THE WGT FESTIVAL
'Wave Gotik Treffen' is so much more than just a music festival, there is much to do, and very little time to do it in. Your Mission (should you choose to accept it!) is to travel between the various venues watching bands, shopping at the biggest Goth Market, Partying till the sun comes up and maybe finding some time to eat and drink, and if you are really lucky you might find some time for sleep.
With so much to do and see I am sure that everybody that attends WGT will have an individual festival experience, with different high and low points. Everybody will go for a different reason, to see a certain band, to shop or just to chill out in the capital of the Gothic world. I'm not going to say what to do or what not to do...thats the fun bit, but if you are new to the festival then I will guess that you have a load of questions about what to do and what to see to have the best experience.
The first thing to do is to keep an eye on the official website when the band listing is published (about 2 weeks before the festival). Print out the listing and highlight the bands that you want to see (and then highlight the bands that you wouldn't mind seeing). You may find that a number of bands that you want to see will clash with other bands that you want to see...once you have finished swearing and jumping up and down, you will need to re-plan. You may find (if you are lucky) that a number of bands that you want to see are all playing the same day at the same venue. My advice is to stay there for the day, if there is a band or two that is also playing that you don't want to see then this is the time to grab some food and drink or do some shopping.
You may also what to plan when to shop...
Well with so many bands to see, and all them late nights and all that standing up you are gonna find that you feel rather exhausted at some point. So plan when is best to go shopping, there will be a day when there are not many bands that you want to see are playing, do the bulk of your shopping on this day, remember too that if you shop lots then you have loads of bags to carry around all day/night (depending on your hotel).
The second thing to do is maybe to read the contents of this and other websites, do your homework and plan well.
OFFICIAL WGT WEBSITE UPDATES
When will bands start to be announced? When will tickets go on sale? Is the festival still taking place this year?
DON'T PANIC! The official WGT Website normally starts to post updates from the Feb / Mar before WGT (or has done for the past few years). This may seem very late for those travelling long distance, and causes much consternation on various forums but don't worry the festival will take place (bands can start to be announced anytime from January to March).
Why does it take so long to make announcement? Well the festival organisers have much to plan including the selection of bands from the 7000 that apply together with written confirmation from each that they will attend, selection of DJs from the 2000 that apply, finding 20+ empty venues, Safety planning, local transport negotiations, security organisation and all the city bureaucracy that must go with all of the above (and don't forget the festival takes place over a bank holiday so much will be happening across the city the same weekend). Because the festival is unlike any other you can well imagine that the organisation is difficult and protracted...be patient, information and band listings will start in March (In 2010 the website was updated and tickets went on sale from the 1st March).
SO MUCH TO DO!
So at some stage the official website will start to publish the band listing and all the other events...there is plenty to do and keep you
occupied, and guaranteed you wont get around to all venues/events in one year. If fact after six years I am still finding new stuff.
There are three basic things to do during the festival (apart from Sightseeing); doing all three will require some stamina.
• The first is Shopping,
• The Second is Watching Gigs,
• The Third is Night Clubbing,
There are also exhibitions, talks / lectures, films, tours, sightseeing, picnics, readings, museums and knitting circles to go and visit / take part in, the list is endless and changes every year, and of course at some stage you will need to eat and drink, and maybe get some sleep.
There are normally just over 200 bands that play at WGT each year, and this is of course the main reason for going. However I and others seem to struggle to see 50 bands at any one festival, and I know people that see only a couple or no bands (there really is so much to do and see). You will need to plan your days, the bands you want to watch and what you want to get out of the festival. Of the three things to do above you will find it hard to do all three in any one day, do too much one day and you will find yourself in bed the next day. There really are not enough days in the weekend to do everything you will want to do. I would also recommend booking at least one day off work when you get home to recover.
Done mainly at the Agra Messepark, there are loads of Goth stalls in Halle 1 at the Agra. Open from about midday on the Friday to 1am the next morning. Saturday and Sunday the Stalls are open from 11am till 1am while on the Monday you will find that the stalls close at about 11pm. Fit this in as and when you can. If you see something you like, buy it, it might be gone by the time you come back.
There are many different stalls...here are a few that seem to make it every year
The Official WGT Merchandise stall
Out of Line: CDs and band merchandise
Queen of Darkness: Clothing
Hands Production: Music
Blackview: Gothic cups, plates, ornaments
And so many more
Located at 24+ venues around the City. You will want to plan what bands you want to see before going to Leipzig, check the official WGT website regularly especially when the daily schedule is published (it will change right up till the last day, so don’t print it out till you leave to go to Leipzig). Getting about from location to location is not as easy as you may first think (you have free Tram and Bus transport with your WGT wristband during the days of the festival), transport links are excellent, however don’t bank on getting on the trams (everybody else will be travelling too). My advise is to try and stay in one or two venues per day, keep travel down to the minimum. You will have to sacrifice some bands for others, and remember to get to venues early to avoid disappointment (some of the smaller venues will be very busy, arrive 1-2 bands before the band you want to see). At most you can expect to see 20-25 bands, although I have met people that see no bands due to Night clubbing and Shopping!
Clubs stay open till you have had enough beer and dancing. You wont be able to go Shopping, see loads of Gigs and go Night clubbing (well you might one day, but you will end up sleeping most of the next day and missing out on other events). Personally I find you either get a good club night or a shit one, if its shit after an hour I would advise moving on or doing something else.
There are also a number of 'Other Event' nights happening around Leipzig over the WGT weekend. There is the 'Gothic Pogo Party' and 'When We Were Young' nights, there may also be bands playing on the Thursday before WGT at various locations around the city.
So there are a number of places to hang out, most dont really get going until midnight
Agra: Large dancefloor in 4.2 and cafe bar 4.1 for hanging out in
Mortizbastei: Three dancefloors / best club location in the world
Täubchenthal: hosts the When we were young parties, brilliant old school goth nights
Felsenkeller: various nights catering to different tastes of music from EBM to NIN
Various other locations and nights right across the city
Plenty to keep you busy...