WAVE – GOTIK – TREFFEN 2018: dark-romantic celebrations every year at Whitsun in Leipzig – Germany
Festival Preview – by Malice F.
The biggest worldwide music -and not only- gothic festival is back for the 27th consecutive year. There is not a single fan of the new & dark Wave/ EBM/ Industrial/ Neofolk /Gothic/ Post Punk scene that hasn’t heard of and furthermore hasn’t dreamt of visiting it, at least once.
Twenty-six years ago, two Gothic people from Leipzig had an unusual idea: They didn’t want to create yet another dark music festival, but rather a supra-regional gathering of like-minded fellows for relaxed meeting, chatting and celebrating. When the 1st Wave-Gotik-Treffen took place in 1992 at the edge of Leipzig with about 2,000 visitors and just a handful of bands, it is unlikely that anyone imagined that within a few years the WGT would become the largest meeting of Gothic people in the world, taking possession of a whole city every year at Whitsun.
Now, the WGT exists for more than a quarter of a century…From May 18th to 21st, again more than 20,000 Goths from all over the world are expected to come together again in Leipzig, Eastern Germany to celebrate the Wave-Gotik-Treffen as THE international gathering of the dark family.
All over the city, there will be about 200 bands performing, projects and single artists covering the whole wide range of Gothic music: from Electro-Pop to Goth-Metal, from EBM to Neofolk, from medieval music to Post Punk.
Apart from famous bands of the scene, you are invited for new discoveries (take a look at page 4 of the WGT preview titled WGT special tips, it will worth your while) with several less-known real underground bands or artists from the edge of the Gothic music universe. The concerts and events take place at more than 50 venues spread throughout Leipzig, for instance in the vaults of the Moritzbastei, in the splendid neo-antique cupola hall of the Volkspalast, and in the historical public bath Stadtbad, as well as in large concert halls. The WGT program will also include beautiful classical music again, such as operas, chamber music, choral and organ concerts. From its beginning, the Wave-Gotik-Treffen has been much more than a music festival: its’ guests may step back to the romantic atmosphere of ancient times at the medieval market place at the Pagan Village (Heidnisches Dorf). We will present authors reading and unusual theatre, cinematic performances will take place. People in historic clothing will gather for a Victorian Picnic in a park. For four days a large hall at the agra-Messepark will be transformed into the biggest Gothic-wares marketplace in the world. In numerous clubs DJs from all over the world will invite you to dance until dawn (the Electrowelt team, Malice F & George P. will be djing again at the WGT festival, at Moritzbastei, we hope to see you and catch up again!). There will also be a large fetish party where entrance is only possible by following a strict voluptuous dress code. A stroll through the winding passages of city centre of Leipzig with its historical buildings of the Renaissance, Baroque and Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) eras is especially worthwhile for art and culture lovers: the entrance to several of Leipzig’s museums is again free of charge for WGT-guests.
The city of Leipzig and its’ inhabitants are extremely friendly, as well as familiar with the Festival and its’ visitors. Οver the last two decades – there are no longer any prejudices and the gothic guests are very welcome here. The most fascinating aspect of the Wave-Gotik-Treffen is surely its unique magic atmosphere that covers the whole city. More than 20.000 Goths from all over the world celebrate their gathering in a peacefully relaxed manner, turning Leipzig into a diverse wave of black.
Cheap and entertaining accommodation is available at the huge Treffen camping ground. To enter, you need a special ticket (called Obsorgekarte). Public transport in the city is free for all WGT-guests from Friday morning until noontime Tuesday.
For camping you need a special ticket called Obsorgekarte (available for 25,- €) that allows you to stay at the Treffen- Campground (agra-fairground) from May 17th to May 22nd
For car parking at the Treffen-area you have to purchase a parking vignette for 15,- € (including advance sale charges). Parking at the Treffen-area (agra- Messepark) is definitely not possible without a parking vignette.
4-Day-Tickets for all events within the 27th Wave-Gotik-Treffen Whitsun 2018 are available for 120,- € each in advance ticket sale (including advance sale charges). The Treffen-Event-Ticket includes free using of public transport (tram, city-busses, regional trains, suburban trains within the zone 110 of MDV) from May 18th , 8.00 a.m. to May 22nd , 12.00 p.m. / noontime (except for special routes)
All tickets can be ordered via www.wave-gotik-treffen.com
If you are travelling to the WGT for the first time, you can find lots of useful information for planning your trip on: www.sadgoth.com
WGT-Guide – useful and free app to download at Google Play, iTunes or Amazon
– Music styles:
All sub-genres of dark music: Gothic; EBM; Industrial; Ambient; Neofolk; Synthpop, Goth-Metal, Post Punk etc. Youtube Playlist – WGT 2018: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL7zbLtR8amaw_xIDdnKs-RXOlHGJR-h_
Phone: 0049-341-2120862 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Photos of the last years:
We will all meet at this year’s 27th Wave – Gotik – Treffen in Leipzig!
Goths from all over the world celebrate their gathering in a peacefully relaxed manner, turning Leipzig into a diverse wave of black. This year too about twenty thousand Goths are coming home: to the Wave-Gotik-Treffen!
The following 131 artists have already confirmed their performances at the 27th WGT (as of March 26):
A Projection (S) – Actors (CDN) – Aeon Rings (USA) – Aeverium (D) – All Gone Dead (USA) exclusive European reunion show in 2018 – Arcana(S) – Ash Code (I) – Ataraxia (I) – Autobahn (GB) – Beinhaus (D) – Black Light Ascension (GB) – Black Line (GB/USA) – Blanck Mass (GB) -Bootblacks (USA) – Boy Harsher (USA) – Buzz Kull (AUS) – Centhron (D) – Cesair (NL) – Chameleons Vox (GB) – Confrontational (GB) – Crisis(GB) – Crying Vessel (CH) – Dageist (F) – De/Vision (D) – Dead Leaf Echo (USA) – Detachments (GB) – Die Kammer (D) – Diorama (D) – Dive (B)- Drifter (S) – Eden Weint Im Grab (D) – Einar Selvik (N) – Eivør (FO) – Elegant Machinery (S) – ES23 (D) – Ext!ze (D) – Fabrik C (D) – Faderhead(D) – Fairytale (D) – Feuerschwanz (D) – Formalin (D) – Frank The Baptist (USA) – Front Line Assembly (CDN) – God Module (USA) – Grave Pleasures (FIN) – Grendel (NL) – Greyhound (D) – Grimner (S) – Guerre Froide (F) – Hekate (D) – Heldmaschine (D) – Hexheart (USA) – Illuminate(D) – Imminent & Synapscape (B/D) – Imperium Dekadenz (D) – Ingrimm (D) – Japan Suicide (I) – Jo Quail (GB) – Joy/Disaster (F) – Kaizer (D) -Kiew (D) – Les Discrets (F) – Merciful Nuns (D) – Model Kaos (D) – Modern English (GB) – Monica Jeffries (D) – Mono No Aware (D) – Monolith (B)- Mr. Kitty (USA) – Nachtsucher (D) – Neun Welten (D) – Oberer Totpunkt (D) – Oomph! (D) – Ost+Front (D) – Paddy And The Rats (H) – Palast(D) – Phil Shoenfelt & Southern Cross (GB/CZ) – Phosgore (D) – Principe Valiente (S) – Pyogenesis (D) – Qntal (D) – Raison D’être (S) -Randolph’s Grin (USA/A) – Rapalje (NL) – Readership Hostile (USA) – Rome (L) – Sardh (D) – Sarin (IR) – Scarlet And The Spooky Spiders (I) -Schandmaul (D) – Scheuber (D) – Second Still (USA) – Seelennacht (D) – Seigmen (N) – Siglo XX (B) exclusive reunion show – Silent Runners(NL) – Siva Six (GR) – Solitary Experiments (D) – Spark! (S) – Stahlr (NL) – Still Patient? (D) 30th anniversary show – Sturm Café (S) – Suir (D) -Suld (CHN) – Sulpher (GB) – Svartsinn (N) – The Beauty Of Gemina (CH) – The Crimson Ghosts (D) – The Fright (D) – The Jesus And MaryChain (GB) – The KVB (GB) – The Last Cry (GB) – The Other (D) – Then Comes Silence (S) – Tiamat (S) perform songs from the albums„Wildhoney“ and „Clouds“ – Totus Gaudeo (D) – Traitrs (CDN) – Traumtaenzer (D) – Trepaneringsritualen (S) – Trisomie 21 (F) – Undertheskin(PL) – Unterschicht (D) – Vocame (D) – Vogon Poetry (S) – Vomito Negro (B) – Wardruna (N) – Xenturion Prime (N) – Zanias (AUS) – Zeraphine(D) – Zeromancer (N) – [:SITD:] (D) – Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld (I/D) – Dool (NL) – Surturs Lohe (D) – Ye Banished Privateers (S) – Nothgard (D) – The Eden House (GB) – E Craft (D) – Mercury’s Antennae (USA) – Kaunan (D) – Monica Richards & Anthony Jones (USA).
For more information about the confirmed artists, there is a list of their official WebPages here: http://www.wave-gotik-treffen.de/forumwgt3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24550
On the WGT website, you can enroll for a newsletter which quickly informs you about the latest program updates.
WGT special tips
Apart from famous bands of the scene, the coming WGT program will again include several hidden treasures whose names are maybe not known to everybody, but which will surely perform outstanding concerts. So before visiting the WGT, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look into the program and to listen to some sample tracks of the artists you don’t know. Here are some hints on a few less known, yet interesting bands and artists that will play at the WGT 2018:
Postpunk | Canada
On their Facebook page, they cite David Bowie, Brian Eno, Roxy Music, The Cure, Echo and The Bunnymen, Joy Division, New Order,Portishead and David Lynch as influences on their music. To be honest, coupled with musical talent, what can go wrong there?
Postpunk, Indie | Sweden
A Projection impressively proves that Sweden isn’t just a source of fantastic Synthpop. Their influences range from The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division / New Order, The Sisters Of Mercy, Interpol and The Editors to Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, D.A.F. and The Knife. Since last year they seem – and rightly so – to be playing every imaginable festival, and this year it finally works at the WGT.
Postpunk | Great Britain
“Beautiful Place To Die”, “Suicide Saturday”, “Deprivation” … If you look at the names of their titles, you know immediately: this is no children’s birthday party. The band name might lead some Kraftwerk fans astray, because these guys from Leeds are not so much inspired by the German electronic pioneers, as they are by the dark rocking heroes of their hometown, like The March Violets, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry or the Sisters of Mercy.
Industrial | Germany
Unfortunately, most of us were not able to experience Einstürzende Neubauten live during their radical heyday in the 80s. Today’s concerts and albums from the industrial pioneers are also beautiful, but they’ve really calmed down with age. With Beinhaus you can travel back in time visually and acoustically — to collapse … Plagiarism? Homage? Ingenious or superfluous? You decide.
Electro, IDM, Experimental | United Kingdom / USA
New project from the US producer cyrusrex, who has already worked with Skinny Puppy and Depeche Mode. In collaboration with Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris (Nitzer Ebb) and many other studio guest appearances in 2017, the first work “Treason, Sedition And Subversive Activities” seems to have been created just for lovers of exciting, intricate electronics. Live this year not only as support of the current Depeche Mode Tour, but also at the WGT in Leipzig!
Postpunk, Synth Wave | USA
Founded in New York in 2010, their early work sounded a bit rougher and more guitar-based. Barrett Hiatt’s (The Harrow) arrival shifts the sound to New Wave through the increased use of synthesizers from postpunk, which certainly won’t offend fans of New Order and similar bands.
Synth Wave | USA
Surfing to the top of the current “synth wave“, “Pain” is playing at every party. Their recordings are going for insane prices. Watch, dance!
Synth Wave | Australia
Promising young project from far away Sydney in the style of Ash Code, Boy Harsher or Skeleton Hands.
Minimal Synth, Retrowave | Italy
If you get goosebumps hearing the intro of the cult series “Stranger Things”, then this is for you. The Italian Massimo Usai floats at the top of the ongoing 80s retro-wave between New Order and John Carpenter, whose son Cody he has collaborated with on his albums, other collaborators include Tying Tiffany, Tobias Bernstrup or – as in the video example – Hélène De Thoury (Hante, Minuit Machine, Phosphor). It will be interesting to see if he can match the perfection of his LPs in a live concert.
Minimal synth, retro wave
For once, something the Swiss did not invent, but they do everything right. Great debut album, hopefully just as great a concert!
Dead Leaf Echo
Shoegaze, Indie | USA
Friends of Slowdive and Ride are sure to get their money’s worth here.
Cold Wave, Postpunk | Great Britain
This London formation exists since 2009, and this year after a long silence they’re putting out a new EP on “Young And Cold Records”. Even Peter Hook was so excited about them years ago that not only did he play bass on stage with them in Salford, but he also released their single “Fade” on his “Hacienda Records” label. You can now find out live at the WGT whether or not these laurels are justified.
Indie, Shoegaze | Sweden
Occasionally one hears complaints that the WGT only books bands which have hardly any clicks on Youtube and are therefore not known by anyone. As long as they sound like this quasi-follow-up project of the guitar goddess Jeniferever, which is about to release its first record, what’s the problem? Is there something wrong with giving young bands a chance?
Cold Wave, Minimal Wave | France
Titles such as “Demain Berlin” are among the eternal classics of the classic 80s Cold Wave. Finally for the first time at WGT.
Wave, Shoegaze | Italy
Not a very new band, but probably still flying under the radar of most. This year they released Santa Sangre, their third album since their founding 8 years ago, again with sounds somewhere between The Cure and Slowdive.
Shoegaze, Post-Metal | France
Musically similar to Alcest, Fursy Tessier, alias Les Discrets, also gives goose bumps to lovers of depressive guitars.
Self-Destructive Synthpop | USA
After support shows for VNV Nation in the US and numerous appearances in Europe Forrest LeMaire from Texas certainly not a real insider tip anymore, rightly so. A great show!
Techno, EBM | Iran
After “Konkurs” (his joint project with Blush Response) was unable appear at the WGT last year due to personal reasons and became a Blush Response solo show, lovers of sombre and EBM and New Beat influenced Techno get another chance this year to suffer some evil leg spasms from dancing.
Postpunk, Coldwave | USA
Their eponymous debut album on “Manic Depression” was one of the best records of the last year and brings fans of the early Cocteau Twins, Banshees or Chameleons to tears of joy. Live as powerful as recorded. Do not miss!
Alternative Rock | Norway
Before Zeromancer existed, there was Seigmen – with a nearly identical line-up. But even today, only a few people outside Norway know about them. During the 1990s they filled huge concert halls and climbed to the top of the charts in Norway. Friends of Placebo, Madrugada or Motorpsycho, or slightly melancholic alternative rock in general should lend an ear here. You never know how long a reunion will last.
Postpunk, Synth Wave | Netherlands
You can see it clearly – the genre is booming like no other, and all over the globe new bands pop up nearly every week. This is also reflected in the WGT lineup. Arriving on the scene at the end of 2017 in neighboring Holland, they’ve been very convincing from the first notes of their debut “The Directory”.
Indiepop, Electronica | Netherlands
They described themselves so: “Stahlr sounds like the Cocteau Twins are performing a musical version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in a concrete basement garage.” Guitars, gloom and cold. Pretty close.
Postpunk | Germany
“Cinematic Postpunk” from Frankfurt am Main. In 2017, they released their debut LP, Ater, and their deep black, atmospherically reverberated sound. Imperative for all depressed guitar fetishists.
Then Comes Silence
Post-Punk, Goth Rock | Sweden
On the road since 2012 and unstoppable. Your record collection includes Bauhaus, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and the Sisters? Then lend an ear!
Postpunk | Canada
It may be that the WGT program has an oversupply of young post-punk bands this year. But who’s complaining about it? And sometimes you have to use opportunities in the moment that they offer themselves. If the Canadian duo Traitrs is currently in Europe, for example …
Death Industrial | Sweden
Not brand new, and they’ve played WGT before. Nevertheless, recommended again for those who mourn the ritual machine sounds of Cold Meat bands like Brighter Death Now, Memorandum or Mental Destruction.
Postpunk, Gothrock | Poland
Their first self-named CD was already released in 2015, but some things take a bit longer at the WGT … nonetheless, the mix of fog-flooded walls of guitar and ice-cold drum machines will not only inspire Sisters fans.
Synth Wave, Techno | Australia
Basically superfluous in this list, because anyone who isn’t already familiar with Zoe Zanias from her previous bands called Linea Aspera or Keluar on the way, probably last listened to music in 2010. This is only mentioned for the sake of completeness, because the performance should be one of the highlights of the WGT, where she will play not only current material, but also pieces from all of her projects! Cold electro sounds in perfect combination with hypnotic vocals.