The Wave Gothic scene can build on a loyal fan community. After a two-year Corona break, the cult in black was celebrated again on the Pentecost weekend in Leipzig. There were emotions in front of and on the stage.

Renaissance for the black scene: Around 15,000 fans from Germany and abroad made the pilgrimage to Leipzig for the 29th Wave-Gotik- Treffen (WGT) on the Whitsun weekend and breathed life into the festival again after a two-year pandemic break.

Festival spokesman Cornelius Brach said about the finale on Monday “great joy and relief everywhere”. You could experience a lot of emotions with the bands and spectators. “Artists had tears in their eyes because they were able to perform in front of a large audience again after such a long time. And the fans were also happy to finally be able to see their stars again,” Brach told the German Press Agency.

A big family reunion

According to Brach, for many people the WGT is like a big family reunion. “Some of them haven’t seen each other for three years. They were grateful and relieved to be able to see each other’s faces and smile again without a mask,” said the festival spokesman. Being able to experience a bit of normality was the real highlight for many visitors. Brach attributed the fact that not so many fans came from overseas to the relatively short preparation time. Many people would have had no chance of getting cheap flight tickets or hotel beds after all the restrictions had been lifted. Nevertheless, regular audiences from Mexico, the USA and Colombia, for example, could also be welcomed.

There was one highlight at the start: the “Victorian Picnic” in Clara Zetkin Park. The spectacle gives the people of Leipzig the opportunity to become part of the festival themselves and to mingle with the “weird figures” of the scene. According to Brach, about 12,000 people came to the park. Traditionally, there is no fixed dress code at the picnic, but many visitors dress up for hours and stroll through the park in baroque clothes. “It’s seeing and being seen,” said Manuela from Leipzig, who, with her husband Maik, sat under their “traditional tree” in the park for the eighth time. They had the baroque dresses made by a tailor for a four-figure sum.

Firmly established in scene

Around 200 bands and artists created the WGT at around 50 locations in the city. In the coming year, the festival would like to celebrate its 30th birthday and then hopes to attract more fans from far away countries. The meeting started in 1992 with just 2000 like-minded people and eight bands. After initial skepticism, it has firmly established itself in the scene. According to the organizers, the WGT is the largest event of its kind in Europe.