Wacken Open Air 2018

I am big W:O:A fan, for so many years. In this blog post I’m not going to describe the details regarding this festival and its history. If you wish to learn more you can check my older blog post about Wacken that contains all the interesting and historic details.

My boyfriend and me are going to Wacken every year, rain or shine. This year because of work we were not able to go a few days earlier as we usually do. We started from Amsterdam on the 2nd August, the day that the festival officially starts.

Regarding our late arrival this year we were extremely happy and lucky to get a place very close to the festival area. They put us on the ”M” field. It was approximately 5 minutes walking to reach the festival area. We didn’t even wait much on arrival. Last year we waited more than 4 hours just to reach the camp entrance. We were so happy to be there so it didn’t bother us. We watched the cows on the fields, listened to music and we were exchanging beers and having a good time with the rest of the metal heads in the queue.

As I mentioned this year we waited less than 30 minutes to enter the camp. After setting up our tent, we went for the check in as usual to get our wristbands. We were kind of tired after hours of traveling and fixing our camp stuff, so we took it easy the first night, we didn’t want to overdo it.

We missed the exciting live performance of the Heavy Metal Queen Doro Pesch, at the church of Wacken, that went on the previous day, and the Sepultura‘s concert, but at least we were there to see the rest.

We watched almost all performances on the big stages. I won’t list them all because they were so many, but I will mention some of them.

German Power Metal legend Helloween with their Pumpkins United Tour. They had an amazing show with a lot of guests. It was one of the most visited concerts at Wacken this year.

The Glam Metal heroes, Steel Panther were back at Wacken again this year with their hilarious and silly sexy humor. They were looking for boobs in the crowd as usual. This year they had a great response from the audience, much better than the last year. We laughed so much. They really know how to entertain the crowd and how to make a great atmosphere.

Judas Priest’s performance was powerful as always. Regardless of his age Rob Halford left us speechless with his great voice abilities, and he proved once more that he deserves the title of Metal God and that they are understandably considered as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. I have no words to describe their performance, if you never happened to see them live, you should and then you will understand me.

Alestorm, known as Pirate metal band from Scotland performance was in the middle of the day under the burning sun, but it didn’t stop thousands of people attending their concert. At some point they released their giant yellow duck from the stage into the crowd. It was joyful performance. We were there from the very beginning until the end and we danced ourselves out.

I have to mention the queen of metal Doro Pesch and her mind-blowing performance that was actually her 35 Year Special Anniversary Show, together with her incredible guests, such as Amon Amarth singer Johan Hegg.

SkullsNBones

Doro seemed very excited with the crowd. The crowd was also excited with her and her guests. While she was still on stage, the festivities continued, and Doro was officially inducted into the ”US HALL OF HEAVY METAL HISTORY” and was honored with the award. So, the metal queen is now in good company alongside with Ronnie James DioLemmy Kilmister and Judas Priest, who were also honored in Wacken this year. She seemed totally surprised, when they gave her the award on the stage, almost like she didn’t expect it. You could actually see it and feel it that she had a hard time leaving the stage that night. People were screaming her name, she was coming back on the stage again and again. At some point the man who gave her the award had to take the microphone from her hand, he put her jacket on her shoulders and he escorted her from the stage. It was such an emotional performance for Doro and for all of her fans.

HammerWorld

Since the temperature was so high during the day we were constantly refreshing up under the barrel showers, so our clothes were wet all the time. But as soon the evening was coming and sun was gone, it felt quite chilly, especially because of the wind and our wet clothes. At the Dimmu Borgir concert we were both shaking from the cold, hugging each other to warm up, but we stayed until the end. It was a breathtaking performance.

I can’t continue to describe every band we saw at Wacken this year, because this blog post will be extremely long. The truth is that you can just catch a glimpse of the Wacken vibe from my photos and my review, but you can really feel it only if you are there.

Besides of the three big stages, we also watched some bands at the other Wacken stages. My favorite band on the W.E.T stage was the Greek band Firewind, they really blew up our minds. Gus-G, an incredible talented guitarist and Bob Katsionis keyboard and guitar player (with whom I made an interesting interview on my blog, check it out), both of them are doing their separate solo careers and they play with other bands very successfully, but I really love to see them together on stage, when they perform with Firewind. They are great separately but they are even greater together. Here you can watch a video they shared on their page, so you can take a glimpse of the Wacken atmosphere and their outstanding performance.

And on the Wackinger stage, my favorite band was the great Russian band Arkona. I have seen them live in the past, at Wacken of course, but also at the MetalCamp in Tolmin Slovenia. Unfortunately this festival does not exist with the same name and the same size anymore. Now it is called Metaldays, but as I said it is not what it used to be anymore. (Anyway, this is another story.). As for the Arkona, it is so pity that they performed on a such of small stage this year. They have so many fans, in my opinion they deserve a bigger stage next time.

Regarding the karaoke nights at the Beer garden stage, it was not so cool like last year. This year they had a really good band, but they also had an excellent professional singer who was helping out all the karaoke participants. We were hearing the professional singer voice over the participants’ voices all the time. The whole excitement and charm around karaoke is when the participants are singing wrong, this makes people from the audience laugh. We did not had such of excitement this year, it was nice but not funny at all. I think it would be better if they didn’t have a professional singer. They should let the audience help the participants. It will be more interesting for everybody.

The weather was great, sun was shining all the time, but the first day was very dusty. Therefore most of the visitors were walking around with masks, or just wet bandannas over their faces. It was the first time after so many years that we had to use the sunscreen at Wacken and we didn’t have to wear our rubber boots.  Although Wacken has the reputation of being the most muddy festival in the world, this year, the 75,000 attendees did not see a drop of rain during the festival days.

We loved and enjoyed every minute we spent at Wacken. At Wacken we feel like we are at home. It was almost like we were visiting our big and happy family at the village. We also ate and drank very much but this is something that everybody is doing at Wacken. Even though you are not hungry or thirsty, people around you eat and drink all the time, and after dancing, jumping, walking around from stage to stage and headbanging it is a normal thing to do. Regarding the food at Wacken there are so many choices, and fragrances from the food stalls are just amazing. It is kind of difficult to describe it with words.

In some statistical reports, it was announced that in the Wacken Open Air, an average of approximately 5.1 liters of beer per person are consumed each year during the festival. It was compared with the 3.1 liters per person at the Rock Am Ring festival.

On August 4, this year’s edition of Germany’s Wacken Open Air Festival had ended. The finale was breathtaking, crowned with excellent fireworks as every year. There were a lot of innovations and improvements this year. The most important one was that they put even more toilets, and shower places. We had more spots to sit and relax than the last year. They were also very well prepared for the rain this time, so they put some plastic panels on the ground at all important routes inside of the festival area, but it didn’t rain at all. It was nice though and easy to walk on these panels. This year our shoes were clean, they were just covered in dust.

We liked to relax at the Melita cafe with a warm cup of coffee, they also had their small karaoke stage. The concept of the cafe was great it almost felt like we were at home in our living room hanging out with our friends.

The atmosphere was very summery. But it was little bit chill in the night as I mentioned. Every year we stay at the campsite in our tent. When you stay at the campsite you are really able to feel the true atmosphere of Wacken. This year we were waking up earlier though, because of the heat in our tent.

I have to admit that I’m kind of pissed off with all of those  jerks who were urinating on the holly land all the time. There was no need for that, especially this year there were so many toilets at so many places at the campsite and the festival area, that were cleaned very often.

Just about 30 meters from our tent at the campsite we had some nice and quite high bushes, that could easily provide a nice shadow, for all of us at those warm days. Unfortunately, nobody could sit near of that bushes, because some jerks were urinating on them constantly during the day and night.

Therefore we were going to the festival area earlier this year in order to find some shade and to cool down with some cold drinks, the sun was burning very strong from the morning. Actually our own tent was providing shade until 11 o’clock, so we could enjoy our breakfast and coffee behind the tent. Later on we were going to the festival area for the rest of the day, until the program was done. There is always something interesting going on on Wacken.

Besides of the concerts, eating, drinking, shopping, we also enjoyed one stand up comedy performance. It was totally hilarious. The Witch Taint comedy show about Black Metal, called ”The Black Metal Dialogues”.

On August 5, we picked up our stuff and we hit the road back to Amsterdam. We always feel emotional while leaving. We wish it could last more. This year we chose to take another way back than we usually do. It was a very interesting journey that I am going to describe in one of my next blog posts. It took us longer than usual but it was more interesting and we discovered some incredible places that we didn’t know they even existed.

On the same evening the tickets for the event’s 2019 edition were put on sale. On August 6, over 60,000 tickets were sold for Wacken Open Air’s 30th Anniversary. Wacken 2019 will take place on August 1-3, 2019.

The tickets for Wacken Open Air 2019 are sold out. A total of 75,000 tickets have been purchased for the 2019 event. It is going to be an incredible gathering where 75,000 metalheads will celebrate 30 years of the world’s biggest heavy metal festival.

In a statement on their website, the Wacken team thanked fans for their show of support. They promised to achieve an anniversary which we shall all remember for a long time!

However, among the excitement and gratitude, organizers have also issued a warning to fans who were unable to get tickets for next year’s event to stay away from secondary ticketing outlets. Organizers have informed the fans to avoid buying tickets from eBay, Viagogo, Laolaevents, Global-tickets, Eventtickets24 and tickets75, adding that this list of what they deem to be untrustworthy retailers.

Many of the pages have not only attracted attention by inflated prices, by selling stolen or deactivated tickets. In some cases, they are even selling tickets that they don’t have at all. Fans are being advised to join the Wacken Open Air 2019 official waiting list for tickets. It is expected that a number of spaces will come available over the course of the next ten days, due to ticket returns and advance payments not being made on time.

We are happy that we got our tickets for Wacken 2019 on time. Wacken prides itself on amazing atmosphere but also the line-up every year. Until now some really great bands confirmed such as: Sabaton (with special show for their 20th anniversary), Powerwolf,  Airbourne, Rose Tattoo, Meshuggah, Within Temptation, Dark Funeral, Krokus, Avatar, Parkway Drive, Demons & Wizards (unique date in German festivals) and many more are coming…

I am sorry, my intention was just to make a quick review of Wacken 2018, but my post reached more than 2000 words again. But I can’t help it, when it comes to W:O:A there is so much to be said. It is the greatest festival ever that I can recommend to everyone. Everybody is welcome at Wacken. Come as you are to live and experience the best time of your life. See you at Wacken 2019 rain or shine!

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