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July 28, 2009

What’s a Wacken? The Wacken Open Air Festival

Brutal Tunes, Concerts & Grog Fests, Grymm and Frostbitten Lands

Our story begins, as all good metal stories do, in Germany, land of sausages, beer, Johann W. v. Göthe, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig v. Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Rudolf Diesel a.s.o. and a great nation of football players (so I’ve been told) … and the Wacken Open Air metal festival.

wacken-open-air-2009

The first Wacken festival was held in 1990 as a venue for local German bands to gain publicity, but it quickly skyrocketed into an international event and gained a reputation as a metalhead Mecca. This year marks Wacken’s 20th anniversary, and to demonstrate the unrivalled enthusiasm of the festival’s dedicated fans, the 70 000 tickets sold out in December 2008, 200 days before the festival begins.

CDH, Johnowar and myself own three of those tickets, and tomorrow we arrive at the Wacken happy metal camping ground, for four full on days of mead, metal and mayhem. Our Wacken cherries are about to be brutally violated.

Although this year’s lineup looks a little dissapointing compared to … say, Metalcamp or Helfest, Wacken has always been about more than the music. The Wacken organisers make the whole weekend an unforgettable orgy of all that is metal. The Beer Garden, the mead, the women, the metal karaoke, the misc. Vikings. This year, they’ve gone all out with a full medieval market covering 2sq hectares, featuring viking battles and highlander ball games.

And the lineup won’t dissapoint us, not with Hammerfall, Motorhead, Saxon, Heaven and Hell, Nevermore, Epica, Lacuna Coil, Borknagar, Turisas, Subway to Sally, Amon Amarth, Running Wild’s LAST EVER SHOW, Korplikaani, and my new favorite band of all time – Mago de Oz – on the bill.

Jealous yet? I know I am. Damn, I wish I was me! Oh, wait a second … :)

Every time I see this picture I wonder what they're all LOOKING at. (photo by Anton Perc)

Every time I see this picture I wonder what they're all LOOKING at. (photo by Anton Perc)

Rockalarm.de will be live streaming the ENTIRE 20th anniversary event, setting the obscure record of the longest live-stream metal event. Now that’s kreig.

In 2007, Sung Hyyung Cho directed a documentary titled Full Metal Village, about the tiny town of Wacken and the impact of the annual metal pilgramage on it’s 1800 residents. I haven’t seen this yet, but I imagine it will be a giggle, for all you suckers left at home (hi everyone! *waves*). You can also see Wacken footage in Sam Dunn’s doco’s Metal: The Headbanger’s Journey and Global Metal.

Stay tuned for updates!

Super Snuggles and Wacken Kisses
Steff

2 Comments on “What’s a Wacken? The Wacken Open Air Festival

Gunnar
June 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

would you mind modifying the introduction into
>….Germany, land of sausages, beer and Johann W. v. Göthe, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig v. Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Rudolf Diesel a.s.o. and a great nation of footballplayers…
Thanx and greetings
Gunnar

steff
June 14, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Done and Done, my friend.

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