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Wave Gotik Treffen Festival 2018 Roundup

Held every year in Leipzig since 1992, Wave Gotik Festival has quickly become a favourite summertime haunt for goths all over the world. Billed as the world’s largest gothic subculture festival, it always takes place over the Whitsuntide weekend and promises a killer lineup of some of the hottest names in the gothic and industrial scene.

Who Goes to Wave Gotik Treffen?

This year, around 21,000 gothic guests, including those of gothic subcultures of all kinds, descended on Leipzig. Visitors from all over the world from Scandinavia to Mexico, the USA and beyond came to enjoy over 200 live performances and cultural events over the four day Wave Gotik Treffen festival.

What’s Wave Gotik Treffen Like?

Wave Gotik Treffen is a notoriously peaceful festival, with a super relaxed vibe that can only be created by such a tight knit and supportive community as the goth scene. In addition to live concerts from gothic bands both celebrated and new to the scene, visitors enjoyed medieval markets, gothic art exhibitions, readings, theater performances and more! Plus for true denizens of the night, the party continued all night long at gothic nightclubs playing everything from 80s goth to industrial.

What Kind of Music is at Wave Gotik Treffen?

If you were expecting to see a ton of recognisable goth and metal bands on the lineup, you’d be sorely disappointed. In 2018, the spectrum of sounds spanned from classical Icelandic music to Nordic Ritual Folk songs all the way to raucous Post-Punk. Wave Gotik Treffen prides itself on giving stage room to the obscure and little known acts that have a passionate following of fans – meaning the most universally-known band on the lineup this year were The Jesus and Mary Chain – mainstreamers need not apply.

Wave Gotik Treffen 2018 Highlights

With the reviews already rolling in following Wave Gotik Treffen weekend, many of them are agreed that the musical highlights of this year’s festival include Einar Selvik, Norwegian band Wardruna (famed for the intro music to TV series ‘Vikings’) and British post-punk band Detachments. The crowning moment, however, was saved for last.

For the first time ever in the history of Wave Gotik Treffen, longtime guitarist and backing vocalist for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Blixa Bargeld performed on the Monday evening to round off the weekend with one final highlight.

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The Victorian Picnic at Wave Gotik Treffen is famously one of the highlights of the festival, but 2018 broke a new visitor record with 8,000 guests in attendance despite the changeable weather on the Friday.

Offering intellectual discussions alongside the arts, lectures featured at Wave Gotik Treffen including a lecture from the criminal psychologist and writer Lydia Benecke about unhealthy relationships in fairy tales, a talk about the concept of eternal life from criminal biologist Mark Benecke and a celebration of Frankenstein’s Monster to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s famous horror novel.

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If you’re planning on heading to Wave Gotik Treffen next year, check out our collection of Gothic Clothing and our Festival Style collection for some dark inspiration…

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