Driving into Wacken, the unassuming little town in the north of Germany is a sight for sore eyes, and every metalhead’s dream. A dream no doubt repeated, everynight since August last year… and the year before, and the year before that.
Hordes of metal fans from all over the world converge in all shapes and forms, by any and every means possible to be here on Holy Wacken Land for the 28th running of this amazing behemoth of a festival.
Breakfast for me today, is a can of rum and coke, similar quite possibly, to many of the 75,000+ strong crowd camped here in endless green pastures breathing in the fresh northern air, dappled with the occasion wafts of sporadically deposited cow shit.
As I enjoy my breakfast, it simultaneously pulls me from my peaceful morning, back to last night in a baptism of fire….and mud, and more mud. In classical Wacken style, the weather gods have delivered just the right amount of wind and rain to convert all that was grass, into dense claggy mud, punctuated with unassuming looking, yet potentially knee deep brown mini oceans of doom.
After setting up my tent and getting the first beer open, naturally in the opposite order to what I’ve written here, I made my way to the infield, only to be greeted by tens of thousands singing to the skies with all their being..”It’s the FINAL countdown!!!”. Yes, Europe have taken to the ‘Faster’ stage, awakening those in the mud with their 80’s crowd pleaser, plastering many smiles on faces, and provoking shoulder to shoulder camaraderie witnessing this classic in the flesh.
Following this I manage to check out the Metal market with it’s plentiful array of festival food, enough to satisfy the hungriest metalhead, marking my journey through the mud with a couple of well timed pauses at the bar(s) for some ‘hydration’.
Staying in the back blocks for Status Quo, I make my way back into the infield for Accept, as they light up the Faster stage once again, bringing with them a full orchestra for an impressive set, dosed with a healthy amount of pyro, fire and smoke.
As the crowd reaches ‘headliner” size, the Danes known as Volbeat take to the Harder stage and entertain a crowd that returns the energy to the bands, with no question that they have the stamina to deliver this enthusiasm for another two days and nights of more metal than you can poke a stick at….a fucking big stick at that! \m/
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.