Fresh from the deep post metal sleep, heavy mud laden boots are once again strapped to my feet, the only way to navigate the battleground of the Holy land.
Making my way slowly into the compound, a brief pause at ‘Welcome to the jungle’ affords me an insight into how Metal yoga plays out, with the instructor leading the class from a wrestling ring as heavy riffs boom from the speakers. Eager participants hold impossible metal yoga-esque poses, with much more energy than I could muster this morning to be in any way remotely athletic.
Desperately in need of my morning dose of metal, I exchange downward dog for punch in the face from High Fighter. The local Hamburg five piece delivers a super tight set, unapologetically jolting the crowd violently into their Friday.
Passing by the Harder stage, the soaring vocals of Lacuna Coil ring out, telling of the coming rains, but as with all Wacken weather, the clouds break almost as quickly as they appeared. As text signals that my partner in crime has arrived and it’s time to head into Wacken main street for some local delights.
The Wacken natives ensure that over this week every year, just as much fun is had outside of the festival, as is inside. Every house has either a bar or a food stand setup in the front yard, bringing the whole town to life. Music blaring from soundsystems, jagermeister shots, beer, bratwurst, and the enterprising youth of Wacken drive up and down the street with custom made bike and trailer combos, selling bier and snacks to the droves of black clad metal fans snaking down the street.
After sampling the local wares, we head back in to witness a blisteringly fast and equally as loud set from The Dillinger Escape Plan, a perfect way set the wheels in motion for the evening ahead.
As we head back over the infield, we happen upon the last half of Apocalyptica’s set. The Quartet all sporting cello’s, hail from Finland and do an amazing job of belting out a classical take on Metallica tracks, leaving the crowd with a very unique and impressive Wacken experience.
As darkness falls, the arena fills, and the likes of Friday headliners Marilyn Manson, Megadeth and Turbonegro, all deliver Wacken worthy performances to the masses.
A couple more beers under the belt ensures that the journey home through the mud back to our tent city is achievable and the heads hits the pillow shortly after 2:30am.
Another day in Paradise.
Trent Perrett is a metal loving Aussie living in Hamburg, balancing photography with as much world travel as possible, and taking the time to enjoy the occasional beer.