Preview Wacken 2018

 Here we go again! WACKEN – Rain or Shine!

Wacken Open Air 2018 takes place from 01/08 till 04/08 in Wacken, Germany.

Last years Wacken was muddy, but overall it was sunny and warm. Be sure to bring your rain boots and rain clothes if you plan on going to Wacken though! No Wacken without a bit of rain.

The little village of Wacken will get rid of their massive amount of cows in a few weeks, to replace them with an entirely different breed: 80 000 metalheads! The festival area of 220ha should suffice to house this great amount of headbangers, and the 40km of fences should keep them safe inside. But even outside of the festival area there’s a lot to see in Wacken! The town’s people really live up to being a heavy metal town and build bars and food stalls all along the main street. From young to very old, they keep on raising their horns!

Wacken 2018 is not sold out yet, but they’re only 5.000 out of 70.000 tickets left! So you have to be fast if you want to be a part of the biggest metal festival in the world.

Can’t be there? There will be a full review and photo report off the festival here at Grimm. You can also check out the live streams on the Wacken website. Didn’t get a ticket fast enough? The ticketsale for Wacken 2019 will start on August 5, 2018.

RUNNING ORDER

But first the 2018-edition! Which bands are playing?
Click here to check out the Running Order, or make your personal running order with the Running Order Tool.

Like every year we already start the party at Wednesday (01/08), with several bands who won the Wacken Metal Battle in their own country. Then we can get the medieval and folk party going at our favorite place in Wacken: the Wackinger Village, including the Wackinger Stage. Here we can enjoy several awesome folkbands, like Pampatut, Da Rocka & Da Waitler, Ignis Fatuu, Ganaim, Bannkreis, Vogelfrey, Dartangan and Heilung.

Starting Thursday the Mainstages are added to the available festival area. We can start the day and visit the Faster Stage & Harder Stage, with some amazing headliners like Vince Neil, Dirk Schneider and Judas Priest.
At the Louder stage you can see Tremonti, Oomph! and Hatebreed.
At the Wasteland stage, you will be able to see bands like Monstagon, Blessed Hellride and Budderside. Be sure to check out the W.O.A Firefighters at at the Beer Garden. This will definitely be a surprise!

From Friday on it’s full speed ahead with a full line-up at the all the stages. At the Mainstages you will be able to enjoy a wide range of music from bands such as Amorphis, Epica, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, In Flames, Korpiklaani and Ghost. Oh, and don’t forget Doro. There is simply no Wacken without Doro. She always pops up somewhere to show some love to everybody on the holy Wacken grounds.
At Louder stage you can see 2Cellos. Two guys who cover metal songs on cellos. Check them out on YouTube if you haven’t already. It’s pretty cool to see what they can do with just 2 cellos.

On Saturday we still can’t get some rest, because we will start our day with Betontod at the Faster Stage and Riot V at Louder stage. Then a busy day will follow until the Outro of the festival. With bands such as: Alestorm, Gojira, Arch Enemy, Wintersun, Steel Panther and Helloween. After In Extremo, the first bands for Wacken 2019 will be announced.

Every day, there are also 2 movies that are being showed at the Movie Field. Which ones still has to be announced. There’s usually a different range of genres of movies. They can be documentaries, or just funny movies. But they are all music related.

LOCATION

Wacken Open Air, Hauptstraße, 25596 Wacken

Wacken is located approximately 50km to the North of Hamburg, and you approach Wacken via the A23. Depending on the traffic situation you will be led by a dynamic traffic control system either over the exit Schenefeld or the exit Hanerau-Hademarschen with the least waiting time to the parking areas.

FESTIVAL AREA

The festival area is huge and even with this awesome map it’s hard not to get lost. We advice to take the festival map with you to ensure you’ve at least got something to go on. This years map is not online yet, but it will be added later on the official website and on the app.  The infield includes the 3 Main Stages: Faster Stage, Harder Stage and Louder Stage, and a few smaller stages: W.E.T Stage, Headbangers Stage, Wackinger Stage and Wastland Stage. The infield opens on Thursday afternoon.
Before that you can already visit the Wackinger Village, Beer Garden, Welcome to the Jungle, Metal Market and Wacken Plaza. First, before the Wacken Plaza is the place where you have to check in for the first time and get your wristband. Then you’ll enter the Wacken Plaza via the festival entrance. Here are the Bullhead City Circus with the two smaller stages Headbangers Stage and W:E:T Stage. Next to the Wacken Plaza there’s the Wackinger Village. This is our favorite spot of the festival, with several acts, a great atmosphere, and the best (authentic) food of Wacken.

PRACTICAL INFO

– Because there’s a lot of dust when there is great weather at Wacken, it’s nice to have a dust mask to cover your face.
– When it’s hot: don’t forget to drink enough water (beer doesn’t work in the long run), use sunscreen, wear a hat and light clothing that covers your skin. Important note: You are not allowed to take sunscreen with you at the festival. You have to put it on your skin before you enter the festival area. You do however receive a cloth of sunscreen in the Full:Metal:Bag. This one is allowed to take with you to the festival.
– Bring some combat- and/or rubber boots in case it’s rainy. A rain poncho is included in every Full:Metal:Bag but it may come in handy to bring your own poncho or rain coat.
– The Official Merch stands are Sold-Out soon, so it’s smart to get your Wacken T-shirt or other merch at the beginning of the festival.
– The security is very strict. Smuggling is very hard and you need to be careful with studded wristbands and belts with spikes longer than 1cm, cartridge belts and any type of chains except wallet chains. Also you can’t bring professional camera’s, when you don’t have a press/photo pass.
– There are stands with vegetarian food.
–There are lockers available – you better book one online so you are sure you have one.
– You get free earplugs in the Full:Metal:Bag, and you can buy better earplugs in the festival area.
– There are ATM’s at the festival area and in the village.
– Last year cashless payment got introduced to the festival. You had to set up your account before the festival and you could pick the card up at the festival. It’s basically a bank card were you can transfer money to and use it to pay faster so you don’t have to wait to long to get your food or drink. This year, everybody got their card with their festival ticket. It’s very easy to use and if there’s money on it after the festival (more then € 1), Wacken will transfer it back to your account. You can’t use this card everywhere though. You can only use it at the food and drink stands in the center of the festival.
– Cigarettes are being sold at the festival, but only American Spirit!! For the other brands you can go to the village, but most of the time it’s very busy in the supermarket where you can buy cigarettes. So bring a stash or deal with it.

FULL:METAL:BAG

The Full:Metal:Bag 2018 contains:
1. Postcard – can be send directly from the festival ground.
2. Patch – patch with W:O:A 2018 Logo.
3. Sticker – sticker with current W:O:A 2018 Logo.
4. History Pass Laminate – laminated pass with 2018 poster layout
5. Magnet – magnet with W:O:A 2018 layout (can be used on freezers for example)
6. Rain Poncho – rain protection
7. Ear Plugs – ear protection
8. Foldable Water Bottle – can be brought to the festival area and can be refilled for free.
9. Sunscreen and refresh cloth
10. First Aid Kit – The Box it comes in can also be used as a waterproof phone case.
11. Pen
11. Backpack – Includes the Full:Metal:Bag Items and can be used as backpack during the festival and afterwards!

Only while stock lasts! So be sure to get your wristband on time, since you get your Full:Metal:Bag when you exchange your ticket for your wristband. Afterwards it’s not possible anymore, so ask for it in case they forget!

PAYMENTS / MONEY

There are 8 ATM/cash machines available on festival grounds. Additional ATM/ cash points can be found in the village of Wacken, Holstenniendorf, Vaale and Schenefeld. At the festival you can pay everything in cash or with the cashless payment card (no festival tokens!), so be sure to bring enough with you. But it’s pretty easy to get money from the ATMs, we never waited very long when we did this. The pricing for the food and drinks is very reasonable, especially the food in the Wackinger Village when you compare it with the other festivalfood. After you eat this food, other festival foods will never taste the same again.

FOOD & DRINKS

On the festival grounds it is allowed to bring the foldable bottle from the Full Metal Bag and/or the original Wacken cup. Beverages transported in Tetra Pack containers or Drinking horns are not allowed to be brought to the Infield. Due to the high injury risk glass bottles are strictly forbidden. Canned and/or bottled beverages also aren’t allowed to be brought to the festival ground. You will get your drink in a Wacken cup, of which there are different designs each year, making them a popular collector’s item.

Like on every other festival, you can find a lot of different food stalls on the festival grounds. The stalls are classified by different countries, resulting in stalls like, for example, “Indian Soul Food”, Holländisch Fries and many others. The countries are presented by small flags.

Luckily there’s also enough choice in drinks, as we usually grow kind of tired of Becks after we have had a few. The most well-known drink of Wacken has got to be the Wacken Met (=mead). There are 2 different kinds available, the basic Wacken Met (honey wine) and the Wacken Blut (honey wine with cherry flavour). Both of them are very delicious, but also very sweet. You can get some mead at the different mead-bars on the festival grounds, that are often made of wood and are sometimes even built in the form of a Drakker (viking ship).

Aside from the mead, you can also get the standard drinks like beer & soda, but also Monster Energy and Jägermeister. If you’d like, you could also go for a combination of both Monster Energy and Jägermeister, called the JägerMonster).

CAMPING AREA

The supermarket provides you with everything your heavy metal heart craves for. Whether meat or cocoa, canned ravioli or coffee, you find it at the supermarket. Unfortunately, advance orders are not possible.

The campsite is free of charge and is right next to the festival site. It’s a huge campsite so we advise you to arrive early, otherwise you will have to walk (or crawl?) for a very long time. Since the campsite is so big, there is usually a lot more space between the tents, compared to for example Graspop.

Fun fact: every road on the campsite has its on special metalminded street name. There’s also a possibility to rent a tent that’s already completely set up for you, via ‘Mein-Zelt-Steht-Schon’. This sounds like you won’t be able to find your tent easily, but it’s actually easier than on a ‘regular’ campsite where all the tents are placed randomly. Because of the streets and a huge letter that tells you on which area you are, it’s really easy to locate. Combine this with the high possibility that somebody next to you will have some kind of light accessory attached to their tent and it’s very easy to know where you are and where to go. Also, you don’t have to break your ankles over all the wires from tents, as there is indeed more space between the tents.

You can enter the campsite on Wednesday 03 August, 2018 at 0:00 am, when you present a valid ticket. It’s only after you’ve set up your tent, that you go and get your wristband and Full:Metal:Bag, right next to the entrance. Be sure to ask for the Full:Metal:Bag upon receiving your wristband if they forget to give you one, as you won’t be able to get one later on.

There is free drinking water available at the campsite (and in certain places on the festival grounds), but you can expect long queues! There are many food stalls, so you won’t have to starve at the Holy Wacken Land. In terms of sanitary facilities there are mainly Dixi’s on the campsite, and the showers are pretty expensive. You can pay separately every time you take a shower or purchase a pass.
You can find breakfast tents in various places on the campsite and next to supermarkets.

SANITARY FACILITIES

As said before, on the campsite the toilets are mostly Dixi’s. Luckily, there are also a couple of clean and water-flushed toilets located in the six shower camps. But, every morning there will be a waiting line for an average of 30 minutes… Yes… You can purchase WC passes ( €4 for 10x) at the shower camps nearby the information point. WC passes from previous years remain valid.  All toilets in areas surrounding stages are free of charge.

HOT SHOWERS

Six big shower camps with lavatories are available. A service station with an information desk and supermarket is located at each shower camp. Shower passes (€10 for 5x) purchased in recent years remain valid.

WATER

At the shower camps you’ll be provided with a separate drinking water supply. As usual the drinking water is free of charge. You also find additional drinking water fountains in the Infield on the left-hand and right-hand side of the stage and on the left-hand side of the Infield entry from the Wacken Center. Towards the Wacken Foundation Camp at the Wacken Center, you can find another drinking water fountain.

SAFE DEPOSIT, PHONE CHARGING

At the charging station you may charge all your electrical devices. All different kinds of power supplies are provided. Make use of 100% regeneratively produced electricity and charge your cell phone at the Electric Hotel.
Lockers are provided by BIGBOX Berlin and their safeBOXes are both lockers and charging stations. The Box crew is working 24/7, so they’ll always be there to assist you if necessary. More info can be found here.

IPHONE AND ANDROID APP

The popular Waken Open Air App is once again available in 2018! The app gives you the access to the latest news, the complete line up and the running order. You can also add single bands and events to your personal favorite list to get a notification right before the ban hits the stage. If you have problems to find the right stage: a detailed map of the festival area is included too (very useful).

List of features:
-News – Stay informed before, during and after the festival.
-Bands – Complete list of all bands playing at the festival.
-Interactive festival map with tagging function.
-Running Order.
-Maps of the festival area and the campsite.
-Friend Finder – more info will be included in the app soon.
-Social Media – Facebook and Twitter feeds from the festival.

 

Don’t forget to check out our own official Wacken Warm-up Party on June 29th in Ghent!

For more information about Wacken, check out their website and Facebook page.
You can also join the official Facebook event.

Get ready for this years edition!

Pictures and video’s by Wacken Open Air