WGT - Camping
For those of you wanting to Camp I can provide the following details from friends that have (I can offer no first hand details as I refuse to camp, not my thing)
If you decide to Camp then you will need to get yourself down to the Agra Messepark (tram 11). This is the main location of the Festival and also the location of the camp site. I advise getting to the camp site as early as you can on the Thursday, it’s going to fill up very quickly and all the prime sites will go very quickly. There is enough room for thousands of tents so the later you turn up the further you will have to walk across fields. If it rains you are possibly going get very wet (for some reason it always rains buckets at this time of year), large parts of the campsite are known to flood, so do your research. Security seems to be present around the campsite and you must have the appropriately coloured wristband to enter the campsite. Toilets are portaloo (or Dixi) style and are scattered around the site. There are also some showers that cost a few Euro's to use, however you will need to get there early to get hot water and avoid the long queues. If you are camping you are permitted to take food and drink on to the Agra site, however NO Glass is allowed on site, and it will be removed from you. It is also advisable to ensure that your tent pegs are firmly buried as people will be wandering around late at night in the dark, drunk and the last thing you want is for somebody to fall over on your tent (especially if you are asleep), take ear plugs too if you actually want some sleep.
The camping section is at the far end of the Agra site, you will be allowed access to the site from mid-day on Thursday, although there will be a queue so I advise getting there as early as you can and joining the queue. If you need a ticket you will have to join the ticket queue first. The best idea would be to order your ticket and camping ticket when they go on sale (from the official WGT site), that way all you will need to do is join the queue to get on site when you turn up.
I have been told that the best place to pitch your tent is to the right of the campsite between the lines of trees, this location is slightly raised and will protect your tent from flooding if there is a lot of rain. The worst place is apparently in the middle of the open area.
So you will probably need some food and drink and other supplies if you are going to camp. There is a Garage right opposite the Agra's main entrance, they will be ready for the masses and have a large supply of beer and drink, the garage has a small supermarket and you can buy some foodstuffs (however there selection is not that large). Fast food is very cheap around the Agra, I would imagine that the best thing is to eat from one of the many food stalls, its for the most part very good (NOTE: there are stalls selling pasta, Chinese, Indian, burgers, hot dogs, pasta, vegetarian, pizza and various stalls selling barbecued food). There is also a Cash Point in the Garage.
If you find you need a new Tent / Camping supplies there is a shop in town called 'Tapir' they have a selection of tents that you can try out in store plus loads of equipment, you will find them at Georgiring 4-7, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
Lockers, there are banks of lockers near to the Gig Halle entrance that can be used for a few Euro's.
WGT Ticket, so you want to purchase your WGT ticket and need to change it for a wristband. There is a metal hut that you could go to and exchange your ticket for the wristband. It was located just beyond the main food stalls towards the far end of Halle 2.
First Aid / Police, If you require First Aid (due to injury, exhaustion etc) you can visit the on site First Aid station. It is always located directly outside the Gig Halle 2 entrance at the Agra. The Staff are fully qualified to treat minor injuries and will advise if you need further treatment. A friend of mine required treatment and was advised to seek further medical attention at the nearest hospital, directions and information were given in English. There is also Police presence located close by in a container.
Advice from someone that has camped numerous times
When to arrive: Get outside the Agra Messepark gates early on Thursday morning, I would recommend 9am to get the BEST spot as after 1030 the queuing area starts filling up. Gates to the Messepark normally open after midday.
Best pitch: Get to the camping section nearest the entrance to save walking to and from the tram stop and the Agra venue doors. You will be staying here for five nights so in my opinion its important to get a good spot. Half way up the camping block is quite good, as you have the Dixie toilets to your right, the water troffs straight ahead and your are not too near the food stall places which can get quite noisy with their generators.
Recommended type of tent: Dome shaped are probably the best however whatever you have or are comfortable with will be fine. Just so long as you have enough room to maneuver, you can also take large tents, any sort/size of tent is a goer at WGT.
Cooking: There are not any cooking facilities at the campsite, to save on weight, just eat the takeaway food from the near by stalls, most of it is cheap and good quality. However if you do wish to bring cooking gear you will find that Security are quite laid back, there is no need to hide your gas canisters (I have experienced a security guard picking up one of my gas canisters when we were parking up and he did not’t confiscate it)
Facilities: Not much really, you get the Dixie toilets, toilet roll is plenty full and the Dixie's do get emptied 3 times daily.
Showers: You need to pay extra for a shower, prices change every year I think 2005 it was 1.50 Euro's each. Washing facilities are water supplied troffs which are located in the middle of each camping section.
Neighbours: The quietest camping neighbours I have experienced is at WGT. It was very peaceful, although the last night (Monday) was a bit noisy but not overly.
Toilets: My tip is to just pay to use the flushing toilets near the showers, they are a lot cleaner, also it saves you queuing up for ages if you are at the Agra venue (time is precious!) but if you are camping you can use the Dixie's free of charge obviously.
NOTE: Dixi toilets = Portaloo = Mobile Toilet
EVEN MORE ADVICE
Weather: Very tricky period. It can be cold 10-15 deg C, with chilling wind and rain, as well as very hot and sunny with temperatures as high as 30-35 deg C. It can be nice and dry as well as heavy thunderstorms with tornado alert.
Camping sites: Best camping spots are in the "hidden area" in the southeast part of the camping area (closest to the main entrance). Best spots are in the middle in between the row of trees. There you are protected against the strong sun and since it is elevated a few decimeters above the surroundings you are also safe for flooding during heavy rains. You have to be there very early to get a good spot though.
Fan: Very good accessory. If you are one of the more "heavily" dressed, be aware that it sunny days can be very warm inside many venues. Fanning your warm neighbours in the hall is also a nice way to get new friends.
Umbrella: A cheap and small one is very nice to have....just in case.
Showers: Sometimes there are long queues, however not during the whole day. Keep an eye at the queues and try to take your showers when you do not have to line up. Earlier there have been mainly cold showers but also some a bit more expensive ones with warm water as well.
AND EVEN MORE ADVICE
In WGT 2008 the weather was fantastic, with temperatures in the tolerable range of about 20-25 degrees, with a mild wind to cool one down and in an exception to the "it always rains at least once during a WGT" rule, not a drop of rain at all, so the campers like myself had a lot of to be pleased about. While rain is unpleasant in general, it does not bother you as much if all your belongings are safe in a hotel room and you yourself dry in an indoor venue, but for a camper it matters far more when everything you have with you is only protected by your tent and you need to fall asleep in the steady drumming of the water on the tent. A bit of rain is not the end of the world though, as in WGT 2007 there were a fair few heavy showers between waves of boiling heat, and decent quality camping equipment kept most of the equipment dry. If torrential rains are in the forecast however, it might be best to invest a little into a gazebo or some other serious raincover. At night-time the temperatures went down to about 10 degrees or so, which could be a bit too chilly if you'd be at the camping grounds at night, but with all-night clubbing on the menu, who would be?
While WGT is a very international festival, the campsites are always predominantly German. Not surprisingly though, as most visitors to WGT from abroad need to make such a financial commitment to get there in the first place, that getting a hotel is not a major increase in the total cost. Also, a fair few of the campers enjoy the whole camping atmosphere, which is often a remarkably chilled out and pleasant one, and is always great for meeting new people. However, to truly enjoy this atmosphere, one practically needs to speak decent German, as it is very hard for the Germans to enjoy themselves when needing to struggle with a second language, so they tend to switch to German fairly often, and listening to conversations in a language you do not understand gets boring pretty fast. Asides from learning German, one might approach the problem by organising a group of international campers huddled up near each other to create similar atmosphere in English.
Regarding facilities, they are nowhere near as unpleasant as they might seem at first description. Yes, there are dixie toilets for the campers, and they're not too pleasant, but with a bit of effort, one can use the toilets in the Agra hall, which are available when the hall is open, from about 1-2 PM to 5-6 AM. Or go to the shower/toilet area and pay 0,50 euro for using a toilet. The showers have hot water, and costed 1,50 euro per use in both 2007 and 2008. Also the water-point in the campsite has perfectly drinkable cold water for refreshing oneself, simple washing up and whatnot. While these facilities might not seem that much compared to a hotel, they are quite luxurious compared to your average festival facilities. Not to mention that the showers are more comfortable and useful than the shower of your average London flat.
The main attraction for camping is either the atmosphere detailed above, or the cost. Camping costs 20 euros for the whole festival, and requires no advance booking like hotels. Of course you'll need the camping gear, but in most cases once you have the gear, you're sorted indefinitely. Camping is one of the central blocks of doing WGT cheap, with others being booking flights so early that you'll get them for just the tax price, and relying on buying your food in local supermarkets and minimising excess shopping. The best options for food are either the Aldi Market at the bottom floor of the Leipzig train station or the Rewe supermarkets (there's one at Raschwitzer Strasse and another at Connewitz Kreuz), which offer good selections of food at affordable prices. Bear in mind though that shops are not open on Sundays or WGT Mondays, as they're public holidays, so stocking up on Friday and Saturday is in order. With careful planning, it is possible to manage WGT with about £150-200 in total.
MAP OF THE AGRA MESSEPARK
You can see from the Map below the two main areas where you can camp (as well as the Camper Van area).