The Wave Gothic Convention (Wave-Gotik-Treffen in German) is a music and culture festival that has been held annually on the Whitsun weekend in Leipzig since 1992. With over 20,000 visitors, it is one of the biggest events in the alternative and black scene. The audience covers the entire spectrum from goths to electro and neo-folk devotees to BDSM and fetish disciples. You’ll find punks, metallers and members of cyberculture, the medieval scene and the steampunk and visual kei scene.

The programme includes film screenings, club parties, author readings, exhibitions in galleries, live role-playing, church concerts, medieval markets and workshops. Unlike other festivals, the venues of the Wave Gothic Convention are spread all over the city. The participants become part of the cityscape for four days and are an accepted part of their city by the more bourgeois Leipzigers during this time.

Despite their sometimes alienating and martial appearance, the festival participants are consistently peaceful and mostly friendly. Many are happy to be photographed.