The biggest Gothic festival in the World started at Thursday, May 16 in the evening with the first warmup parties. Those who already arrived during the day could watch the shop owners of Leipzig change their window decoration from colourful to full black or at least some black accessories, even the pharmacies.
Friday was the official start to four days full of concerts, parties, readings, cinema, museums and all the different shopping areas and markets.
Viona’s (Viona-art) Victorian Picnic is always the first big event to show up, to see and to be seen. It’s a paradise for every hobby photographer since it’s open for everybody at the Clara-Zetkin-Park. Since the last few years this led to nearly more photographers and watchers then guests, but those who dressed up for the occasion didn’t let themselves be disturbed by the crowd and enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of historical gowns and delicious picnic food. One couple even celebrated their wedding at the picnic!
In the evening maybe the most important event for every steampunk took place in the main location: the agra hall. Abney Park’s German Premiere! The crowd was surprisingly sepia coloured, it seems like a lot of steampunks had just turned up to see the Steampunk band and AP totally rocked the hall with nearly 10.000 guests. Visit their Facebook page for some personal impressions of the crew of the HMS Ophelia, more pictures of the concert can be found here.
Next big thing for steamers was the Steampunk Picnic on Saturday afternoon. The day started with rain, but the weather god meant good with us and half an hour before the picnic started it cleared off.
Around 60 fully-steamed guests showed up and it was a joy to watch all the different outfits and gadgets. Unfortunately there were again a lot of photographers, which partially even broke into conversations to get photos. So next year we might change the location from the park near the Moritz Bastei to a more private place.
Despite those events especially steampunk-themed WGT offered a lot of other interesting activities all over the city. A lot of the local museums opened their doors for WGT visitors and even offered special guided tours. There were readings of different authors and even “a dark romantic knitting afternoon” took place. And of course a lot of different concerts and parties for all kinds of dark music. A lot to do for the four days from Friday until Monday and I believe there is nobody who’s able to visit more then a fraction of the whole program.
What I noticed favourably this year about the vendors at agra hall and the two markets at Heidnisches Dorf and Moritz Bastei: Not so much “Gothic clothing with glued-on gears = Steampunk” – stuff! More individual smaller vendors, selling individual jewellery and accessories, thumbs up!
I’m really looking forward to next years edition, seeing all the new and old friends I met during the four days again.