WGT 2016 – Thursday
Our journey to WGT started rather early on Thursday morning. Just a small hint for you guys: “Just quickly” packing “a couple” of pieces in the morning does not work out well, even if you have already been living out of your suitcase for some days. You just too easily forget stuff. Like a hairbrush, which is easy to replace, or a camera, which isn’t.
So before 8 AM and before any coffee we were standing at our platform, waiting for the train. And realized that on our way to WGT, with press passes a photo permission, we had forgotten our camera. So, that’s why this year all we have are pictures taken with the mobile. But, at least we have those. Hooray to modern smartphones!
The train ride in the Infant compartment was unexciting. When just 2 years back we would have unpacked cherry wine and music, we now had baby food, iced tea and peekaboo. Different. But nice as well.
Around noon we arrived in Leipzig, moved into our hotel rooms, refreshed ourselves a bit and went to a store to buy mobile cards. In the meantime, the queue in front of the containers where you could change your ticket into a wristband, had been growing. OMG! I mean, you have that queue every year and you have to bring time every year. But this year it was just enormous! Luckily, we did not have to wait in line. Nevertheless, we checked if any friends would be there, which of course there were. We met some friends from Russia and chatted for a while. The baby slept in the sling but soon woke up to smile at all those people around.
Then we went to meet Margo and Tim and went to Moritzbastei together, where we were giving an interview for a local newspaper. Not that many people are travelling all the way from Shanghai for WGT, so people sometimes get curious as to why someone could go all this way to visit their small city. After, we walked over to Sixtina.
The rest of the group drank “Odin”, some type of honey-beer. I only had an alcohol free beer. Meh… The baby had fun with the plants in the yard, but got cranky after a while so that we went back to the hotel.
By the time we were back, it was time for the baby to sleep. I convinced Nikita that it really was fine if he went out. So while I stayed with the kid, he headed over to the Belantis Park. As many other reports have stated already, the organization apparently was slightly messy. Apparently, many more people wanted to attend the grand opening of the 25th WGT in the amusement park than the organizers had anticipated. Or maybe somewhere else down the line things did not go as it would have been perfect. But the shuttle buses were a mess (in terms of being far too little buses for the huge crowds of people trying to go to the park) and the park was super crowded. But, as everybody confirmed, the fireworks were awesome! And, I mean, if you say the fireworks were awesome after living in China for over 5 years, that means they actually were awesome... ;-)
WGT 2016 – Friday
This day we learned maybe THE lesson for our WGT 2016: If you go with a baby, you have to plan muuuuuch more time for everything. So much more!
So, Friday was the day the Victorian village took place. Originally, we had intended to be there at 11:45 AM to attend a classical concert for the little ones. Actually, the baby was asleep in the hotel bed by that time and I was still getting ready.
By the time we were done with a relaxed hotel breakfast, it was already nearly time for the baby’s first nap. So he slept. And so did Nikita, who was still somewhat tired of the previous night. While my boys slumbered, I started to dress up and put makeup. And was done, just in time, to change a diaper while in corset, crinoline and collar while Nikita grumpily packed all the stuff we might need.
And then we first had to head down to Agra. Which, if you have even been in Leipzig you know, basically ALWAYS takes longer than you think… Unfortunately, we forget about this every single year. Or maybe time used to pass faster because we spend the tram ride drinking a cup of wine or a can of beer rather than entertaining a bored baby… But, whatever the reason, we went down to Agra. Just when I had my press wristband, it started raining. As fast as we could, we ran towards the press office to get our press passes – and to get out of the rain.
We chatted a bit with the press officer – mainly about visiting WGT with kids and I just manager not to jump on “Black Friday” and shriek “I know you from YouTube!”. On our way out we gave a spontaneous interview for the local TV channel and met Margo and Tim. Originally we wanted to hurry, but the baby was hungry now. So we had to make a short break and a photographer took pictures of us that ended up in a nationwide newspaper.
Then we FINALLY headed for the Panometer. With a stupid change of trams, the help of other visitors and some locals assisting to find the way, we finally arrived in the Victorian Village. At 4:45 PM, 5 hours late. But at least still in daylight. Our friend, who actually organized the event this year, was very happy to see us. And we were flashed by the great atmosphere.
The Victorian picnic became more of a fashion show / photoshoot over the years. By now, about as many photographers as guests attend. And those guests that attend are of the kind that actually talks about wearing a „costume“ for WGT. Which is something that makes my nails roll up in disgust. This is this kind of people that are your regular Joe in bluejeans and white t-Shirt all year around. But then, once a year, they put on a cheap Halloween costume and an even cheaper wig together with the most flashy hat they can find to feel super-duper evil (or oh so “50 Shades of grey is real BDSM”-sexy). Nope. Thanks. No need for those. And they can indeed ruin any mood....
But the Victorian Village was different. From what we saw, the location and the visitors fit the theme perfectly. And with the tables with their white table cloths, small water glasses, cake forks, Cupcakes and the cloth napkins, I felt compelled to be on my best behavior while enjoying an afternoon tea snack. Nikita, however, at first did not enjoy much of all of it as he was walking up and down with the baby in the baby carrier in front of the venue as the little one had to take another nap.
Once the baby was awake again, they both entered together and we had a look at the vendors. It cost me some convincing again, but finally Nikita believed me that I would indeed manage to return to the hotel all by myself with the baby and that I would not be angry if he was to go and see a concert.
So he left for Volkspalast where he watched In the Nursery. As they played old as well as new songs, Nikita had a blast and the concert was simply amazing.
In the meantime, I took care of the baby and fell asleep soon after.
WGT 2016 – Saturday
Saturday started with another relaxed hotel breakfast, followed by my boys taking a nap while I was getting ready.
As always too late, we left the hotel to go and meet the Russians at Agra. Every year, there is a meeting of all Russian speakers at Agra. But on the way we had to stop to buy some baby food, as the stores would be closed on Sunday and Monday (public holiday).
After a short baby shopping tour, we tried to enter the next tram at the Opera station. But we failed miserably – entering an already crowded tram with a stroller and a big crinoline does not work. So we had to walk all the way back to Hauptbahnhof, where many of the trams have their first stop and are therefore empty upon arrival. This worked out fine and soon after we were on our way to Agra again.
As expected, we arrived too late and had missed the meeting. We at least still managed to see a friend who had come only for this meeting and had to be on his way back to work again the same night. In the meantime, the baby had fallen asleep in the carrier with me and we decided to head over to the pagan village.
Apparently, we were not the only ones who had the idea to spend the day in the pagan village. It was crowded. It was so crowded! And it felt as if every second visitor had come with their kids. The majority was not wearing WGT wristbands and only bought the day ticket entry to the pagan village. Also I realized with discontent that many, many babies and small children did not wear any ear protection at all. Sure, back on the grass we also took it off our baby. There, it is not louder than during any picnic. But especially around the entrance, towards the main stage, where the portable toilets are, it can get quite loud. But even there I saw parents with really small babies that were screaming in their prams and toddlers that were clearly scared of the whole situation being pushed and pulled by their parents… Not nice, people!
We decided to just sit down in the grass. Or better on our picnic blanket. While the baby was sleeping, Nikita went and got us some food and drinks. And brought friends along that he had met on the way. Through twitter, I met another mommy that I had been writing with be before and her toddler son. After talking for a while and eating and drinking, we started to feel a bit cold. So we decided to call it a day and head back to the warmth of the hotel room.
There, I got a bit cranky. With the end of Saturday, almost half of this year’s WGT was already over! So I decided to go out after the baby was asleep. Nikita stayed with the little one and I went to Moritzbastei, where I watched a fire show, hat a cup of hot mead and chatted with a man who was born in Leipzig and now lived in Bavaria, but returned home every year for WGT, by now with his 18 year old daughter.
After a while, though, I was cold (is was seriously cold! And windy!) and returned back to the hotel where the baby was still vast asleep. Nikita now decided to go to a meeting of the Russians that wanted to have a drink in the evening. By the time he returned, I was already vast asleep myself.
WGT 2016 – Sunday
And yet again we had breakfast at the hotel and my boys took a nap together afterwards while I got ready.
I was slightly annoyed in the beginning as the weather looked so nice outside. Well, at least when compared with the non-stop rain we had expected after seeing the previsions. Just while I was contemplating this, it suddenly started raining cats and dogs and I was glad that we had missed this.
At some point, finally, everybody was awake, changed, dressed and ready to go.
By pure chance we met Margo and Tim directly in front of our hotel and headed to Moritzbastei together. There, we started writing with Mali, who had moved from Shanghai to England and had come to WGT. She and her boyfriend/husband were on their way to Moritzbastei as well. We talked and ate and talked. And then suddenly it looked as if the sky would crumble and fall right onto our heads. It got dark, huge clouds covered the sky and it started pouring as if the end was near. We had the good luck of standing under the roof of one of the food tents already. So we did not get wet.
Several other people saw the same chance and so it got rather cozy and snug. Which was actually nice, mas the rain had also brought a front of darn cold air with it. We could see our breath. That cold. I tried to take a picture of it, but it didn’t work. So I can’t prove it, but we all saw it.
By the time the rain had finally stop, it was already time for Nikita to get ready and go to the concert of Valhall. As usual, the atmosphere in Schauspielhaus (the theatre, the venue where the concert took place) was great. And Valhall did an extraordinary job on their debut concert in WGT. I sincerely hope that this was not their last show for WGT and that I will have a chance as well to enjoy their Witchhouse sound live.
In the meantime, I had taken the baby back to the hotel. He took a short nap and we played until Nikita came back. Then we had dinner and brought the baby to bed. After he was asleep, I intended to go to see the concert of Deutsch Nepal at 11 PM. But it was dark and cold and rainy and windy outside. And so nice and warm and cozy under my blanket… So I could not get myself to stand up again and stayed.
WGT 2016 - Monday
And yet again we had breakfast at the hotel. This was the first year ever that we managed to be up that early to eat breakfast in the hotel. Usually, we would sleep until nearly noon all the time… But well, life is different with a kid. And having breakfast in the hotel is not exactly one of the bad things in life, so… :-)
And yet again the boys took a nap while I was getting ready.
The only difference today was that we managed to be in time for once! We attended a meeting of the German gothic blog „Spontis“ and had a lot of fun. The weather stayed nice and we spent the afternoon behind Moritzbastei, sitting on blankets, eating, talking and participating in their yearly, nearly famous winklepiker-circle-photo.
A little too early for our taste, the baby got cranky again as he was tired and could not sleep while having a picnic. So we packed everything and we went back to the hotel to put away the blanket and grab some drinks from the fridge. I then hurried off to the Schauspielshaus again.
And, shame on me, I used my smartphone to find the way. I mean yeah, that is somehow kind of ridiculous, given that I am going to WGT since 2007 and have visited the city of Leipzig even without WGT just in between. But I did input the Schauspielhaus on the WGT App and then opened google maps and followed the little blue arrow on my screen.
I seriously started to wonder how I managed to survive my very first WGT, when there was no such things as smartphones, Apps, or (affordable) mobile internet. And yet, with about half a ton of printouts (maps, descriptions of which tram or bus lines bring you to what venue and where you have to get off etc), I had been able to see nearly all the concert I wanted to see and I did not get lost somewhere in between.
But anyways, I managed to reach the theatre in time, climbed up seemingly endless stairs with a whole bunch of other people and sat down to see Saeldes Sanc. I could not wipe a smirk off my face when I spotted a Cyber in the crowd. Saeldes Sanc is affiliated with Ernst Horn, who is the mastermind behind Helium Vola und Qntal, for instance. So, they do something like medieval-inspired music. Here, they had two pianos, two drums and a singer on stage. Not exactly the place you would expect a „glow worm“, right? But well, here she was…
The concert that followed was as good as I had hoped. Simply beautiful female vocals, two pianos and two drummers that visibly enjoyed their job. Overall, everyone on stage had fun. While explaining about the storyline of the next song or “moderating” the concert in general, the singer in between sounded as if she was about to cry – because her voice was breaking in laughter. The two songs that just stuck in my head and I am still humming them even today were the romantic “Du bist min” and the super happy “Tandaradei”.
After the concert, the baby was awake again already. So we went for a walk all three of us together. I wanted to try and go up on Moritzbastei again to taste some of the young wines they offer there and to buy a bottle of mead to take it home with us. But by the time we arrived, we could watch how all the stands were being dismantled already. Party over here.
So we headed over to Sixtina. There, the Odin was empty. But, at least, they had a stand that sold mead. I celebrated with little victory dance in the middle of the beer garden. Who cares, it’s WGT, people are weird here… ;-) So we bought two bottle of mead with chilies. Nikita had wishes to eat a steak from the barbecue. But it would have taken some time to be done, the baby was cranky and I started to feel cold. And overall, my mood was not exactly the best. It is always sad when WGT is over, and when you know that you won’t even have a great party in the evening, the onset of dusk is even more depressing. So he skipped the steak. I took off my corset and strapped the cranky baby in the carrier and we went back to our hotel. And this was the end of our WGT 2016.
Spring is coming. And all Goths know what that means: Wave Gotik Treffen is getting closer!
This year, the WGT will take place from May 13th - May 16th (the Whit sun weekend) 2016. as always, it will take place in Leipzig on arund 50 different venues. there will be a camping site, a shopping area and the main festival area at "agra", but also all around the rest of town you will find stages, clubs, museums, medieval markets and more.
As always, there will be all music covered, that the dark scene has to offer. From Gthic to EBM, from medieval to Industrial, from Dark Ambient to Apocalyptic Pop, from Post Punk to Sysnthpop. Just anything. You name it.
The website is still www.wave-gotik-treffen.de.
As always, you can only buy a 4-days ticket (120 EUR presale) that, as always, also covers public transportation in the city and the Obsorgekarte (for camping, 25 EUR presale) and parking (15 EUR presale) goes separately.
But one thing will be very special this year: The Wave Gotik Treffen is celebrating a very significant anniversary.
It was 1991 that the first Wave Gotik Treffen took place - so this year marks the 25th anniversary of this truly amazing event. A quater of a century! Just let that sink in a bit...
To celebrate this milestone and to kick off the event with a bang, there will be a grand opening party of WGT at „AbenteuerReich BELANTIS“ - an amusement park in the south of Leipzig. From 8 PM, DJs present sets in various styles in different locations throughout the PARK. Furthermore, the 27-hectares amusement park with eight different „thematic worlds“ with all fairground rides will be opened until midnight. From midnight until 5:00 AM there will be a central party at the marquee „Belanteum“ with various DJs from the early days of Leipzig's dark scene. Also, opening fireworks and further attractions are in preparation.
As you might know - either from your own experience or from our past reports - the Wave Gotik Treffen is more than just a music festival. Sure, there are hundreds of concerts. There are also more events, like readings, tours on the cemetery, movies, opera, museums, medieval markets and so on. But even that doesn't suffice to explain the "soul" of WGT. It is, in a manner of speaking, a family gathering of all those that you can call Goth from all around the globe.
And by the way: This year, even the city museum of Leipzig is doing a special exhibition "Leipzig in black" that not only reviews the past 25 years of WGT, but also the Goth scene as a whole.
Currently there are 138 artists confirmed:
Aesthetic Perfection (USA) - Amber Asylum (USA) - Amnistia (D) - And Also The Trees (GB) - Angelic Foe (S) - Artwork (D) 30th anniversary show - Aurelio Voltaire (USA) - Autumnal (E) - Árnica (E) - Backworld (USA) - Balzac (J) - Banane Metalik (F) - Bestial Mouths (USA) - Bifröst (A) - Biomekkanik (S) - Black Moon Secret (D) - Blitzmaschine (D) - Chainreactor (D) - Christ Vs. Warhol (USA) - Christine Plays Viola (I) - Cinema Strange (USA) worldwide exclusive show in 2016 - Coppelius (D) - Crematory (D) 25th anniversary show - Cult Club (D) - Culture Kultür (E) - Cultus Ferox (D) - Dark Fortress (D) - Darkhaus (D/USA) - Darkher (GB) - Das Ich (D) - Dernière Volonté (F) - Destin Fragile (S) - Deutsch Nepal (S) - Diary Of Dreams (D) - Die Krupps (D) - Die Wilde Jagd (D) - Diodati (D) - Dirk Ivens (B) presents the best of The Klinik, Dive, Blok 57 and Absolute Body Control - Dornenreich (A) with two different sets - Drangsal (D) - Endless Asylum (E) - Enslaved (N) - Eric Fish And Friends (D) - Estampie (D) - Faun (D) - Gernotshagen (D) - Girls Under Glass (D) 80s original lineup - Golden Apes (D) - Gothminister (N) - Grausame Töchter (D) - Hante. (F) - Har Belex (E) - Harpyie (D) - Haujobb (D) - In The Nursery (GB) 35th anniversary show - Irdorath (BY) - Irfan (BG) - James Rays Gangwar (GB) - Jessica93 (F) - Joachim Witt (D) - Kari Rueslåtten (N) - Kauan (RUS) - Kirsten Morrison (GB) - Kommando (D) - Korpiklaani (FIN) - Krayenzeit (D) - Kuroshio (FIN) - Kyoll (D) - Lacrimosa (CH) - Lament (D) - Last Leaf Down (CH) - Leather Strip (DK) - Leaves' Eyes (D/N) Viking show - Legend (IS) - Lene Lovich Band (USA) - Lord Of The Lost (D) - Machinista (S) - Maschinenkrieger KR52 vs. DISRAPTOR (D) - Mesh (GB) - My Dying Bride (GB) - Näo (F) - Nekromantix (DK) - Neuroticfish (D) - Nordvargr (S) - Nullvektor (D) - One I Cinema (D) - Orange Sector (D) - Other Day (D) - Patenbrigade Wolff (D) - Peter Murphy (GB) 'Mr. Moonlight show' presenting the best of Bauhaus - Peter Yates (GB) - Pink Turns Blue (D) - Plastic Noise Experience (D) - Position Parallèle (F) - Pride And Fall (N) exclusive German show 2016 - Psilocybe Larvae (RUS) - Reaper (D) - Roger Rotor (CH) - Ruined Conflict (USA) - Saeldes Sanc & Ernst Horn (D) - Sangre De Muerdago (E) - Schöngeist (D) - Schwarzer Engel (D) - Siechtum (D) exclusive reunion show - Signal Aout 42 (B) - Sigue Sigue Sputnik (GB) - Skálmöld (IS) - Solar Fake (D) - Somatic Responses (GB) - Sonar (B) - Suicide Commando (B) - Sunset Wings (RUS) - Supersimmetria (D) - Tanz Ohne Musik (RO) - Te/DIS (D) world premiere - The Aerdt (D) - The Angina Pectoris (D) first show in 15 years - The Deadfly Ensemble (USA) - The Fright (D) - The House Of Usher (D) - The Legendary Pink Dots (NL) - The Protagonist (S) - The Underground Youth (GB) - The Visit (CDN) - Thorofon (D) 25th anniversary show - Tragic Black (USA) - Treha Sektori (F) - Triarii (D) - Trollfest (N) - Ultranoire (H) - Unzucht (D) - Valhall (S) - Velvet Acid Christ (USA) - Versengold (D) - Winter Severity Index (I) - Winterkälte (D) 25th anniversary show - Xeno & Oaklander (USA) - XTR Human (D)