WGT is an annual world festival for "dark" music & arts and attracts around 20,000 people each year. 150+ artists from various backgrounds (Rock, EBM, Industrial, Noise, Darkwave, Experimental, Electronic, Punk, Gothic, Death-rock, Neo-folk, Neo-classical and Medieval) play at many venues throughout the city during 4 days over the Whitsun (or ‘Pfingsten’) weekend.
Headliners play at the 10,000 capacity Agra (where Recoil will appear) while others play in the dozen-or-more varied venues around the city, from the stately ‘Schauspielhaus’ to the somber ‘Krypta’, the ‘Völkerschlachtdenkmal’, or under the trees in the ‘Parkbühne’. The festival also features Renaissance fairs, Viking & Pagan markets, CD/DVD & film premieres, literary readings, artist signings, brunches celebrating Absinthe, and fetishistic ‘happenings’ – as well as access to many late night dance clubs such as ‘Darkflower’ or ‘Moritzbastei’ with top-name DJs.
A first attempt at a ‘treffen’ (meeting) was made in 1987 in Potsdam. However, as the laws of the GDR determined this kind of gathering illegal, only a few hundred visitors attended. In 1992, after the re-unification of Germany, the first official WGT was held in the ‘Eiskeller’ club in Leipzig. Since then, the number of visitors has increased greatly. The largest instalment was in 2000 with over 300 acts and an estimated 25,000 visitors – however, that year's festival suffered financial collapse on the third day and had to be aborted. After all festival security guards, most bands and much of the technical staff had left, volunteers and several remaining artists staged a free final concert. Contrary to police expectations, no rioting of any sort occurred and the final day of the festival witnessed huge celebratory scenes which cemented the festival's on-going prestige.
Festival website: www.wave-gotik-treffen.de