Yesterday I went into town and looked through a couple of thrift stores, and again they were very picked over so I found nothing. However, I went to New Look and found two very cool items. The above photo is of a ruffled black blouse/dress that buttons down the front so that it could be used as a dress or in layering. I had a shorter blouse almost exactly like it 30 years ago so to say I am pleased would be an understatement.
I also found the above green microfiber trench coat. The photo is making it look discolored but it is indeed all green. I love the fact that it is very unstructured and has a great flow to it. It really fits into my spooky dystopian/post-apocalyptic aesthetic: my core colours are black, grey, camo green and dark purple.
There were several different black microfiber jackets and various black tops that had either lace or ruffles, and they had some cute Halloween themed socks. So if you are living in the UK get thee to your nearest New Look store.
In a previous post I talked about how Killstar is going down in flames. With that being said this really feels like a desperate attempt by them to crawl out of their fetid swamp filled with the tears of Avril Lavigne. I bet a really out of touch board member thought ‘Hey, I know how we can pull ourselves out of our swamp, let’s target those teens that love that Wednesday series!! They’ll pay top dollar for anything we churn out!’. *crickets*
Unfortunately for the company things are not going to plan. Not a single item on their UK site is sold out or even close to sold out. Seriously, I checked every item before writing this. Want to guess as to why? Come with me on a journey filled with polyester and angst! EDIT: As of September the 6th all of the clothing is still in stock and nothing is sold out on the UK site. EDIT 2: As of the evening of September the 6th all off the clothing is still in stock and nothing is sold out on the US site.
First up is this skater dress with bell sleeves, the exact same silhouette that they have used time and time again. They want to charge £44.99 for this? It had better be made of some sort of cotton blend for that price.
Nope! It is made of polyester, without any cotton in site! Not just any polyester, a fabric so thin that if you look closely you can actually see her skin tone through it. I think the real Wednesday Addams would throw this into a fire and giggle while it burned.
Next up is their Pugsley Addams sweater. For the cheap price of £54.99 you too can look like an angst filled teenager. It has an embroidered patch on the front, but it must be made of a cotton blend for that price, right? RIGHT?
WRONG!!! It is made of 100% polyester, not a scrap of cotton in sight. Since that is the case you are going to sweat like hell wearing this. What fun! So, you are basically paying all of that money for that patch stuck to it. Peachy-keen!
What a bargain! £32.99 for a basic t-shirt with an angsty graphic image! Are they telling me that I shouldn’t like hugs? I love hugs and I am in my early 50’s so I am guessing that this campaign wasn’t meant for me…even though I have money to spend, unlike an angst filled teenager. Killstar doesn’t understand the concept of demographics and who actually has spending money right now. People are broke, so even most adults would probably stay away from this.
This is 100% cotton, which to be fair most t-shrts are. However, most t-shirts don’t cost this much money.
Next up is an oversized cardigan for the low, low price of £59.99. It’s special because it has an embroidered patch on the front. Is it glued or sewn on? For that hefty price it had better be sewn, and the fabric had better be a cotton blend.
Surprise, it is 100% polyester! Not only do you get to itch, you also get to sweat! How very kind of them to think of us like that!
Oh look, yet another angsty £32.99 t-shirt. At least it is made of cotton so that you won’t be dripping with sweat as you lounge around all angsty. Remember, if you are goth you aren’t supposed to laugh or like hugs.
For the low low price of £39.99 you can buy this nifty ‘corset’ top with a zipper in the back and no lacing, so that you can look like you are wearing an ill fitting top just like this model! I used to be exactly her size and my boobs would probably battle to see which could get a shadow of a lift from this top. At least it is made of comfortable material so that you don’t sweat, right? RIGHT?
Nope, it is made of polyester materials and viscose so that you can freely sweat however much you want. Polyester repels water while viscose absorbs it, which means you would be a sweaty mess if you start doing things such as dancing or walking. How delightful!
Now we have the Addams Sweatshirt for £49.99. Sweatshirts are normally made from cotton so that you don’t sweat like hell and are comfortable. Surely this is made of cotton….surely!
The gods have blessed us, it is indeed made of cotton! Will miracles ever cease? That much money for a basic sweatshirt is insane. Insane I tell ya!
There is no simpler way to tell people how much you like to throw away money than to buy this for only £49.99. It better have a vial of Robert Smith’s tears to be costing that much money.
Made of both polyurethane and polyester? Faux leather usually starts peeling after a certain amount of time; in time to need a new bag from their next collection? How cool of them to think of trend jumpers like that. Trend jumpers have feelings too!
Dear God, why have you forsaken us in our hour of need? £49.99 is a whole lot of money to buy a basic polyester dress and it is going to take a miracle for people to afford this.
Awwww…..it’s the same polyester and viscose blended material that the corset top was. Maybe they can start an urban myth marketing trend; if you are soaked in sweat while wearing this dress in a cemetery the shade of Wednesday Addams will appear. You and I know she is a fictional character but others might not. I have all sorts of marketing ideas Killstar, get in touch if interested.
Now it is the Be Strange Long Sleeve Top for £34.99. Again, a silhouette that they have used time and time again. How original of them! The angst is strong with this one, but what is it made of? How much do they want you to sweat in this?
It is 95% viscose so they want you to suffer and sweat a whole lot. How kind!
Look, a top that may actually be worth the £27 they are charging for it! My goodness, I feel light headed right now!
95% polyester? Of course it is, and it looks quite thin. I have to give them some credit for the words actually being embroidered on it. However, the high neck looks very awkward when paired with the bare belly. If the model can’t even pull this look off what hope is there for the rest of us?
The Sub-Urban Gothic Long Sleeve Top is next, and by golly is that a lot of words for just a £32.99 basic striped top. Wait, I get it! It has a badge on it so that makes it special? Special in what way?
So special that it is made of 92% viscose! At first I thought it might be cotton, but I think that is just the patch since they tell you to wash it on cold with no tumble drying.
I’m Saaaorry Leggings for the low price of £34.99? I am trying to be an optimist but I have a feeling that I might just feel all sorry for myself after looking at what they are made of.
95% viscose? Are they including yeast infection meds with this because I can’t imagine anybody’s vagina being happy after wearing these all day.
Awww…….Killstar doing what they do best; sticking a white collar on a black dress. Could that be yet more edgy embroidery?
Not a breathable fabric in sight, it is made of almost all viscose! It is indeed embroidered. Go them! *slowly claps*
Yet another one of their usual pointed collar dresses, this time with a bunch of buttons that will more than likely fall off after a few wears. All of this for the low price of £59.99! What a bargain!
It is made of 100% viscose, go figure! To be more edgy they should have made the printed skulls larger, just saying.
Oh dear, £59.99 for yet another chance of a yeast infection? Sign me up!
Viscose and polyester together in one pair of flares? It feels like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
They want £39.99 for a simple cotton long sleeve top just because they slapped Wednesday on the front? Nah.
Again, why does Killstar not like hugs? For £39.99 it feels like Killstar didn’t get enough love as a child.
95% polyester. Killstar is making sure you are indeed a no hug zone, because who wants to hug somebody who is drenched in sweat?
Yeast infection ahoy! Half black, half striped and all sweat for only £39.99! That branding makes almost no sense because once somebody puts on a pair of boots it is covered. Hence why the model isn’t wearing any in that first photo.
Made of viscose and polyester, you shouldn’t be surprised at this point. Why do they hate cotton in leggings so much?
£49.99 for just one blouse? Killstar, are you on crack? It is time to lay down that pipe and enter the real world.
100% viscose for the win! Maybe you can wear this to a funeral in the winter? I can’t imagine moving around a bunch in this and actually being comfortable.
There goes that collar again. I am beginning to think that somebody on their design team has a fetish for them. There is no way in hell that this dress is worth £59.99.
Lots of viscose and polyester and a little elastane. Killstar, you cannot tell me this shit stretches a lot. How the hell is this even wearable as a dress because anybody larger than the model is going to have their ass hanging out.
This is a hoodie that genuinely shocked me as to how much it is. They want £62.99 for this shit. It’s just a long pullover hoodie with that same angsty no hug zone image on the front.
It is 100% cotton, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it is way, way overpriced for what it is; crap.
Here we go again, £32.99 for a basic cotton t-shirt with an angsty image thrown up on it. Shocking!
This are kind of cute and the cheapest thing on here for a grand total of £8.99. However, do they have any cotton in them? Remember cotton is important in socks because it lets your feet breathe.
80% cotton? Colour me shocked, shocked I tell ya! At least you won’t get trench foot wearing them? My sarcasm is reaching its limit.
A cropped sweater with print on the back for £44.99? Who the hells belles has that kind of cash to throw down for something like this?
It is 100% cotton…and yet one feels that they should be getting a better bang for their hard earned buck. At least a sweater that is full length. Sheesh.
…and they have saved their best for last. £32.99 for a pair of leggings that look like they would attract a yeast infection final boss in a video game. Sounds fun, right? What I truly don’t get about these is putting the purple pattern below the knee instead of the entire leg.
100% polyurethane. I could well imagine somebody passing out from wearing these in the summer. I used to wear similar leggings when I would go clubbing over 20 years ago and it would be a major pain in the arse peeling them off when I would get home because the lining would be drenched in sweat. The struggle is real!
Well, that’s it! Thank you for coming along with me on this journey filled with overpriced fun and surprises. May the force be with you…in a Sith way of course.
Over the last few weeks I have seen online more and more talk about classism and how it heavily affects those with little to no money. Almost all fashion these days can easily be considered ‘fast fashion’ since most clothing is now made in developing countries. The only way you are going to completely avoid it is if you buy used clothing or something handmade, and that isn’t as easy as some would make you believe.
Last week I went into town and visited the three charity shops there. I found nothing because they were all majorly picked over. Resellers actively go to these shops, and one of them has even opened their own local shop selling these clothes for way more cash. I’m not even joking. This type of thing is happening everywhere, so where the heck are ‘dark alternative’ type people supposed to find affordable clothing or accessories? On Poshmark and other related used product websites? Again many of the used products on those type of sites are very overpriced and not affordable for a whole chunk of people.
As you know I do a whole lot of DIY type projects and I frequently upcycle clothes that I find on clearance at my local New Look store. In the past I also bought a whole lot of clearance items off of Killstar for projects. Within the last year I have completely stopped buying anything from them because the quality of their items has jumped off of a cliff. In fact the quality of most ‘dark alternative’ type clothing is in the gutter right now; charging lots of money for items that you can find on Shein or Temu for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately this happens so frequently on Etsy that you have to do constant reverse image searches so that you don’t get ripped off.
Since all of this is the case why the hell should ‘dark alternative’ type people be shamed for buying what they can afford? It is often said that you can dress any way you want to if you are goth, but this is often paired with a wagging finger telling you where you should or should not shop. In a perfect world it would be great if fast fashion didn’t exist, but the world isn’t perfect and people have to buy clothing and accessories from somewhere. Yes, it is easy to do certain DIY type projects but you need supplies to do so and it can get very expensive gathering them together. The only people who shop on Shein and Temu who deserve any sort of derision are those who constantly make huge orders of things that they will more than likely almost never use. That is their business and they can do what they like, but it really comes across as being extremely wasteful.
My advice? Only buy things that you know you will either wear or turn into DIY type projects. Recently I browsed Temu for the first time and I actually found some very cool patches and badges. To my surprise I was also able to find and buy different Halloween themed ribbons and fabrics for fairly cheap. Where I live Halloween isn’t celebrated as heavily as in the US so I can’t find the same items in a store near me.
If any goth or ‘dark alternative’, uber goober gives you crap for shopping on Shein and Temu tell them to mind their own business; if you are happy that is all that really counts.
Do you know why whole lot of older goths dislike metal music and aren’t open minded about listening to it? Because metalheads used to threaten and beat the shit out of punks, goths and anybody who looked different back in the 80’s.
I graduated high school in 1989 so I witnessed this shit first hand. I wore skull buckle boots and a bunch of black eyeliner back then so I was targeted. However, it was only the male metalheads who would give me shit. I actually hung out sometimes with those of the female variety so I didn’t get the level of shit that some others got. There was a pecking order at my school. Jocks fucked with the metalheads and the metalheads fucked with anybody else who dressed strange. They were basically punching down.
Things were so bad in the late 80’s that I knew of somebody, who dressed very ‘goth’, whose leg was broken after they were pushed by a metalhead off of a high walkway. Thankfully the dude didn’t die, but the fact that an asshole thought it was okay to treat another person like that speaks volumes about just how bad things were.
I personally didn’t hate metal music during that time, but all of this bullying behaviour made me not want to listen to it. I only started getting into Danzig, Metallica and Slayer after high school partially because of this. The people who used to tease and threaten people who looked like me now want to be like me and that is a total mindfuck. It still trips me out just how many metalheads are also into goth music these days, because if they had liked both back in the 80’s they would have been called ‘faggots’ by those who only listened to metal.
Things are different these days in some aspects, but in some ways things have stayed the same; lately there has been a steep increase of some metalheads bringing their racist bullshit into other alternative subcultures. Not all metalheads are racist but for whatever reason the racist variety really love to jump on the goth train. I swear almost every single racist that I have run into online in goth communities has also been heavily into metal. It is such a real life trope that it has become very predictable at this point.
By the way, all of this happened in the San Francisco Bay Area which was a more liberal area of the United States. If it happened there it sure as hell happened in other areas of the country. I am sharing all of this because I think it is important for people to learn the true history of what happened back then; some male metalheads would physically take their insecurities out on anybody who looked different.
Currently listening to this and Dawnrazer has gone in a bit of a darkwave direction with this release. They are known for making exceptional synthwave music so this isn’t really a surprise. It still sounds largely synthwave, but the spooky lyrics and some of the synths sometimes pull it into darkwave territory. I like both darkwave and synthwave so this isn’t an issue for me at all.
My favourite song on this is The Dark Path and I could well imagine a good DJ mixing this song into a set of darkwave. If you have never heard of this band before this would be an excellent release to start out on, because it will ease you into synthwave. It is available here on Bandcamp.
The other day I mentioned on here about how Killstar has fired all of their design team. Well, that was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is happening within the company right now. Yesterday I received a detailed email from my source about all of the insane crap going on inside the company and how it is affecting their bottom line. I’m usually not easily shocked when it comes to tales of workplace drama, but this is different.
That American private equity firm Bertram Capital didn’t outright purchase Killstar, like I had previously stated on another post. Instead they bought a majority stake in the company when the original owner, Tequila Star, wanted capital to expand and bring the company up to scratch. To say that she made a bad financial choice would be the understatement of the century. She chose a company who have no knowledge of alternative subcultures and it really shows.
Tequila Star stepped down as CEO of the company when Bertram Capital came into the picture, and they placed their own person into that role. They also brought in new heads of merchandising, products, etc.. This was done to restructure the company so that it functioned better. This is what the company needed; structure that worked more efficiently so that things could be run more smoothly. However, that is not what has happened.
Since the takeover the company has been struggling. Why? Because they are running it just like any other business, thinking that the same tactics would work for it that they have previously used elsewhere. In the autumn of 2021 they brought in a new head of product, and it became obvious very soon that she was overwhelmed by the role and had no clue as to what she was doing. Instead of listening to the employees and the fans of the brand as to what was wanted and what would work they ignored all of the advice and pushed for collaborations. Remember that horrid Avril Lavigne line of products that came out that everybody, including myself, made fun of? That was her idea.
That alone proved that they hadn’t a clue about punk, goth, emo,etc… subcultures. The fact that they thought that Avril Lavigne was in line with what fans of the brand wanted speaks volumes. They tried bragging about how well the line sold but it was very obvious that they couldn’t move the pieces because they looked like crap. The recent really ugly Dario Argento line is yet another example. I love Argento’s films but I wouldn’t wear that crap even if somebody promised me £100 to do so.
Then on top of all of this they put the head of design, who had been with the company for over five years, on garden leave and then outright fired her. They didn’t replace her until the Spring of 2022, and the guy they chose had no knowledge or interest in alternative designs. He was totally unfit for the role and was gone after a few months. They then brought in somebody else whom they also let go after only a few months.
During all of this they brought in people to try to structure the design team. Predictably these people had no knowledge or respect for alternative styles and subcultures. They created a very hostile work environment; so much so that some of the people within the product and design teams quit.
What happened next? Tequila Star came out of hiding and is now CEO once more. So, basically she fucked around and found out. I don’t pity her at all because she made some very badly informed financial decisions. Even I know about how private equity firms work and how detrimental they can be to the running of a company. The head of products was fired this past April and has not been replaced. My source thinks that Star has been working directly with the designers since she came back. However, things must not be going too well since the entire design team has been suddenly let go.
So, basically Star is trying to bring the company back from the brink of financial disaster but it really is too little too late. The reputation of the brand has been in the sewer since Bertram Capital came into the picture. Line after line of badly designed cheaply made clothing has been pumped out and it shows. Most of the newer pieces are the same silhouettes as older pieces with just new graphic designs being thrown up onto them. There is no originality taking place which is pretty telling. Also, their homeware range is now mostly brought in from suppliers and is not designed in house.
My source has some theories as to what is going to happen next with the company. Apparently they have lines designed for up to this Autumn, so my source thinks that they cut the entire design team in order to appear more solvent when they try to sell the company to a new buyer. This makes some sense and could indeed be what is happening. Another theory is that they will just hire freelance graphic designers and slap new designs onto the same old silhouettes. Lastly, they might just bring in everything from outside suppliers.
Apparently Killstar is making way less money this year than they did last year so it may be too late for Star to steer the company in the right direction. The only people that I feel sorry for in this entire situation are the alternative people who worked for the company and were shafted.
This entire situation is what happens when you let a private equity firm run an alternative focused company; you lose credibility with you core customers who no longer want anything to do with you and your inauthentic ways.
Apparently Killstar have just let go of their entire design team. I have received this information from an insider who knows of what they speak, so this is not gossip or a rumor making the rounds.
So, what does this mean? It means that they have not been doing well financially. I wrote a post a while back about how they got bought out by Bertram Capital, a private equity firm. What private equity firms do is buy companies, milk them for all they are worth and then dump them when they are no longer profitable. This is what they have been doing with Killstar. They have put out drop after drop and everything looks very cheaply made. Plus, on top of that, they have been having sale after sale. Just the fact that they have let go of their entire design team speaks volumes as to what is going on behind the scenes.
When will they go under? It has got to be soon and I will be munching on a bunch of popcorn as the drama unfolds.
What is WGT I can hear some of you asking. It is the huge German goth music festival Wave Gotik Treffen that takes place In Leipzig every year. It is one of the largest goth music festivals in the world and people travel from everywhere to go to it.
Two people named Jean-Luc and Miss X wrote this article specifically for English speaking festival participants since many do not know all of the right wing neo-Nazi crap that has been happening at the festival. Everything from known neo-Nazi musicians being allowed to play at the event to white nationalists being allowed to set up stalls to share their hate filled agendas. The German press has reported on these very problematic issues, but such articles have not really gained traction outside of Germany. According to the article the people who run WGT will ban people from the festival if they speak out against it.
Well, quite frankly, since I have never been into music festivals I really don’t give a shit if I am on their permanently ‘banned’ list. I have included the entire article here, and I will give my thoughts under some of the sections. The section titles were created by the authors and the article can be found here. All working links are theirs as are grammatical mistakes. It was published on June the 3rd of 2023.
For more than 20 years, one of the largest Goth festivals on the planet is working with artists and publishers that are affiliated with far right extremism, meaning they book them or allow them to run their business on the festival premisses. The company behind the festival is doing this consistently and repeatedly and this is no secret. There is very little discourse regarding this in the goth scene and there has been next to no impact in the few years where it has been mentioned. Newspapers and magazines covered this, everything you can say on the matter is old news, except for the fact that this is not historical information, this is ongoing. The only people that are still really on the matter are local Antifa groups.
Since I have zero interest in attending music festivals I personally have never looked into the history of WGT. Since so many people from the UK and the US go every year you would think that the news about all of this white nationalist shit would have gotten out, but apparently people are scared to speak out?
Why write about this at all?
We believe this is relevant. Far right ideologies have real world debilitating impact. jl grew up with his family exposed in the Yugoslav civil war, a war motivated by nationalist ideology and racism. His family never fully recovered from the propaganda tactics used to promote division. Today most of us are in some way impacted by Russia’s criminal war on Ukraine that is motivated by the ultranationalist ideologies of figures like Alexander Dugin. Sociopolitical developments like these benefit from a soundtrack, from some emotional priming, from social events normalising the motives.
There has been a marked rise lately of this within alternative subcultures and in society in general.
WGT has a history of platforming artists and publishers promoting these motives. At the same time the festival never positioned itself, never distanced itself from the far right, claiming to be apolitical, which in practice meant they don’t wanna talk about it.
Most of the time when somebody says they are apolitical that just means they support a far right agenda and are too chickenshit to share their real views. White nationalists tend to be cowards. I, and others in leftist circles, have witnessed this over and over again.
When X talked about these things in a series of instagram stories on Monday, we learned that surprisingly many non German speakers had no clue about these things, so obviously there are still some people that can consider this whole story news. And maybe some of the Germans are too young to know.
I’m still surprised as hell that this news has been so well hidden outside of Germany.
When we asked ourselves why these people had no clue, we figured there is hardly any non German info on this (unless you wanna do research on some Russian neofolk fan forums or something).
We decided to change this and give our international friends some insights on things German goths don’t seem super happy to discuss.
I give them props for wanting to bring all of this dankness into the light.
So what’s happening at WGT?
This little article does not have the right scope to give you a full chronicle of events. What we’d however like to help you understand is that WGT as a festival is open to far right extremists over years and decades, even over two different companies organising the festival. If we would look at all of the individual occurrences we could claim accidents, but instead this all repeats. It is a constant of the festival, it is a feature, not a bug. We can’t tell whether this extreme right influences are just bound to a some small group of individuals or whether it is a small yet intrinsic element of the scene. No clue. But to give you a bit of background we compiled some facts and events to give a concrete idea what this is about, so you can decide for yourself.
I totally wouldn’t be surprised if this is a concerted effort on the part of German white nationalist groups to spread their message to a larger audience. Obviously somebody has connections with festival organizers in Germany to be able to pull off this level of crap.
In the year 2000, Mayor of Leipzig Holger Tschense feels forced by public pressure to prohibit Joseph Klumb, frontman of “Von Thronstahl”, to perform at the festival. The promoters do not cancel the slot though, so the band plays their CD while standing on stage in protest, holding a shovel and a flag with a black sun on it, a symbol originating in Nazi Germany, first seen in a floor mosaic in Heinrich Himmlers fancy little SS castle. The audience cheers the performance in front of Völkerschlachtdenkmal. This gig is not listed in WGT’s gig history, but if you google it you can still find the limited edition live recording from 2001 on discogs released on Fasci-Nation Recordings. Distributed by VAWS, which we’ll go into later. Von Thronstahl also wrote about the performance on their own webpage – we’re not going to link to that, you can find that yourself if you really want to look at it.
This is just so fucked up I can’t.
In 2009, WGT printed Heinrich Himmlers black sun (see above) on the festival’s “Obsorgekarte”, the ticket you needed for camping and public transport in Leipzig. Goth band ASP wrotea public protest note (in German) and announced they wouldn’t play WGT ever again unless the promoter would give an apology and explanation. The explanation they received was not signed in the name of the company, but rather by individuals. They claimed that none of the cultural creators involved is following any political goals with WGT and that the black sun is somehow about the 2000 year jubilee of the Varus battle. This legendary battle of Germanic tribes against the Romans was used several times throughout history to create an emotional backing for a political unity of Germany, to create some founding narrative of Germany that is predating any modern constitution. While there are in fact similar looking objects used by the tribes of the time, these are not the ones WGT used. They used the 12 S-runes, as found on Heinrich Himmler’s beloved floor piece. ASP wasn’t happy with that explanation and never showed up again. Threads about the issue in the official WGT forum were deleted by admins citing a “no politics” forum policy.
I actually know quite a bit about the ancient Roman Empire. In one form or another it lasted about 2,000 years, while the Nazis were in power for less than twenty. The Nazis were losers, just like modern German white nationalists. It’s gross as hell that they got away with this shit in the year 2009. The organizers of the WGT are pathetic for allowing this crap to happen. Kudos to ASP for refusing to play a show there.
For decades now, publisher VAWS has a booth in the merch area. The people that distributed that Fasci-Nation limited edition Von Thronstahl record according to discogs. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution took note of the company in 2002 and reported: “Through special offers and events, the alleged fascination with the aesthetics of fascism and National Socialism is to be revived, thus promoting right-wing extremist views on a cultural level.”. If you must, check out their website, you should be able to figure the general idea. You’ll find yourself somewhere between “Covid is a bio weapon”, “Argentinian exile Nazi isn’t really a Nazi” and “Let’s sell industrial tracks by putting tits on the cover”. Maybe you also wanna buy some Riefenstahl stuff.
They are allowed a booth there and nobody has done anything against it? The festival has the numbers to run this kind of shit out physically so why are people sitting on their hands? If I was wandering around a festival and saw that kind of shit I would have some very heated words and I might accidentally knock things down with my cane.
In 2015, WGT booked Majdanek Waltz, an openly fascist Russian band named after the concentration and extermination camp Majdanek. These are people that like to sing about how much they love their swastika. You can’t make this shit up. A German article looking into the band and its lyrics can be found here.
In 2022, WGT booked Of The Moon And The Wand, which has long-standing ties to nazi band Der Blutharsch. It was the seventh time the band played the festival. A local Antifa page posted a German article about it here.
In 1999, 2009 and also this year 2023 Fire + Ice performs at WGT. Frontman Ian Read, when asked in an interview about fascist and racist ideas, utters that he feels that no idea is completely worthless. Read claims that Germans suffer from a post war brain wash and should stop thinking about what is “correct”. He claimed that in this context of this brainwash the German abbreviation for concentration camp (Konzentrationslager) was changed from KL to KZ to make it sound more scary, implying that some kind of post war propaganda is trying to make things seem worse than they are. The thing with the change of abbreviation is even correct, except this change was done earlier as you can read in Eugen Kogons 1946 book “Der SS-Staat”. Kogon, himself a concentration camp inmate, writes that SS Soldiers preferred KZ over the official abbreviation because it sounds more, well, scary. Some more comprehensive background in English can be found here.
That dude who threw that famous punch in Seattle a few years back needs to get his ass to WGT because he is needed there. I can’t believe people just stand there and let this shit happen. That is what blows my mind the most about this.
Also this year, Austrian stand-up comedian Lisa Eckhart was booked. She’s among that breed of comedians who make money by saying “controversial” things, on national TV. Let me give you examples: “The erection of the black person’s penis requires all seven litres of blood that a human being has at his disposal.” or how do you like: “Paying reparations to the Jews is like giving Red Bull founder Mateschitz a Red Bull.”. Lisa likes using the N-Word a lot and believes that Asian people see the world in widescreen blockbuster format. That’s why they’re so afraid of Covid, you know? That’s all not enough to put her in the nazi corner I guess. She however works hard to stretch boundaries.
Somebody should have pelted her with eggs. Just saying.
Who feels like they are getting an advantage out of her work? VAWS had her face plastered all over their booth. This might give a hint. The fact that she, of all German-speaking standup comedians, was booked despite having no known goth scene relationship will give you another.
This is one of the reasons why I think a white nationalist network is behind this shit. Its coordinated.
As previously mentioned, the above list of events is not comprehensive and we could go on for a while, but we’ll leave it like this because we have other, better hobbies.
So what does this all mean?
WGT is a festival that is very open towards the right and even the extremist right. This is not a bug, it’s a feature. For decades it is a selling point of the festival. If you look at their language, their collabs, their general behaviour you will find dogwhistles and hints. If you look at how they whined on facebook in 2022 about how the city of Leipzig offered parts of the festival ground to Ukrainian refugees, inconveniencing their festival planning, there was barely any expression of solidarity. They simply blamed Leipzig. One could say that’s not too surprising for a promoter that likes to book Russians that like their swastikas a lot. Despite all this, people come to the festival like clockwork, every damn year.
What a bunch of assholes. Seriously.
What we see is of course not a right wing subversion of the scene as a whole. What we see is a scene that seems largely indifferent to their openness to the extreme right. People are unwilling to raise any critical voice, don’t care enough or have no clue what to do. Likely many festival goers feel like their culture was taken hostage by people they actually don’t wanna hang with. WGT is the one big party where they meet all their friends and they want to have a god time and there is no reason to deny them a good time. It’s like facebook. It’s kinda shit, but we can’t really agree on where else to go. And of course there are actual nationalists, conspiracy nutters, third reich apologists, blood and soil occultists and tons of boring, conservative boomers on top. This interesting mixture produces bizarre situations.
It is the time honoured ‘not wanting to lose goth scene cred’ excuse. Nobody wants to step up and say shit because they are afraid of losing that cred and I find that pathetic as hell. Especially when it involves excusing away neo-Nazi talking points. Remember kids, it is more important to attend a festival and be ‘seen’ than to openly act against neo-Nazis.
Recently I saw that one Tobias Theiss is making a free android app (WGT-Guide) that helps visitors to organise their party schedule. WGT has a lot of venues and stages, so this app is helpful. Since Tobias righteously doesn’t like these fascist tendencies, he omits certain acts from the app and doesn’t show them. This way he produces an independent app, for free, that adds value to a festival with above track record and calls this anti-fascist action. We can’t blame Tobias and I salute him for his service for the community, and for not going crazy because of the 1-Star reviews right wingers give him on the google play store. Still, that’s an interesting kind of mental gymnastics, that might be familiar to many people that participate and feel not perfectly well about it.
That is cool that he refuses to list the neo-Nazi crap on his WGT app. He shouldn’t have had to make it in the first place, but this is the world we are living in right now.
So what do?
We don’t go to WGT because we’re tired of that crap and do not want to put money there. It’s not even that someone books a Nazi band in Sachsen, that happens all the time. It’s rather the jarring indifference of the the scene, audience and artists alike. We very much understand that not going isn’t a good option for other people. But if you’re not indifferent as a festival goer and are just wondering what you actually can do about this, we have a few ideas.
Proves that parts of the goth subculture are still apathetic as hell. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the same shit was happening over thirty years ago.
First off: share this information. This is not for the fame and follows, but certainly it would be helpful to let people know. WGT deems itself “unpolitical” in the sense that it doesn’t want to discuss politics. This does not apply to us. The goth scene is not discussing these things enough – we assumed everyone knew, but judging from the amount of very concerned DMs we got, that’s not the case. As mentioned in the intro, on some of this stuff we couldn’t even find sources in English. Feel free to share any of the things we made available or use them as a reference. If you do decide not to go to WGT, and people ask why you’re staying home, tell them why.
Please share the article, because more English speakers do indeed need to learn about this.
Inform yourself about how to spot a neo-nazi, which symbols and dogwhistles are in circulation etc, so you can act on it if you see them.
A link all about the symbols and groups is further down..
If you’re an artist and WGT tries to book you, we understand that this is a good career opportunity for you and it’s difficult to say no. Please consider that being on a stage gives you a platform, and you can use that platform to make a statement. Nobody said your performance can’t include some educational content or that you can’t curate your audience by telling certain people to leave. Nobody said you can’t do a diss track. Nobody said you can’t publicly stand up for something.
I wish more bands would speak out while on stage.
Make it uncomfortable to be a neo-nazi or to be in close proximity to them. Leave the situation or conversation and tell people why. If you feel up for it, you can confront people directly, but only do this if you feel it’s safe for you to do so, and remember you don’t owe these people a debate about their batshit ideas. In Germany, you can actually call the police if you see a suspicious symbol. There’s a good chance the symbol is illegal or restricted and you don’t even have to be there while the cops sort it out.
Good advice. Some neo-Nazis are very violent so if you are going to confront one in person make sure you have friends with you who will back you up.
You will possibly find more familiar stuff in there than you would like.
Contact any organisation that allows this stuff on its premises and demand an explanation and apology for why it is there. Demand that they correct the situation. You can write them an email or call them out publicly, whatever suits your comfort level. Again, if you feel safe, you can ask people at the festival directly.
This is so important. If people do not confront neo-Nazis they feel safe which is something that should never be allowed to happen.
Be however informed that people criticising WGT are reported to have lost access to festival accreditation over it before, so if you are a journalist or photographer, keep this in mind.
I don’t give a shit since I will never go to it. Plus, calling out neo-Nazis is more important than going to a festival. Especially when the festival is allowing neo-Nazis on stage and in booths.
“People like us need to stop fuelling dystopias only because we grew up loving its aesthetics.”
Marco Visconti distilled it all down to this one very handy statement. It is not wise to help make negative expectation and dystopian outlooks a reality. Not on an individual, not on a sociocultural or political level. While this is a different and pretty complex issue that can be addressed another time: our stories and images matter. Our relationship to them matters and it shapes out reality. We hope this resource will help you to navigate all this for yourself and will help you to take charge if you feel you should.
From the title of this blog you know I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic media, however I would never support neo-Nazi crap. Plague? Sure. Earthquakes? Sure. Space alien invasion? Sure. Neo-Nazi crap? Hell no!
I hope sharing this article has helped people learn the truth as to what is really going down at WGT. Please share this or the article itself so that people can make an informed decision as to whether they want to go next year or not.
I received this book a few days before it was released because of me living in the middle of nowhere, but I only started reading it a few days ago due to having shingles on my head. If you don’t know what shingles are it is a virus that you get from previously having caught chicken pox. There is no rhyme or reason as to why the virus reactivates and it is very, very painful. I’m doing much better now, but I couldn’t read for about a week due to some of the sores being on the side of my head where my glasses hit. I felt like a victim of consumption because it made me look really pale and sickly. You have to look on the bright side of things sometimes.
Anyways! This is quite different from the new John Robb book The Art Of Darkness because it has footnote references listed in the back. Personally, that doesn’t make a difference to me but I know that some people are really sticklers for such things. I am about 75% through it so far and I am having some mixed feelings about it. I am in no way saying that it is bad, because it is not. However, the way she goes about explaining things without connecting the information to the actual subculture can be a bit confusing at times. Since I am older and have been in the subculture for a few decades I know what these connections are, but anybody new reading it is going to be wondering why some of the bands are mentioned since they have no obvious connections to the subculture.
Take Lydia Lunch for example, because she is mentioned heavily in it. I have always known who she is because the alternative clubs I went to over thirty years ago used to play some footage of her, and there was a lot of talk back then about her having made a porn film with Henry Rollins in which he fists her. To this day I have no idea if that porno was real or something totally made up because it’s not something that interests me. Because of all of this I have always associated her with the punk subculture, but I can see the connection to goth since her art went down a dark path.
All in all I think it is a worthwhile book to read because there is some information in it that I have never read in other books about the subculture. Its only weakness, as I have mentioned, is the whole connecting the dots issue. Older people will get it, but some newer people will probably be left a little confused.
What a clusterfuck of an event. A lot of people flew in just for this event and will be flying back out today. They should have announced this last night. Remember, large corporations really don’t give a fuck if you miss your favourite band.