Monday (10th June)
This was it, the last day of the festival proper. However, there was only one band I wanted to see, so I took it easy and slept in rather late. It was close to 5pm when I met up with friends at Heidnisches Dorf. Yes, after the failed attempt from the previous day, we finally made it in!
It was a wonderful place too, the various stalls truly taking on the Medieval aesthetic. On-stage throughout the day were a variety of traditional folk style acts, that added to the atmosphere, making it extremely immersive. I got to try another traditional German dish too, Mutzbraten, which has to be one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. It consisted of mutton, that had been roasted on an open birchwood fire, served with Sauerkraut and a slice of bread. My mouth is literally watering as I type this. Oh, and the cherry beer was also rather pleasant too, and I also recommend the chocolate rolls! I was informed that this was the place for food at the festival, and I cannot argue with that at all.
We then ventured further, taking in the sights. There was even a stall when you could have your own custom sword made. I’d have loved to have had one myself, but I sure would have had quite a hard time getting that back into the UK. Customs would have had a field-day! Also, at one point later on in the afteroon, a more comical band performed, which also included a cover of “Cotton Eye Joe” during the set. This unfortunately got stuck in my head. After one last quick foray into Agra for some merch, I headed to see my final choice of bands of the festival at Felsenkeller.
As I was headed over there, a savage thunderstorm hit. Normally this would annoy me, but I was prepared and in shelter for most of it, so was perfectly fine. Plus it was incredibly epic, it was of almost apocalyptic proportions! Fortunately, I got to the venue unscathed. At least this was the only time when the weather was truly terrible, and was very short-lived… unlike a certain other recent festival that I’m very glad I skipped.
I was lucky enough to catch the latter half of Maerzfeld‘s set, and this was yet another surprise. Their musical style was very metal, with a great mix of heavier and melodic moments. It’s perhaps cliched to make this comparison, but at times their sound reminded me of Rammstein. A huge compliment from me, as they’re my favourite band (although bands in, or inspired by, the Neue Deutsche Härte movement tend to be similar in style!) They were extremely entertaining, and I walked away from their set very impressed.
Then it was time for the final act, Megaherz. Having seen them before, I knew to expect great things, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. Even in the sweltering temperatures of the venue, they gave it their all. They stormed through hits old and new, their sound resonating throughout the hall of Felsenkeller. It was a heavy, powerful set, with some stunning moments. I even caught sight of a couple ballroom dancing in the crowd, which I thought was quite beautiful. There were some calmer moments in the set too, which gave for a welcome respite, as well as boosting the already rich atmosphere. It was a truly fantastic act to finish on.
Then I made my way to where it all began, back to Moritzbastei for the after-party, making my weekend come full-circle. Anyone can tell you that I’m usually quite the party animal, but on this night I didn’t really feel like dancing too much. Instead, the night was spent socialising with friends old and new, well into the early hours of the morning. I had intended to call it an early night, but I was enjoying the company so much, that I ended up staying a lot longer than I intended to. It was hard to say goodbye. I really didn’t want this festival to be over. Alas, all things must end.
As I said at the start of the review (or more like diary entries at this point), I’d had friends telling me to go to this festival for years, and now I see why. They also have my eternal thanks, because I can say with absolute confidence, that this is one of the best things that I have ever done. This was a whole new experience for me, there is honestly nothing quite like Wave-Gotik-Treffen. It’s wonderful that an entire city embraces all walks of the Gothic culture, and opens it’s doors to so many events, artists and attendees. The fact that there’s so much to do can feel overwhelming, but in reality this means that you can go and do whatever you feel like. Doing everything it has to offer in one short weekend is impossible, but it only makes your experience all the more unique. This isn’t just a festival it’s an adventure! It’s also all about the people, and I feel truly blessed to have been able to catch up with old friends, and make some new ones along the way.
For those of you still hesitant to attend WGT, I urge you to go. The logistics may seem confusing, but it’s actually genuinely very easy to get around; it may seem costly, but the memories are priceless. Seize the opportunity, and just go for it! I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you do end up in Leipzig, then I shall definitely see you there next year, and surely for the many years to come.