Photo: wave-gotik-treffen.de
Wave-Gotik-Treffen (WGT) is an annual international festival dedicated to dark alternative music held in Leipzig, Germany. Its name is derived from the Germany word “das Treffen” that translates as “the meeting”. The event runs over four days around Pentecost.

The first attempt to hold a dark music festival was made in 1987 in Potsdam. Back then, the city was located in East Germany and the laws of the GDR made this kind of event illegal. So the festival attracted only a few hundred visitors who were not afraid to take the risk. The first official Wave-Gotik-Treffen was held after the German reunification in Leipzig. What started as a local music festival has since grown to become one of the world’s largest events dedicated to the goth subculture and dark alternative music.

Wave-Gotik-Treffen attracts 18,000 to 20,000 music lovers each year. The largest edition of the festival took place in 2000 with an estimated 25,000 visitors but it was cut short due to financial problems. Each installment of Wave-Gotik-Treffen features about 200 bands and artists from all over Germany and abroad. The festival encompasses a wide array of musical genres and styles including Gothic rock, EBM (electronic body music), industrial, noise, dark wave, neofolk, neo-classical, Medieval music, Gothic metal, experimental music, deathrock, punk rock, symphonic metal, and more.

Concerts are held in over 20 venues across Leipzig, from large theaters, squares and fairground halls to smaller venues. Alongside performances, the program of the festival includes a variety of events and activities focused on the goth, cybergoth, steampunk and rivethead subcultures. They include pagan and viking markets, Renaissance fairs, events dedicated to Gothic literature, album launches and film premieres, autograph sessions, literary readings, fetish-themed events, late night parties at local clubs, and more.

Most of these events are held at AGRA, an exhibition center and fairgrounds with the capacity of 10,000. Wave-Gotik-Treffen’s market is arguably the world’s largest market with Medieval- and Gothic-themed merchandise. Right next to the AGRA fairgrounds there’s a designated camping area where attendees can stay for the duration of the festival.

Wave-Gothic-Treffen is held in late spring or early summer over the holiday weekend of Pentecost. The festival officially starts on Friday and runs until Tuesday morning but there are unofficial events on Thursday night.


Photo: Lensspirit




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