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WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2011: GOTHIC MUSIC FESTIVAL FASHION, DARKWAVE BANDS. GOTHIKA, DAS ICH, DIAMANDA GALAS LIVE.


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How I longed to attend this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen (largest Goth music gathering in the world)! In early June, DJ SiSEN, G-suS and other spooky friends flew to Leipzig, Germany for the festivities. Sadly, I couldn’t make it due to travel and scheduling conflicts.

Thankfully, talented photographers Seventh Sin (Jen Hoffert and Holger Karas) were front and center at WGT, and wrote this report on the bands and fashion. Is Lolita on the decline? How is steampunk changing? Keep reading to find out. (All images by Seventh Sin.)

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Wave Gotik Treffen 2011 was a special one, as it was the 20th anniversary of a gathering of dark people from all over the world. The percentage of foreigners increases every year; this time, we met people from Japan, China, US, Australia and many European countries. The performing artists also come from all over the globe including a metal band from China. With approximately 50 venues spread throughout Leipzig, people gathered at various far-off places, and so the famous WGT catwalk at the Agra Messepark was sometimes rather deserted.

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In addition over 250 bands playing over five days, there were many other things to see and do — including free entrance for WGT visitors to museums, the opera and the symphony. One of the largest cinemas hosted a “Twilight” marathon, and smaller ones played indie films like Goths on the Move. At least two independently-organised art exhibitions took place: SEELENFRESSER Titten + Ärsche + Über-Ich at the Werk II venue and S.C.L.S.: State – Society – Landscapes – Society featuring the work of Laibach and Neue Slovenische Kunst.

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Fashion-wise there was no obvious new trends this year, but definitely shifts in the most prevalent outfits. While the whole Lolita theme seems to be decreasing, there is a certain increase in both historical and Victorian dresses as well as Steampunk. The Cyber Goth style seemed to decline at the Agra venue, but this might be due to the fragmentation of the festival into three or more hot spots.

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The historical-recreation fraction of the Treffen still is mostly a DIY trend, although there are a few specialty brands available that serve this community. The dresses seem to get more elaborate as over the time the sewing skills increase.

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In addition to the labels vending at the market, there were some new, smaller labels handing out advertisements: Dark Fusion Boutique, USA, Royal Black, Austria, and Steampunk II, Elfenrausch, Germany.

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The increasing number of Steampunks could be sorted into two categories. There were many people using brands like Lip Service to create their basic Steampunk outfit and then “spicing it up” with custom accessories. Others relied mostly on self made items, sometimes overdoing with props and add ons, although the level of ingenuity in the Steampunk community continues to amaze.

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Music was widespread through all genres and there were some extraordinary acts on stage this time. Due to our responsibilities as photographers we couldn’t see them all, but at least we were able to sneak in visits to some of our favorites. (Above: Das Ich, who have played at Midnight Mess in Tokyo.)

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In the infamous Moritzbastei I was able to stand at the very front row of a Gothika show.

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Andro San gave an amazing performance in his pretty red kimono, while Yoshi was more sexy than ever.

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The incomparable Diamanda Galas. (Yukiro reviewed her Swedish performance.)

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Another inspiring show was Monica Richards project Infrawarrior, with new musicians and an amazing audio-visual concept with ritualistic influences. The presence of Monica and her main dancer Lucretia was amazing and mind shaking, and fortunately, we were able to capture a visual impression.

WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2011: GOTHIC MUSIC FESTIVAL FASHION, DARKWAVE BANDS. GOTHIKA, DAS ICH, DIAMANDA GALAS. leipzig goth festival,  Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Leipzig Germany, concert lineup, live music festivals europe, european concerts, jeweils aktuellen Leipziger Festival. wgt, wave gothic treffen, anniversary, wgt photos, photo sharing, hot goth girls, sexy goth photos

Even with a reported 23,000 visitors, Wave Gothic Treffen is still “THE” place to gather and find all of our friends, sometimes without even trying. We literally bumped into many people, including SiSen and G-suS from Tokyo on the opera house steps moments before the doors opened to Diamanda Galas. We saw J-Goth Amiyu a few times, including while crawling home at the end of a wonderful but exhausting five days of dark music, culture and friends.

WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2011: GOTHIC MUSIC FESTIVAL FASHION, DARKWAVE BANDS. GOTHIKA, DAS ICH, DIAMANDA GALAS. leipzig goth festival,  Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Leipzig Germany, concert lineup, live music festivals europe, european concerts, jeweils aktuellen Leipziger Festival. wgt, wave gothic treffen, anniversary, wgt photos, photo sharing, hot goth girls, sexy goth photos

Thank you to Holger and Jen for the scoop! I recommend that you check out the book Black Celebration – 20 years WGT, edited by Jennifer Hoffert and Alexander Nym, which was presented at several readings. “Black Celebration” is a bilingual (German/English) volume with anecdotes, memories and images from two decades of dark underground culture in Leipzig. Contributing authors include musicians such as Bruno Kramm of Das Ich; the images vary from black and white analog in the nineties to full-color digital photography. Hand numbered copies (limited to 300) are still available, but only directly from the publisher, Ploettner Verlag.

WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2011: GOTHIC MUSIC FESTIVAL FASHION, DARKWAVE BANDS. GOTHIKA, DAS ICH, DIAMANDA GALAS. leipzig goth festival,  Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Leipzig Germany, concert lineup, live music festivals europe, european concerts, jeweils aktuellen Leipziger Festival. wgt, wave gothic treffen, anniversary, wgt photos, photo sharing, hot goth girls, sexy goth photos

Hungry for more visual inspiration? You can go back in time to my 2009 report about WGT. I also featured Seventh Sin photography in this post about Japan Goth fashion and nightlife.

Which were your favorite looks from the photos below? Do you agree with the writers that Lolita is now less popular in Europe? I hear the fashion is thriving in Australia…

Song of the Day: Gothika – Fata Morgana Android

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33 Comments

  1. Posted June 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    beautiful!!  the gold lolita dress is superb.

  2. Posted June 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I just sent it along to Monica Richards, such a great photo of her.

  3. Posted June 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh how proud I am to live in the city where the world’s largest gothic festival takes place.
    may I send you the link of the german gothic news agency ‘Schwarze Presse’ for more pictures of the visitors and concerts…
    http://www.schwarzepresse.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=249:wgt-vorschau-bilder&catid=47:aktuelles

    p.s.: the girl in the red lolita dress in the picture ‘img_9426’ is me. ;D

    • Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      No kidding – you are adorable!!! Love the dress – and I hope to check out the dark festivities in your city soon!

  4. Posted June 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Dj sisen !!<3 This event looks so cool i wish i could have gone =(, and lolita fashion is definately not on the decline

  5. Posted June 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Lolita fashion is not on the decline now and that’s a good thing.   I hope steam punk stays around because I love seeing everyone’s different outfits. 

    • Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes I love the variety of the fashions!

  6. Posted July 1, 2011 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    so much great fashion as always! wish I could´´ve gone! 

    • Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      You’ll be on stage there soon!

  7. Posted July 1, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    BRUNO :D
    I know you said up there they’ve played Midnight Mess but have you ever met Das Ich? My boyfriend booked them a few years back (I’d actually litrally just met my boyfriend a few days beforehand and suddenly I was in a green room with Das Ich and Gothminster thinking “WTF? How did this happen?!”), and Bruno is such an awesome guy :D
    One of these years I’ll get to Wave Gotick Treffen, but at the moment I only ever have enough money to either go there OR Mera Luna, and the Mera Luna band bill excites me more at the moment:)

    • Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Loveeeee them!! and I’d love to go to ML too, I’m more into the synth too.

  8. Posted July 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous pics and write up!! My own pics are here: http://thefashionatetraveller.com/goth-fashion-at-wave-gotik-treffen-2011 Though I’m no photographer :) I caught up with Kenny, G-sus and Sisen from Japan, which was way cool, and I have to write about the bands I saw, including the fantastic BALZAC from Japan!!

    • Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      NICE!! Super stuff – gahh really wanted to go!

  9. Posted July 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

     Nice pics, I miss the guys from Gothika so much, it is awkward not to see them in Japan any more.

    • Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      They’re such rock stars :)

  10. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I bloody do too send me some tickets.

  11. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes! WISH I were there!!! :(

  12. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Some of those people look like people who just like to dress up….That girl in hot pink scared me, Though I would of been going goofy. I loved nearly all the outfits, I’d probably be hugging people

  13. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

     *W*.

  14. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

     *W*.

  15. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Awesome photos,  La Carmina. I especially like the historic recreation fashion..

  16. Posted July 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    ‎@.@ Waaaa

  17. Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Awesome photos!  As a Steampunk in the Dallas, TX community I am thrilled to see it all over the world.  Such creative outfits.  The entire event looks amazing.  Will definitely have to think about this next year!

  18. Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! So cool to see Steampunk over there! I am going to serious check this out next year :)

  19. Posted July 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I wanna meet Sisen so bad I could die! +_+

  20. Posted July 4, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      The Chinese word for crisis is divided into two shoesforest , one meaning danger and the other meaning opportunity. 

  21. Posted July 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    So many outfits that I saw that I want!!!! >_< TO GERMANY!! ^^

    • Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      I knowww I want to go back to Berlin!

    • Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      I knowww I want to go back to Berlin!

  22. Posted July 11, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I was born and lived a long long time of my life in the near of Leipzig… still I didn’t go there even once. And every time I see reports about the WGT I’m really sad that I’m just too afraid of going alone there. I’m not afraid enough of going alone to Japan, but to such events… *sigh*

    • Posted July 12, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Ohh you must go, I hear everyone is so friendly!

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