Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany, 2006 WGT… My first WGT (nevertheless not my first big festival). A big dream coming true. A trip through space and time again. Emotions. Beauty. Friendship. Joy. Adventure.
My journey started on Wednesday, in the evening went I went to Budapest to meet Cassandra at Stadionok, to spend the night at her place in Pécel. She was our driver and we planned to leave so early in the morning that it would have been merely impossible for me to join them that early. I couldn’t really get much sleep that night though. I was too excited and anxious to keep my eyes closed.
The first few hours of the journey were quite a mess: I broke my sunglasses and Cass left her BOOTS at home so we had to return to pick them up… which basically meant that we had to face the most disgusting early morning traffic jam you can imagine. At around 8 o’clock we finally picked up the others ( Alex , Cybersaint and Atis) at Blaha, and were finally on the way to Leipzig. Alex was ill and everybody took so many bags that we couldn’t really move in the tiny Suzuki, as you can imagine… Luckily Niniel was kind enough to took some of our luggages in the minivan she was driving, but we still had plenty of plastic bags, backpacks and other random packages all around us in the car.
We crossed the border at Slovakia and continued our way to Germany through the Czech Republic. As you might have guessed by now, we certainly reached Prague (oh Sárinka!)during the early afternoon-lunch peaktime, so it took a while to get through the crowd. The next big challange was Brno (or “Brno Kramm”, as we referred to it) as there were no signs to show the way through the city… but eventually we coped with the challange quite well. We must have been about an hour from the German border when we had to make this roundabout because the roads were undergoing some kind of maintanance. We lost a lot of time with this, but there was no other choice. Our joyful company crossed Dresden and finally, after much struggle reached Leipzig in the evening. However, we couldn’t yet go to the venue itself because we still had to find Bothestrasse where Cass and Ági (Cybersaint) had their friend living (they were supposed to stay there). Leipzig is huge and we were all tired. 15 hours in a car, Cass driving all the way through… You know this stage when you are so damn tired that you are laughing and screaming in turns. Well, to cut it short, we got lost. The girl’s phonenumber was obviously wrong, so we couldn’t even call her to ask for directions or neet somewhere. It was quite a crisis situation, I truly admire Cass for tackling this mess so well, especially considering that Atis -the only guy in the car- was having a severe hysteria for missing the WGT Ball with all the starguests and the rest. There was nothing we could do, we gave up searching for Bothestrasse and headed to Agrahalle, the main venue where WGT is located, to pick up the tickets and meet the others (including Niniel who had our stuff and the tent).
Finding Agrahalle wasn’t that easy in that state of mind, in the dark, so what we did was jump out of the car and ask for directions after every corner… it would have been impossible to remember the direction they gave us, we were miles away from Agra. By the way, people were really nice and willing to help us, so we arrived safe and sound, picked up the stagepasses and tickets (yes, we jumped the que which was rude, but were too wasted to wait 3 or 4 hours for our turn). I have to point out here that the 4-day ticket with the Obsorge card (for the camping) was significantly more expensive than stated on the net… so… guess what?????? After having paid everything I had 13 euros in my pocket for the whole week. Yes. And remember that taking a shower cost 1.50, let alone the rest. Being so broke -while knowing how many things I had to sacrifice to collect this money- put me a bit down, I guess it’s understandable. Of course I’d been well aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to buy fancy platform boots, nice dresses or CDs, but to be on the verge of starving wasn’t quite an uplifting thought. Anyway, we still nurtured high hopes of being able to go to the Ball, so while waiting for Niniel, Alex and I ran to get our make-up done. It was pretty funny: we had no tent yet, nowhere to stay at, plus it was goddamn cold. Our hands turned red and we could see our breath in the air!!!!!!!!!!! So, we just dressed up the warmest we could (this means Alexa’s WINTERCOAT!!! Right, wintercoat!!!) and opened the first bottle of beer. (I bought hectoliters of booze well in advance: some 15 bottles of beer and a huge bottle of schnaps.) However, by the time Niniel and the others got in touch, it was too late to do anything. We didn’t know the place and had no idea how to get to the place where the Ball was being held. Public transport was not yet for free as it was a day before the main events themselves. We were all so wasted and deadtired that we could barely move. And we STILL had to build our tent to have somewhere to stay at. The outlook was miserable, all in all. Alex and I stood there for about half an hour unable to do anything -had no experience with tent-building, haha- until Atis gave us a hand (or rather gave us intrsuctions how to do it). By the time we got ready, we were too tired to take a step. Of course we were a bit down we couldn’t hear Alexander Veljanov singing Siouxsie and the Banshees songs or Bruno Kramm of Das Ich performing VNV Nation, or Ronny Moorings and the others…. or Modcom with Ronan, earlier on… but we had to be rational and stay at Agra at the camping, in the given circumstances there was nothing else we could do. So we just went to the big hall to check the main venue and finish up the beer. Well… the place was overwhelmingly biiiiiiiiiig and… there were thousands of goths everywhere (what a surprise).
The next day found us in a significantly better mood. Cass and Ági spent the night in the car, at the nearby petrol station. They found their friend at Bothestrasse in the morning and managed to take a shower and sleep in a real bed. Attis and I went there to pick up the rest of our stuff while Alex was still sleeping (and then I peed in a real toilet, haha). It was only the first day but we were missing civilization already. In the evening we went to see Deathstars and some other smaller bands (could have seen Combichrist too, but I was too lazy as I’m not such a big fan or anything), none of them are my top faves but the sound was great and the stage looked cool. Well… you know I have these mixed feelings when it comes to festivals. Agra was soooooooooooo damn big that I immediately felt like a tiny part of a huge mainstream machinery which overwhelmed me from the very beginning. No way you can have personal contact with a band during the concert this way. Let alone “bandhunting” afterwards which didn’t even cross my mind, obviously. Alex had a date after the Deathstars gig so I discretely left the two youngsters alone and joined Gelka+Co. to watch a part of Lacrimosa and Nitzer Ebb. Well… they were more than happy that I joined and I’m not sure whether it’s my charming personality or the two 0.5 dl bottles of Hungarian beer I had with me… Haha, yes I can get through the toughest security system with big bottles of booze, pretty much anywhere in the world. At least there is something I’m good at, without the shadow of doubt. Surprisingly enough I even enjoyed Nitzer Ebb and had a nice conversation with Gelka (he is the alpha and the omega of the Hungarian scene). I even walked him home, then returned to Agra for the remaining few minutes of afterparty. It was fun.
The second day – the VNV-day in fact – dawned on me with pleasant little surprise: my period. Of course I’ve counted with it yet I’ve not abandoned hope that I could somehow get away without it as having your period in a goddamn tent is quite uncomfortable and painful. Anyway. In the afternoon, Alex and I walked to Parkbühne to check out End of Green as she likes them a lot. Huhhhhhhhh… it took AGES to get there, we had to take two trams and walk for hours, so eventually we didn’t get to hear much of the band, perhaps the last three songs (they played like half an hour anyway). Parkbühne is a smaller venue but it still is huge, there were quite a few people queing there as well. However, on the way, we did find a cool Döner-kebab place where we finally ate some warm food and had a nice chat with the shopkeeper. Haha. Needless to mention that it was raining cats and dogs all the way through and we were still hanging around in wintercoats and five layers of black velvet, haha.
So… we headed back to Agra and… yes… we got ready for VNV. Oh dear. The others messed around for ages, so I had to leave a lot earlier to get a decent place. I mixed myself some apple juice and schnaps in a big bottle and went in on my own. SITD was still playing but I didn’t care much. I got myself a first row in the end, although on the side. Still, at least I could see the stage and still move. Of course being 30 meters from the stage was a bit alienating, I guess I still prefer and will always prefer small club gigs… WGT is about something else and so is Bolkow. I was just entertaining these thoughts and began to slip my booze… when VNV started. My third VNV gig. With Genesis. Huh. OMG. Perfect sound they had. It was like a remasterized official live recording and people went crazy. By the time we got to Standing (or Saviour, can’t even remember) I was done with the whole bottle and felt pleasantly tipsy (or drunk, who knows, haha…). I could keep my place in the first row, on the right side of the stage, right behind the camera man (this was the first time I saw this biiiiig moving camera on a scaffold… that’s how they make professional tv-recordings and stuff, to monitor every centimeter of the stage from many different angles) and I could see Mark and one of the OHP screens quite well… and of course Ronan. Yes. But of course he was running and jumping around so much that it was nearly impossible to keep track of him all the time. Well, what can I say…? There are two things I must conclude: the first thing is that it was a goddamn wise thing not to put any make-up on. The second is obvious: Ronan Harris has such a big warm heart that I would adore his music even if he played country, blues or -god forbid- r’n’b. The show was just perfect, in every respect… except for the length. It could have been much-much longer. But at WGT, and big festivals in general, you have no chance for an encore, bands must follow each other in a very strict order, without a minute delay. VNV got an hour and 10 minutes, that was it, but it seemed so much shorter… I was on my kness, anyway.
“Throw away the mantle
Awake from your uncertain hesitation
No way to describe or equate the feeling
No end to what is at your command
A million thoughts run through you
Concentric circles, ever greater
But you have always known
That this is not all that there is
To your questions there’ll be answers
Let there be, let there always be
VNV Nation: Perpetual
I felt happy and free and tried to locate the others… but it was merely impossible, so I joined two English girls to go to Darkflower (a fancy dark club in town) for one of the afterparties, in the hope I would bump into the others there as well. The girls were incredibly sweet and immediately took me as one of them (I was invited to London to stay at their place and so on, I was dead happy), we successfully located Darkflower and stayed there until 8 am. It was wonderful. There were many different dj’s and they played a wide range of music, including many of my favourite songs. I even had a wishlist and they played pretty much everything we’ve asked for. So it was more than awesome. What more can I ask for? A perfect VNV gig, a wonderful company of people around me, an incredibly cool dark club with amazing music and I’m still not all sober, feeling fine and content… so the fact that I had like two euros left altogether didn’t even disturb me anymore. I thought to myself that perhaps everybody should try this survivor-camp kind of thing: to go to a foreign country where you don’t know anybody and try to live on 10 euros for six days in a tent… you’ll get so used to the new circumstances that eventually you will realize that money is not at all that important and you can be happy if everything else goes fine and you go through so many adventures, pleasant experieces and connect with complete strangers from all over the world.
I was proud of this realization and felt overjoyed in the afternoon when I woke up -after a nice 8-hour long sleep- in the tent. I went to one of the toitoi toilets to get my big thing done (couldn’t afford the 1-euro toilet which is definitely much more pleasant to use of course) and then headed to the showerplace with Alexxa, in the hope there would still be some hot water. It was cold and we had to que relatively long but I felt happy. I couldn’t stop singing “let there be, let there always be never-ending light” and I will never forget how I looked into the mirror and saw my more or less wasted face yet couldn’t help smiling and dancing all over the showerplace. Saturday was so perfect that it was worth it all in itself, and we still had two days left… and Clan of Xymox and Deine Lakaien on the same day. What more can you ask for?
Sooo, in the evening… I went to Agra early again, with the usual big bottle of schnaps of course, this time with less applejuice as I was running out of it. I saw the last few songs of Garden of Delight as I queued for COX. I managed to get the same place I had during the VNV gig, so it was ok. Then COX began to play and I was happy I could see them again. They played my favourite songs Under the Wire and Calling You Out from the new album, and many other songs too, however what made me really happy were the older hits. I think the light-technician could have done a better job, but other than that the sound was nice. I think that they were not that enthusiastic and dynamic in the beginning, and had to wait till Innocent -which was played in the second half of the gig- to get that kickass perfection I like them for. On the other hand, I also started to drink quite late, so I wasn’t in that obsessed partymood in the beginning yet. Unlike Mojca. I think she was a bit tipsy as she danced a lot which is not such a usual thing by her as we all know… or maybe she was a bit bored on the stage (you know, all these newer electronic songs, haha… now, that was rude I know, j/k, really). So, all in all, the gig was great and I was satisfied in the end.
“Some say ‘we don’t fit in’
‘We’re lost in another world’
Their truth will never hold
Cos one’s heart is one’s soul
We’re living day by day
Let them wither, till they’re old and grey
This world is not made for you and I
It’s build on blood and a million lies…”
Clan of Xymox: This World
“Your hand in my hand and my hand in your hand
Your hand in my hand closeness of the past
My hand in your hand and your hand in my hand
Jerking back and nothing will last
I have to go before it is too late
Have to wipe out the traces and memories will fade
And tears will stop flowing and tears will stop flowing
And memories will fade and memories will fade
Over and done over and done
Over and done over and done…”
Deine Lakaien: Over and Done
I managed to stagger to the Jack Daniel’s Bar to meet Alex, I mean our Alex of course, not Alexander Veljanov, haha (whom we actually got to see in a downtown shopping mall in the morning on the first day but didn’t want to disturb him). Then of course we went to Agra 4.2 where who else was dj-ing than… you can have a guess: Ronan Harris. My heart sank when I saw him behind the dj-bar on that hugggeee stage, lightyears from us ordinary people. The music itself was nothing special, just some electro-industrial-techno-trance (except for a song by Placebo which surprised me to a major extent), but I already felt comfortable and content just looking at him from the corner of my eye, while dancing. Imagine that towards the end of his set, the other guy put in Perpetual!!!!!!! Ronan blushed and covered his face while smiling. Looked so shy and cute I was melting… and then he sort of performed the song for us by jumping around and laughing. Oh dear… By that time I was hundred-percently sure that I would not leave the venue without… well, without giving him a tight hug. (And now the R-rated parts will follow, so please close this window if you are under 18… Haha, lol.) So… he left the stage and walked through the long corridor of people and I sort of discretely followed him. When he stopped for a second I took a deep breath and touched his shoulder and asked if he was done with his dj-set. He said yes and smiled and then I very simply asked him: “Can I give you a hug?” Ehhhhhhh, I still blush while writing these lines but well… I was in a turmoil of emotions then. He smiled and said “yes of course” as though it was the most natural thing in the world and then I… hugged him. Well, I guess the poor thing just expected a decent friendly hug but I got so carried away that I remained in his arms for ages and held him closer to my heart… Poor thing. I could feel his heartbeat and inhale his smell. No idea how long it lasted but it was definitely longer than a normal everyday hug, especially if we consider that I was a complete stranger to him… It was simply too much for me so I… well, silly as it may sound but I couldn’t hold back my tears. Yes. Before I would have been able to do anything about it, within a second or so, a couple of big fat tears rolled down my face silently, and I immediately tried to cover my face… while I just smiled. I don’t know what he thought then, I felt stupid for intimidating him, it’s extremely rude to fall into somebody’s arms crying, really. I immediately apologized and then… oh… he said something about no need to say sorry because feelings are feelings and you cannot do anything about them, so there is nothing to be ashamed of and… smiled at me with that beautiful encouraging smile and padded my shoulder. Oh. I really have no idea to what extent he is used to crying chicks falling into his arms, after all VNV Nation is not Tokio Hotel and he is not that traditional boyband frontman either. So to say. Hmmm. And then I told him about Berlin, Sárka, the hitchhiking, the victory over space and time and all that. We could only talk briefly and I can imagine I probably said a lot of bullshit and silly rambling… but then again, I was too glad I could finally, after three VNV gigs and all those years… finally-finally-finally give him a fucking hug! We talked about Ireland being so conservative and circumstances and space and time, then he had to go to pack his stuff. The sun was high up by then. He said he is sure we would still meet which was obviously a polite thing to say yet I felt so happy about it. We hugged again, this time much quicker and without me getting carried away, haha. What did I do then? I ran to the abandoned toilet… and well… I probably shouldn’t admit it because you just never know who is reading an online journal… but once you’ve gotten this far in reading, you deserve some juicy details besides all the facts: I went to the toilet, locked the door and cried for about half an hour in my happiness. It was a trip through space and time again. I was wondering how the hell it was possible that I was still drunk at 6 am or so, when the last slip of booze I had was around midnight or so… maybe I was just drunk without drinking alcohol, after all these beautiful feelings I have nurtered in myself during the concerts and afterwards, when hugging Ronan??? Can it be possible??????? It didn’t matter whether it was possible or not. It really didn’t… I was just happy for being able to experience these feelings no matter how stupid they may sound to others. I was just happy to be the one I am and understand so many things, go through so many intense experiences and be alive and feel the sun that follows every rain.
Monday proved to be even rainier than the previous day. I dressed warm and went to get some food with Alexa before going to Parkbühne to see Bloodflowerz, Dope Stars Inc. and The Last Dance. This was also the day for And One, Feindflug, God Module, Glis, Kirlian Camera, Gothminister and many other smaller bands I like, but it would have been merely impossible to see all these gigs from the first moment to the last. And we were all tired, wasted, cold and broke, as you can probably imagine. Alexxa and Cass went to do the interview with Dope Stars while I watched The Last Dance. They were really cool, I even have a picture with Rick, we talked for a while when he came off the stage. A nice band they are. I told him they were great but I was too wasted to jump around much, it’s the last day here so I stopped giving a fuck about my appearance and just wear my warmest clothes and that’s it. Haha… he was such a sweet, polite, typical American that he immediately protested and said I looked pretty and that he liked my hair (nah, the other dreadfalls-junkie, lol).
The afterparty at Agra was really brutal, things got way out of hand. Since we were running out of schnaps, we spent the last cents on pure vodka and similar second-rate crap and got adorably drunk with Alexa. (It was the first time I bought booze there, hehe.) In fact everybody was crazy, it was the last night… we bumped into these crazy Swedish folks who offered Alex some beer… and she realized it wasn’t beer. But something else. Brrrrrrrrr… She says pee doesn’t even taste that bad. And she didn’t swallow it, of course… still… we laughed so much at it later… no party is fun without a bit of pee-drinking… the Swedish coctail… hahaha. -lol-
We only got like two hours of sleep, but I didn’t complain on the way home. 15 hours in a car. Cassandra is true hero… driving all the way through. Finally, big thanks to her and all the others. We were a great team and I really enjoyed being with them. Our neigbours (Niniel, VEN, Arweny, Sigride) were also part of the team. I obviously miss my dear sleeping-mate Alex… Thank you, everybody!!! *hugz*
I didn’t move until the gig was over… as in a short while, Deine Lakaien followed. Well… it was magical. I felt like I’m in an other world, forgot about space and time and literally drifted along… Veljanov’s voice. Oh well… They also played many of my fave songs and the whole stage setting was so beautiful, the light technician woke up in the meanwhile or it was another one… yes, the whole gig was beyond words. Deine Lakaien… oh… I liked this gig even more than the one in Bolkow in 2004, the acoustic set. This one was like some sort of theatrical event, I was speechless in the end. I was drunk on music.