned me of the laziness of the group I did not anticipate how lazy and how unwilling to do anything beside chatting at the camp ground everyone was. As a result I/we only attended a few concerts in the vast amount of stuff you could have done that weekend.
What we managed to do several times was stroll through the nearby Agra hall that was turned into a shopping mall for pretty much everything scene-related: clothes, accessories, toys and many more. Beside a semi-official festival shirt (with Zombies 😀 ) everyone kind of found something he or she was more or less looking for. With Schnitzel, Anice and me we also had three people, who couldn’t pass by the displayed gas masks without thinking “Are you my Mummy?“.
Just in the adjacent hall was the closest indoor stage to the camp ground, where a couple of us started the trend of belatedly attending nearly every concert. Mücke and another person, where already there, but I didn’t notice their departure as I waited for others from the camp to finish. When we had finally entered the stage area to see Letzte Instanz I made my way to the two of them and we enjoyed the show together.
The second Letzte Instanz concert was in the so-called Heathen Village (Heidnisches Dorf) near the gate house Dölitz. A nice area for the medieval market with a stage in the middle. This part of the area was also open for the general public (not just festival attendants) and was therefore quite full. Though if you already had your bracelet you could pass the waiting line and enter before them. Again Mücke and the other person went ahead and I wanted to go with Kat, Schnitzel and Anice, but as I said they have a tendency to dawdle and we started our way to the village when the band had already started. I was quite annoyed by this, but as soon as I heard the first chords of a song my mood lifted up.
We made our way to the side of the stage, as the whole area was filled with people, picking up some more of our fellow campers on the way and enjoyed the concert from that corner and Kat couldn’t help herself but to make several rather silly photos of us.
Luckily from where we stood we weren’t bothered by crowd surfers and other annoying people.
Stupidly when LI played their song “Ohne Dich” I made the mistake to think and a couple of tears made their way down my cheek, as the songs theme by now is rather difficult for me to listen to. Afterwards I mentioned this to Mücke with whom I had discussed that problem on the way back from the LI concert we had attended together before the festival and he scolded me for thinking.
Catching a Bear and finding the way
As the festival started off with rain and coldness Schnitzel and Anice (and myself a bit) soon started to feel more and more sick. “Luckily” had I brought self-made “Bärenfang” (a honey liquor) that would help with coughing and illness so in the evening we warmed up a bit of it and drank it.
One of those times Kat and I then went off with a couple of others to see Crematory in the Clara Zetkin Park stage. To get there we had to use both public transport and our own orientation, which wasn’t really the best if I might say so, as the people we went with mostly only remembered how they did not find it some years before. Belatedly for Xandria we found our way through the net of trains and ways to the stage as the road map for the trains that was included with the schedule in the booklet wasn’t really helpful. The stage area was quite nice as it had large steps leading to stage and you could look above other people to see. The concert was again nice and quite different to the one in Berlin, as it had started in broad daylight and ended with “Perils of the Wind” when it was already dark.
On our way back we stopped in the city centre to meet up with Iron Eve in a club, but getting there was again quite interesting. We took a taxi to get there and gave him the address, when he then set us off we couldn’t actually believe we had arrived. We went on a bit and asked around for directions, but they all sent us in different directions. As a result we went in a circle (passing by Auerbachs Cellar that is mentioned in Goethe’s Faust) to realize the taxi did set us off close to where we wanted to go.
The club was in an alley and consisted of two floors and several bars and dance floors. We got ourself a nice corner, a couple of drinks (e.g. vodka, lemon juice shots called “Gisela” >_<) and waited for Eve. When they arrived we shared stories, as her journey to Leipzig was quite hectic and awful. A couple of circumstance let for us to call it a day rather soon after that and we took off in another taxi.
Sickness, Disappointment and late Recognition
One of the few concerts I was looking forward to, as I actually knew the band, were The 69 Eyes, but when I went into the Agra Hall with Kat and the first few songs played I got more and more disappointed. I barely recognized any of the songs or even understood the lyrics and it just felt like an odd concert. Kat soon returned to the camp, but I wanted to see the concert through, even though I didn’t really like it. During one of the last songs I returned as well, as I just couldn’t bear it any more.
As I mentioned in my review for “Kinder des Judas” did I also attend the “Das Ich” concert, but only a part of it, as it wasn’t really my thing I think, even though the clown-look of the singer was quite fun.
Until Monday Kat and I contemplated whether we should see “The Other” and other Horror-Punk bands or Korpiklaani and Ensiferum, but as we would see The Other during their HellNights concerts we decided for the latter and thus made our way to the Kohlrabizirkus. Again we arrived quite late and thus only saw the stage-change of Wolfchant, the band before them, whom Kat and I had seen at the Paganfest and wouldn’t have minded seeing again, if only for their giant baby singer.
The Finnish “booze”-metal band (Korpiklaani’s songs somewhat centre around drinks and drinking) afterwards had us entertained quite nicely, just as the guys we had with us that were dancing to their songs. Korpiklaani also got the nickname of Korpidingsta as Kat didn’t want to remember which letters followed the “Korpi” – “dingsta” is roughly translated to “thingy”.
The only downsides of the concert were the not so great acoustic in the hall – that from the outside looks like two boobs rising from the ground – and the fact that we would leave just after the concert without seeing Ensiferum. Unlike this years Pentecost was it rather cold last year and as Schnitzel’s condition turned worse towards the end (he couldn’t even speak any more) of the festival we decided to leave during Monday night already.
So my first WGT ended with a night ride back home and this years festival was without Schnitzel, Anice, Kat and me.
I for one decided against it as it was too close between the Out&Loud (DarkFairy’s Review) I was at last weekend and the Metalfest (Review from 2012) I’ll be attending together with DarkFairy, her boyfriend and her sister the weekend after this. To not just attend the festival I also planned on travelling a bit through Germany again during the next few days, until I reach my final destination in Koblenz.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post anything during that time, but I think there might be some things that will get a separate post from the travel report.
See you around