festivals WGT

Festival Survival Guide for Goths

April 22, 2015Saskia C.

The swift approach of Summer only means two things to me; firstly, the inevitable feeling of impending doom because exams are coming up. Secondly, the Wave Gotik Treffen is nearly upon us, all hail! The annual ultimate celebration of goth has been the highlight of my year since I first went to WGT in 2013. Needless to say, I was less than prepared the first time, which is why I have decided to create a non-exhaustive survival guide for goth festivals. Good luck and may the apocalypse wait until after you've visited your favourite festival.


Wine, chocolate, friends and good music = my (Heat) Wave Gotik Treffen 2014 in a nutshell
  • Invest in a pair of Doc. Martens or other sensible yet gothy footwear. It is impossible to watch multiple performances and travel from venue to venue in high heels.
  • I would imagine this doesn't even need to be said, but pack sunscreen. Dying may grant you a fair amount of goth points but looking like a lobster definitely won't. Don't forget to also apply sunscreen underneath anything fishnet.
  • Bring an umbrella as well as a parasol. Other objects that may assist you in defying the weather: sunglasses, a handheld fan, a sunhat, swimwear, a cardigan and materials to prepare a ritual circle. Don't forget your spellbooks!
  • A small bag is a lifesaver. You really don't want to drag around a big messenger bag just for your essentials. 
  • Bring lots and lots of makeup wipes. Makeup gets runny when you're out and about in the heat. Wipes will also help if you can't be arsed to shower during the festival (no one's blaming you) and you're feeling especially dirty. Festivals have helped me achieve a whole new level of grossness.
  • If you're not planning on showering on the second day (or ever) don't tease your hair on the first day. It will be impossible to work with and look like some unidentifyable hellspawn on the second day. Unless of course that's the look you are going for, then carry on.
  • Bring instant coffee. Coffee coffee coffee coffee. Coffee. You will need coffee. No, that's not enough coffee. Pack more coffee.
  • Make sure you plan your programs in advance and make sure you have enough time to travel between venues. If you forget this at WGT, you will get lost and end up crying at a busstop looking for the Gruftibahn while your favourite band is playing in a venue you can't pronounce.
  • Leave the extravagant outfits at home and pack your comfy clothes instead. Last year at WGT we had temperatures up to 35°C which resulted in many a goth's skin melting off. Your outfit may look utterly amazing but let's face it; you are probably dying a slow and horrible death, being boiled in layers and layers of black. It's also kind of impossible to attend concerts in a ballgown with a diameter of several meters.
  • If you're still planning on wearing your most elaborate ensembles, plan them in advance and consider booking a hotel rather than going camping. There's only so much you can do on uneven terrain, trying to balance your makeup and a handheld mirror. If you're going camping, bring a (handheld) mirror and sob deeply while applying eyeliner. 
  • Don't buy new clothes to wear to the festival. You got it mixed up. Buy them at the festival. Save up all of your hard-earned money and spend it all in a weekend. Also don't stuff your luggage to the brim. You will buy things. Many things. More things than you wanted to buy. Hey, I don't make up the rules of goth, this is just how it works.
  • Wear everything you wouldn't dare to wear in daily life (but maybe not all at once). Especially the German scene is very open minded so no one will look at you funny.
  • Bring wine and candles. Wear pentagrams and ankhs. Sleep in a coffin. Be stereotypical, no one will care. You may want to keep the sacrificing virgins business at home, though.
  • Last but definitely not least: party hard. Seriously, this festival only takes place once a year so party as hard as you can, whatever that may mean to you. 

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9 comments

  1. I don't think you stressed the importance of coffee enough. Other than that, great guide! I'm glad someone reminded me to bring sunscreen, and maybe this year I won't have to borrow it.

    Also essential: friends <3

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  2. Lovely, informative and deeply hilarious post, thank you! :D I have not been to WGT and every year when I read posts about it I get more and more determined that yes, NEXT YEAR I will. And every year I forget to plan the actual going (traveling to a different country etc.) early enough and miss the whole thing. >_>

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  3. I wouldn't survive such a festival. I need sleep, avoid booze cos I'm on meds, and a warm and comfy bed.

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  4. So envious, there are no festivals where I live. XP

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  5. and eat that fuc*ing awesome sour apple/vanilla ice cream at moritzbastei! lots of it! cant wait cant wait cant wait *sorry*

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  6. This shit is hilarious and also true. I tend to agree with Tina on the point that even more coffee might be suitable. Your (and my) experience of the wgt has been slightly altered by the extremely hot edition of last year. I might want to add - without hopefully sounding like some eldergoth, I am not old and grey enough to an eldergoth - that at that time of the year so far land inward, it can be freezing cold as well. These items might be usefull as well:
    - safety pins (lots of them)
    - really warm clothes or just all your clothes at once and pretend it's a style
    - needle and thread, because your outfit will get damaged if bouncing germans (German goths bounce, they don't dance) get on top of you at a combichrist gig you up untill that point didn't even realize you were attending.
    - for the menz: bring a razor, unless you're going for the Gandalf-look, the festival is 6 days, that's all it takes to make you look like a middle-aged member of the White Council.

    Your advice is so good, it took me years to reach that level of wisdom. I even learned things.

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  7. Very enjoyable to read.
    I am curious to see your WGT outfits and make-up!

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  8. This makes me want to go to a festival!

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  9. Useful, spooky guide. Will save this for when the time comes.
    hugs! ♥

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