Town Center  

Wacken Open Air
festival area


The concerts at W:O:A 2013


Population: 1 814
2013 (July/August)

Tallest building: Heiligen-Geist-Kirche (Holy Spirit Church)


Wacken is a municipality near the town of Itzehoe in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Wacken was first mentioned in 1148, but there were probably some settlements before, which is proven by the trove of Germanic artefacts. Today, Wacken is famous for annually staging the world's biggest open air metal festival, "Wacken Open Air".

Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) is a summer open air festival, held every year for 3 days in July/August. The focus is metal music, and it has about 80 000 visitors a year from all around the world. The bands, about 70, are also from all around the world, some really famous with big concerts. They perform on 4 different stages. It has been held since 1990. There are several camping grounds surrounding the festival area.


I have visited Wacken Open Air twice: in 1999 and 2013. Some people go every year, but for me there were actually a 14 years gap, beacause I have given priority to city travels. We put up our tent on the caming ground.

The bands I saw was Deep Purple, Rammstein, Candlemass, Nightwish, Danzig, Doro, Fear Factory, Alice Cooper, Motörhead, Tristania, Gojira, Ihsahn, Soilwork, Amorphis, Trivium, Lamb of God, Powerwolf, Meshuggah, Annihilator, Haggard.

The best? Hard to say, most bands were of high quality, even though some sound technicians sucked! But Candlemass, Gojira, Nightwish, Danzig, Rammstein and Deep Purple were among the best. The atmosphere and people were over all very friendly. There are really crazy people out there, in a good way!

Worst? No tap water, toilet paper or soap in the mobile toilets! Naughty! And a small glass of water costs 4 euro, the same as a beer. The heat, sun and the heavy rain was not really fun either! But it was worth it!