Berlin
, 25. June 2016
The biggest Heavy Metal Festival in the World

The History of Wacken

It began back then - 1990 - very little. A handful of local bands fired round about 800 "metalheads" massively up. Year after year, the festival became larger, to 2015 when the record attendance of 85,000 people was cracked. The tickets therefor were sold out within 12 (!) hours.

x-working The W:O:A is an absolute highlight in the festival calendar of metal fans.
The W:O:A is an absolute highlight in the festival calendar of metal fans.

The small community of Wacken has over 1,800 inhabitants. Once a year, the place in Schleswig-Holstein is transformed into a Mecca for hardcore and metal fans. Here the festival with the villagers is quite popular. Many residents work as an assistant at the festival or sell beer on their properties. Although one might think, that drunken metal fans could rampage for days, the balance of the interferer remains rather little: In 2014, a total of 273 crimes were reported, of which only 13 cases were personal injuries. Regading a mass of about 100,000 litres of beer, which is served, a pretty small number.

The festival grounds of Wacken covers 220 hectares. Here, a power output of 12 megawatts is needed - as much as for a county town with 70,000 inhabitants. Many well-known bands like the Scorpions, Slayer or Twisted Sisters have been playing at the Wacken Open Air. In particular the festival Thursday stands out as a traditional "Night of Remember". On this day "classic" Heavy Metal bands fill the stage with sound. A significant status has the band "Subway To Sally". In 2015 the stood for the tenth time at the Wacken stage and thus celebrated their jubilee. But also the chapel of the volunteer fire department of Wacken traditionally plays a session on the gigantic festival.

The Wacken Open Air provides a total of eight stages for musicians and the fringe events. The biggest stages are the twin platforms "Black Stage" and "True Metal Stage" that are connected through shared loudspeakers and lighting systems. There is for example the "Wackinger Stage", which is located in the medieval section of the festival and recorded mainly folk, pagan and medieval genres.

The Wacken Open Air has established itself over the years into a solid brand in the heavy metal scene. It has grown into a festival of superlatives, which was even awarded in 2007 with the "Live Entertainment Award". A trip to the Wacken Open Air is worthwhile - if you're fast and if you can cinch tickets for the next year.

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