Wave Gotik Trefen festival aka WGT is held over four days every summer in
Gotham Leipzig city. This is the ‘Mecca’ of the schwarze szene and by far the biggest goth festival in the world. It’s a massive event with 300+ bands and DJ’s playing throughout the city day and night from small indoor venues to the huge Agra Messepark. The music has broadened into Industrial and dark electro, and even Celtic. Check out this years line-up.
This years estimated 45,000 pierced, corsetted, and rubber-booted darksters are expected to descend on Leipzig from all over for four days of partying and “fetish events”. The fashion statements get more outrageous every year.
There are also goth-themed fashion markets, a Pagan village, and non-music oriented events for the less hardcore. Yes it’s predominately a younger scene, but you’ll find plenty of aging older goths. Many WGT attendees from the early days of the 90s still come but now they bring their kids.
This is the festival’s 23rd year. You’ll find key details about tickets, venues and dates at wave-gotik-treffen.de. This year more than ever it’s important to sort out your accommodation and transportation plans ahead of time.
Where to stay?
Leipzig has sufficient good value hotel and hostel options but they can fill up. Check out our Hotels & Hostels page for a list of the best places. For short-let apartments both Wimdu and 9flats are worth a look (like German Airbnb’s).
Many festival goers camp – it’s around end of May and the weather is nice. The campsite is right at the Agra Messepark main venue. For rooms, shares and private rentals check out this message board. Also check our info on serviced apartments.
Leipzig is spread out so you’ll need to figure out the public transport system particularly the trams. Last year, wristband wearers got free travel during the festival. Just make sure there’s a bus or tram stop near to your accommodation. Even better if it’s tram 11 – that’s the one to the Agra Messepark (main venue this year). If all else fails taxis are not very expensive.
How to get here
If flying from afar consider using London as your hub. Ryanair fly directly to Leipzig-Halle airport from London (Stansted), while both Ryanair and Easyjet fly directly to Berlin from London. Same-day travel via Berlin is totally doable with frequent direct trains to Leipzig (1.5hr).
Two websites we’ve found good for finding cheapie flights are Skyscanner and Expedia. Germanwings are another budget airline worth checking out too. They use Leipzig-Halle airport, but you’ll need to change plane somewhere like Cologne or Dusseldorf.
Our page on Leipzig-Halle airport has valuable tips for travelers using this airport and for getting to/from downtown.
Flying into Dresden works too as there’s loads of trains to Leipzig (1hr+). However the few direct flights to/from Dresden are pricey. But if you find a good flight, Dresden is definitely doable. Travelling via Frankfurt works too, although you’ll most likely need to overnight in Frankfurt going to/from Leipzig.
If you’re coming from within Europe you can add the train, bus or car to your options. I’ve used Waymate to plan travel options within Europe and found it worked well. The bus will be the absolute cheapest option – check out goeuro.com.
Trains can be super-fast. In fact, if you’re travelling from within Germany the train is probably your fastest option – for example from Hamburg it’s only 3 hours to Leipzig. Leipzig has a really cool and interesting train station with lots of long-distance train services. There’s good cheap eating and sleeping options near the station too. Check out our Leipzig Hauptbahnhof (central train station) page for more information.
One final tip: if taking the train make sure you double check the Deutsche Bahn site for any delays or closures a few days before departure.