Every year, the streets of Leipzig are swarming with people dressed in black. All of a sudden, a black tram line starts operating, the shops in the city center start dressing their windows in black and the newspapers’ headlines are all “Leipzig is black”. What’s going on? Wave Gotik Treffen is back in town!
“WGT” is the world’s largest goth festival and takes place each year over 4 days on Whitsuntide weekend – this year celebrations are held from May 29th – June 1st, 2020. Approximately 20,000 goths and people of all dark styles such as cybergoths, metalheads, steampunks, neo-Victorians, dark romantics, dark electro, industrial, medieval and fetish fans will meet in Leipzig and attend over 170 live concerts and cultural events. Sounds crazy? It is!
In collaboration with German blogger Susi from Black Dots White Spots, we from Leipzig Tourism have put together a WGT Guide for you – including all you need to know about the festival, the shows and events, how to get around, where to stay and lots of cool Leipzig tips.
(See the German version here!)
Share your #WGTLeipzig pics!
Other events and things to do during WGT
Cool Leipzig travel tips
Where to eat in Leipzig
Tattoo and piercing
Getting there and getting around
Where to stay
Wave Gotik Treffen 2020: Festival Program
Last updated: April 1st, 2020
The program of Wave Gotik Treffen is extremely varied and quite unique. This year, more than 100 bands and artists have been announced already and will be taking the stage at different locations all over the city.
Apart from the main festival area in the south of Leipzig (the old “agra“ trade fair area), there are live concerts on a variety of stages all over the city (mostly indoor venues), in clubs and even in churches and the opera house. Musical styles range from dark wave & gothic, post punk and batcave to classical music, from medieval and folk to dark metal and electro/EBM/industrial. WGT is also known for featuring lesser known, underground acts that you can discover there. For musical inspiration head over to YouTube or Spotify and search for Wave Gotik Treffen playlists!
This is a selection of acts that have been announced for WGT 2020:
13th Chime (GB) – A Split Second (B) – Accessory (D) – Aesthetic Perfection (USA) – Ah Cama-Sotz (B) – Alex Henry Foster (CDN) – Basszilla (F/D) – Belgrad (D) – Blacklist (USA) – Boytronic (D) – Brandenburg (RUS) – Brutus (B) – By The Spirits (PL) – Cabaret Nocturne (F) – Cesair (NL) – Clan Of Xymox (NL) – Collection D’Arnell-Andrea (F) – Combichrist (N/USA) – Corvus Corax (D) – Culk (A) – Death In Rome (AQ) – Der Blaue Reiter (E) – Devil-M (D) – Diodati (D) – Drangsal (D) – Eden (AUS) – Einstürzende Neubauten (D) – Eisfabrik (D) – Enter Tragedy (D) – Esa (GB) – Fejd (S) – Feuerdorn (D) – Fïx8:Sëd8 (D) – Frustration (F) – Funhouse (S) – Funker Vogt (D) – Garmarna (S) – Girls Under Glass (D) – Haggefugg (D) – Ikon (AUS) – Irdorath (BY) – Irfan (BG) – Jadu (D) – Jihad (USA) – KMFDM (D/USA) – Kollaps (AUS) – Kontrast (D) – Kontrolle (D) – Krayenzeit (D) – Lacrimas Profundere (D) – Lacrimosa (CH) – Laibach (SLO) – Lights Of Euphoria (D) – Linea Aspera (AUS/GB) – Lizette Lizette (S) – Loell Duinn (HR) – Louise Lemón (S) – Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys (ZA) – Metallspürhunde (CH) – Minuit Machine (F) – MZ.412 (S) – Nachtblut (D) – Noisuf-X (D) – Nosferatu (GB) – Nullvektor (D) – NZ (A) – Of The Wand And The Moon (DK) – Our Survival Depends On Us (A) – Paradox Obscur (GR) – Paralyzzer (ex-Paranoid) (D) – Patty Gurdy’s Circle (D) – Peter Bjärgö (S) – Pouppée Fabrikk (S) – Proyecto Mirage (E) – Psyclon Nine (USA) – Regard Extrême (F) – Ritual Howls (USA) – Rue Oberkampf (D) – S.P.O.C.K (S) – Sangre De Muerdago (E) – Schneewittchen (D) – Schöngeist (D) – She Owl (I) – Shireen (NL) – Sigue Sigue Sputnik (GB) – Skold (S) – Soko Friedhof (D) – Stahlmann (D) – Sunset Wings (RUS) – Superikone (D) – Supernova 1006 (RUS) – Syzygyx (USA) – Technophobia (USA) – Terrorfrequenz (D) – The Devil & The Universe (A) – The Exploding Boy (S) – The Names (B) – The Søciety (GB) – Third Realm (USA) – Thyrfing (S) – TR/ST (CDN) – Trobar De Morte (D) – Vive La Fête (B) – VNV Nation (GB/IRL) – VV & The Void (USA) – Waldkauz (D) – Whispering Sons (B) – Xotox (D)
Tickets are 130,- Euros per person for the full festival. They are valid for all events and include public transport in the city of Leipzig. Camping on the festival site is not included – you will need an additional “Obsorge“ ticket for 30,- Euros for that. If you wish to park on the agra festival grounds, you can buy a parking ticket for 15,- Euros. If you’re from abroad and shipping is difficult: You can still get tickets in Leipzig during the festival!
Get your tickets here!
Since 2017, the official WGT programme book „Pfingstbote“ is no longer included in the “Obsorge” camping ticket. You can buy your copy for 15,- Euros at the ticket offices in Leipzig or at the official WGT merchandising stall inside the Black Market shopping area at the agra festival site.
To get in at the door and for all official festival events, you need the official WGT wristband. You can get it at the agra festival entrance and at the ticket stalls in the little park opposite the main station. Getting your wristband is one of the first things you should do after arrival in Leipzig (don’t forget to bring your ticket!). Expect long lines, especially on Thursday and Friday.
Besides live concerts there are two medieval markets (at Moritzbastei and Torhaus Dölitz), art exhibitions, readings, classical concerts and theater performances. During the day, you can go shopping for all kinds of dark clothing and accessories from corsets to tailor-made vampire fangs at the Black Market – a huge hall full of stands on the agra festival grounds. At night, the party continues at several clubs where international DJs play different dark styles from 80s to industrial.
In addition to the official programme, there are lots of unofficial fringe events happening during WGT in Leipzig, too. Don’t miss the highlights below!
The “Victorian Picnic” on Friday afternoon in the park is an iconic event during WGT, especially for those who like to dress up in Victorian, steampunk, baroque or all kinds of neo/dark romantic styles. Hundreds of elegantly costumed people meet up in style for a dazzling picnic or stroll in the park! More on the Facebook event page.
Friday, May 29th, 2 pm – 5 pm, Clara-Zetkin-Park, free admission
The Victorian Village will open its doors again at the Orangerie and gardens of Gohliser Schlösschen. Have a costumed picnic, see and be seen, shop at arts and crafts stalls and watch performances. More on their Facebook event page.
Saturday, May 30th, and Sunday, May 31, 11 am – 6 pm, Restaurant/Café Gohliser Schlösschen, free admission
Medieval market “Heidnisches Dorf”
The medieval markets at Moritzbastei and Torhaus Dölitz are definitely among the highlights of WGT each year. Soak in the atmosphere at Torhaus Dölitz, where lots of stalls sell clothing, accessories, hearty food and drink among shady trees or demonstrate traditional arts and crafts.
Sit on the grass, sip mead beer and listen to medieval/folk/classical live music all day before catching a fire show at night!
Note: The medieval markets are open for everyone, not just festivalgoers, but there’s no entrance fee if you have a WGT wristband.
Heidnisches Dorf, daily from Friday to Monday, 11 am until late, Torhaus Dölitz, Helenenstr. 24, tram stop: Leinestr.
Museums, exhibitions and guided tours during WGT
During WGT, several Leipzig museums offer free admission or special guided tours and lectures for WGT attendees.
In 2019, the Egyptian Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Grassi Museums were among the participating museums!
For 2020, the details haven’t been announced yet but you can find a list of all participating museums and special guided tours/exhibitions during WGT here soon.
Classical music, opera and theater
For those of you interested in classical music, opera, ballet and theater, Leipzig Opera, the concert hall Gewandhaus and others like Musikalische Komödie usually offer a limited share of free tickets for WGT attendees. You can’t make a reservation, so be there early!
Find more information about classical music soon in the official programme!
Good to know
- The full program for Wave Gotik Treffen with exact times and venues is only published shortly before the event. Therefore, you should check the official WGT website regularly. We will also be updating this guide on a regular basis.
- During the festival, use the mobile app WGT Guide for Android and iPhone to keep track of all events and venues and to create your own personal festival schedule.
- At WGT, everything happens at the same time at different locations all over the city. So naturally, you will not be able to see everything and space is limited in a lot of venues. Therefore, make sure to be there early and take enough time to get from A to B (see also “Getting there and getting around“ below).
Share your #WGTLeipzig pics!
Use the hashtag #WGTLeipzig to share your WGT pics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and find out what else is going on during WGT!
We will be posting updates from WGT so feel free to follow Leipzig Travel on Facebook and Instagram and make sure you also follow our guest blogger Susi from Black Dots White Spots on Facebook and Instagram!
You’re a photographer or blogger interested in a cooperation or in being featured? Contact us!
WGT fringe events and other things to do
There’s always a lot happening in Leipzig – also during WGT. Check out these inofficial fringe events! (You can find more info on inofficial events during WGT at Schwarzes Leipzig und the Facebook group WGT ohne Bändchen).
Fans of retro-futurism will meet on Saturday afternoon for a picnic in dazzling costumes at Deutsches Kleingärtnermuseum. Find out more about the event here.
Saturday, May 30th, 2 pm – 6 pm, Deutsches Kleingärtnermuseum, Aachener Str. 7, free admission (no festival ticket needed)
Gothic Pogo Festival
+++ cancelled/postponed to 2021 +++
The Gothic Pogo Festival runs parallel to WGT at Club Werk2 (near the agra WGT festival site) featuring international bands and DJs of goth, punk, wave, minimal and death rock.
Blaue Stunde – “Blue Hour”
Spread a picnic blanket on the grass in the park, light your grave candle and add it to the circle of candles, bring some drinks and snacks and enjoy a quiet, dark and romantic meeting the night before WGT starts, dancing to the sounds of Heavenly Voices, Medieval, Mystic Folk, Neofolk and Wave.
Thursday, May 28th, 9 pm – 3 am. Free admission. Bring a death candle, a blanket and some drinks!
More “Blue Hour” events during WGT to be announced soon.
Please note that these are insider events and the location is only disclosed to registered members. Contact the organisers via their website for further information!
WGT EBM Warm-Up
Big EBM warmup party at Felsenkeller, with live acts and several DJs on four floors.
Thursday, May 28th, from 7 pm, Felsenkeller, Karl-Heine-Str. 32, 04229 Leipzig. For more info: Facebook event.
Glitter + Trauma Queer Wave Party
“Indie boys, gothic girls and sissy punks” can dance the night away to old school wave, post punk, synth pop and Indietronics tunes at the “Queer Wave Party” at Westwerk on Saturday.
Saturday, May 30, from 10 pm, Institut für Zukunft, An den Tierkliniken 38-40. You can find more information here.
Nine Inch Nails Party at WGT
NINE INCH NAILS | INDUSTRIAL ROCK | ULTRA-HEAVY BEATS
DJ PuPPe (Villa, EBM Warm-Up, Bunker/Dresden)
Saturday, May 30, from 11 pm, NAUMANNs Leipzig (at Felsenkeller), Karl-Heine-Str. 32, Facebook event.
Remember The 80s — Part VII at WGT 2020
The 80s Ballroom Dance Night – The Very Best Of Pop & Wave – Trash & Classix – Goth & Post Punk – Cheese & Oddities.
Sunday, May 31, 10 pm – 6 am, Noel’s Ballroom, Kurt-Eisner-Str. 43, Facebook event.
Discover Leipzig, the City of Music
Leipzig is world-renowned for its musical tradition. Famous composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert and Clara Schumann all worked here; Richard Wagner was born and received his musical training in Leipzig. If you can find the time make sure to explore the city center on the Leipzig Music Trail, visit the places where famous composers lived and worked and listen to music in venues where history comes alive. Download the Music Trail App for iOS and Android or get the audio guide at the tourist information in Katharinenstraße 8.
Cemeteries of Leipzig
If you need a moment of peace and quiet during WGT, enjoy the gloomy and sepulchral atmosphere of the Leipzig cemeteries. Alter Johannisfriedhof („Old St. John’s Cemetery“) at the eastern end of the city center, right next to the Grassi Museum at Johannisplatz, is an impressive park with approx. 400 tombs from the periods of Baroque, Classicism and Historicism.
Südfriedhof („Southern Cemetery“) is one of the largest cemeteries in Germany and definitely worth a visit. During WGT, you can explore the cemetery and find out more about the historical tombs in special guided cemetery tours (in German only).
You can find information on all participating churches and cemeteries and the guided cemetery tours at Südfriedhof here!
There is also a cemetery app (in German only) with audio guides on the most famous historic cemeteries in Germany, incl. Südfriedhof Leipzig.
Where to eat, drink and more: tips for your stay in Leipzig
You want to know a good spot to have breakfast during WGT? Where to grab a cup of coffee or go get some delicious dinner on your way to the festival? Travel blogger Susi von Black Dots White Spots has put together a list of her favorite Leipzig spots and things to do during WGT – from vegan restaurants to cosy cafés, from delicious cupcakes to vintage and goth shopping.
You can also find lots of insider tips for Leipzig in the “Hidden Leipzig” guide and app!
Travel blogger Susi from blackdotswhitespots.com has listed her favourite Leipzig spots for you!
Where to eat in Leipzig: cafes and restaurants
There is a great variety of food options in Leipzig from traditional German food to all kinds of international cuisines, from vegetarian and vegan fare to sweet delights. We listed some food spots for you.
Mexican restaurant on the hip Karl-Liebknecht-Straße or “Karli” in the trendy Südvorstadt district. Reasonably priced, large selection of drinks, friendly staff and Mexican atmosphere.
“Vegan experimental” probably describes this restaurant best. Situated on Bornaische Straße in Connewitz, this restaurant is worth a visit for the extraordinary (and yummy) dishes and drinks.
Bornaische Straße 54
Café Cantona is a stylish and cosy mix between a breakfast café, restaurant and sports bar with retro flair close to the city centre (between WGT locations Moritzbastei and Kohlrabizirkus). Stop here for breakfast, coffee, burgers, sandwiches or drinks.
French café on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße (main drag of Leipzig’s hip Südvorstadt). Good for breakfast, coffee, tea and homemade pastries from their patisserie.
Italian restaurant in the middle of downtown with a special gothic menu during WGT. The restaurant is quite large so odds are good to get a table during WGT weekend.
Café/bar/restaurant/beer garden with a retro-industrial feel in a former industrial building at Westwerk. Stylish interior, breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer garden and bar.
Süß + Salzig
Cosy café with homemade cakes, quiches and salads in Leipzig’s west. Big breakfast buffet every morning (including vegan and vegetarian options.)
Merseburger Str. 44
Vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Leipzig’s east. On the menu: Asian, oriental, mediterranean and German cuisine like vegan gulasch or Spätzle, green curry, burgers or Spaghetti.
100% organic vegan restaurant on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße between the city centre and the agra festival site. Symbiose has creative vegan dishes, homemade lemonade and an organic vegan brunch on Sundays.
Mondschein / Dunkelrestaurant Leipzig
At this restaurant, eating in total darkness will challenge your senses! Choose between meat, fish or vegetarian surprise dishes.
Pfaffendorfer Straße 1
Quirky atmosphere und freshly baked cupcakes made several times a day. A must for goths with a sweet fang!
Straße des 17. Juni 11
Small and cosy café in Leipzig’s hip Plagwitz district in the west end. Homemade cakes, sandwiches and breakfast (also vegan and vegetarian options).
Nostagic Viennese-style café with a wide selection of coffee specialties and delicious breakfast offers.
Nightlife: bars and clubs
Leipzig has a great nightlife. Check out these bars and clubs while you’re there! Some of them are also venues during WGT.
The club is well known in the goth scene (well beyond Leipzig) and offers a variety of musical styles from alternative to EBM and electro.
Moritzbastei is Leipzig’s most popular cultural centre with daily parties, concerts and other events. Situated right next to Gewandhaus and the university in the city center, the complex is the last preserved part of the old city fortifications and houses several clubs and bars. Here, you can party with a historical atmosphere and under high vaulted ceilings. Moritzbastei houses several events during WGT – make sure not to miss it!
Small bar with an alternative vibe in the trendy Südvorstadt district, mixed clientele and music from rock to oldies. Hang out and party with the locals until the wee hours.
Concert and party location in Leipzig’s hip Plagwitz district in the west end. A WGT location you shouldn’t miss!
Large, rustic and homey Irish Pub with a club and beer garden in trendy Südvorstadt (near agra festival site). Perfect for drinks and bar food but look out for parties during WGT, too!
Cultural events centre, club and concert location plus artists’ workshops at Connewitz Kreuz in the south of Leipzig. Location of „Gothic Pogo“ festival during WGT.
Hellraiser was founded in 1992 and is well-known as a concert venue for numerous artists and bands from the goth scene and other underground scenes.
Shopping in Leipzig
Leipzig offers lots of shopping opportunities and also has several historic shopping arcades and courtyards. You can also shop all sorts of dark fashion and accessories in Leipzig – from gothic or steampunk to metal and fetish clothing.
Black Market at WGT
The Black Market at the agra festival site is a huge hall full of vendors of dark clothing, accessoires, music and decor during Wave Gotik Treffen (you need the official WGT wristband to get in).
Bornaische Straße 210
Band shirts, metal and goth clothing and accessories on three floors in the city center, almost next door to Wonderland13.
DarkXity Gothic Shop
Goth, punk and medieval clothing and accessories.
Ranstädter Steinweg 5
Second-hand store for gothic, punk and metal clothing
You can also shop at flea/vintage/antique markets during WGT! You can find all dates for flea markets in Leipzig in 2020 here.
Tattoo and piercing
Why not combine a visit to Leipzig with some new body jewellery and ink? Here is a list of some of the hottest studios:
Ink and Pain
Individual tattoos and piercings of all kinds.
Ink and Pain Tattoo Leipzig
Needleswing offers personalized tattoos, piercings, jewellery and accessories.
Leipzig: Getting there and getting around
You can reach Leipzig via car, bus, plane or train from various other destinations. To help you find out how exactly you can get to Leipzig, check out all the options we put together for you on our website.
Public transport and transport app
During Wave Gotik Treffen, public transport in the city is already included in your festival ticket! The easiest option is to use the trams to get to the festival locations. Just follow the hordes of black-clad people!
In order to find out about connections, we recommend you use the map and journey planner by Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe, Leipzig’s official public transport. You can also get a map at the LVB service center in Peters-/Markgrafenstraße or at the LVB office inside the main station. Download the EasyGO app journey planner on your phone or the new Leipzig Mobile App that combines public transport, rental cars and bikes. The apps are free and available for Android und iOS.
You can find all info on tickets and prices for public transport in Leipzig here.
As the WGT venues are spread out all over the city, allow enough time to get from A to B! Fortunately, Leipzig is quite a compact city and thanks to the new city tunnel it is now even easier to get around by car. There is also a direct S-Bahn train connecting the south of Leipzig and the main station in the north of the city center.
Leipzig by bike
Leipzigers love to cycle around – join them if you like to get from A to B and rent a bike via Nextbike.
If you arrive in Leipzig before WGT or plan to extend your stay to explore more of the city, check out the Leipzig Card which gives you free public transport on all bus, tram and S-Bahn lines in the city (tariff zone 110 MDV) and up to 50% discount for museums, cultural events, recreational facilities but also restaurants, cafés, for city tours, magazines etc.
The Leipzig Card ist available online or at the tourist information.
Leipzig Regio Card
The Leipzig Regio Card includes all the benefits and discounts of the regular Leipzig Card but also includes the whole region: You can use transport within the Transport Middle Germany network (Verkehrsverbund Mitteldeutschland (MDV)) and get discounts and special offers for museums, theaters, restaurants, shops and recreational facilities in Leipzig and the surrounding region.
Where to stay – accommodation in Leipzig
During Wave Gotik Treffen, hotels, guesthouses, hostels and apartments in Leipzig are fully booked for a long time ahead, and most accomodations charge extra for the time of the festival. Therefore, if you do not want to camp at the official WGT festival campsite, make sure you book your accomodation in Leipzig well ahead, i.e. 6-12 months in advance (even before you can order tickets).
Search for accomodation in Leipzig here, or give the official accommodation office a call – they can help you find a place to stay: +49 (0)341 7104 225
More accomodation ideas:
You can also try the WGT forum to find private accomodation in Leipzig for the festival, or offer others a place to sleep if you live in Leipzig.
Couchsurfing is a community where travelers can find private hosts to stay with all over the world by ‘surfing’ on their couch or host guests themselves. It’s free or rather based on a non-monetary exchange such as cooking a meal or showing your guest around. It’s a great way to find cheap accomodation, to connect with locals and meet other travelers. You need to become a member and create a profile on the website.
Camping and RV/caravan sites
There is a festival campsite at the agra fair grounds that you can use during WGT after getting an additional ticket for 30,- Euros (“Obsorge Ticket”, see “tickets” above). Be there at the moment it opens to get a good space!
There are also more campsites on the outskirts of the city where you can stay during WGT:
The camp site at Lake Kulkwitz (Kulkwitzer See) is spacious and only ten minutes from the city center. There are also bungalows and holiday apartments.
Six kilometers from the city center, you’ll find the modern 4-star campsite and motel Auensee. The campsite has a good reputation for its clean sanitary facilities. There are also sites for caravans and RVs.
You can also stay at LAGOVIDA Holiday Resort at Störmthaler See with more than 90 caravan sites and total care.
You can find more parking lots, campsites and RV spaces in the north of Leipzig during WGT (more information here).
Tourist Information Opening Hours
Do you have any questions? The tourist information team at Katharinenstraße 8 in the city center will support you during WGT and help you with all your questions concerning Leipzig and the region.
Mon-Fri: 09:30 – 18:00
Sat: 09:30 – 16:00
Sun/holiday 09:30 – 15:00
Do you have any questions or further ideas for us? Don’t hesitate to ask and comment! We’re happy to help you and we’ll also update this guide regularly!
Have a great Wave Gotik Treffen and enjoy your stay in Leipzig!
Susi & the social media team of Leipzig Travel
Susi Maier is a German travel blogger at Black Dots White Spots. She blogs about her travel adventures from sleeping in the desert to solo roadtripping but also about urban adventures and festivals – such as Wave Gotik Treffen, an event that she’s been attending for many years. When she’s not traveling, you can find her in Stuttgart or Berlin.